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Ten years later… Ten years later…

Harry Potter Fan Zone turns ten!On 22 December 2003, ten years ago to the day, Harry Potter Fan Zone came online. It looked a little something (actually, a lot something) like this.

I was – at the time – a bored fourteen year–old looking for something to do over the Australian summer holiday break. And here we are today: two books, six movies, and a decade of digging up Harry Potter news and rumours later.

Harry Potter Fan Zone turns ten!I never imagined that a little pet-project conceived in my bedroom would lead to such awesome opportunities: being featured on the front–page of my local paper, attending the Goblet of Fire premiere in New York City and the Order of the Phoenix premiere in Los Angeles at the invitation of Warner Bros. and twice visiting Leavesden Studios to watch filming on movies six and seven while interviewing the cast and crew.

Plus a bunch more cool stuff (I won't forget eating lunch opposite Alan Rickman in full Snape get–up anytime soon).

Of course, my highlight of this whole little adventure was hearing that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was a fan of the website and reading the lovely thank–you she gave us on her official website.

So thank you to everyone who's contributed to this website over the past ten years and, of course, to everyone who's given it a visit. I hope you've had as much fun following Harry Potter Fan Zone (yes, I do wish I'd come up with a better name all those years ago) as I've had running it.

Harry Potter Fan Zone meets Evanna Lynch at LeakyCon 2012 Harry Potter Fan Zone meets Evanna Lynch at LeakyCon 2012

Evanna Lynch (with HPFZ shirt!)HPFZ's David and Toni Gras recently attended LeakyCon 2012 in Chicago where, among many Potter festivities, they caught up with actress Evanna Lynch — Luna Lovegood in the 'Potter' films (check out her fantastic choice of shirt!). Their report follows:

Potter Passion Prevails! That is the thought of these three reporters from Harry Potter Fan Zone, as we observed and participated in The Leaky Cauldron's third conference, LeakyCon 2012, at the Hilton Towers in Chicago on famed Michigan Avenue from Thursday, August 9 – Sunday, August 12, 2012. The 3800+ fans overtook the Hilton hotel as they roamed the hallways and lobbies dressed in both normal and Potter gear. Huge LEAKYCON banners draped the inner lobby of the Hilton and a Hogwarts castle-like backdrop was displayed on the main stage area to help get us in the mood. The number of attendees was overwhelming, this being the largest LeakyCon conference, beating last year's conference in attendance by approximately 800. This itself says something about the excitement that LeakyCon permeates as Chicago boasts no Potter-themed attractions – which means that all 3800 people came for the conference itself.

As conferences go, we can honestly say that we have never experienced the immense amount of passion and excitement from attendees that we witnessed here. Harry Potter brought together all the attendees in friendship and The Leaky Cauldron web site has helped to cultivate and grow Potter Passion which J.K. Rowling started over 15 years ago – for some of the fans present, they were just barely born but yet they mingled with other Potter fans from near and far at this conference. We could sense the feelings of bonding and closeness with those who feel as passionate about the Potter saga as we do.

Our first day, Thursday, August 9, we had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on two press-only conferences, first with some of the actors from the famed "Star Kid" troupe and secondly with the Harry Potter movie actors that were present at the conference which included Robbie Jarvis (the young James Potter), William Melling (Nigel Wolpert), and the ever-friendly, bubbly and lovely Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood). Our HPFZ reporter sat with Evanna for several minutes asking her various questions and Evanna's sweet and humble nature came forth as she talked about her identification with the character of Luna and what Luna has done for her personally.

Read the full article.

James and Oliver Phelps launch 'Harry Potter: The Exhibition' in Sydney James and Oliver Phelps launch 'Harry Potter: The Exhibition' in Sydney

James and Oliver Phelps with Andy McCray of Harry Potter Fan ZoneLast night, James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films) attended the gala launch of Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Sydney.

I had the pleasure of attending the event, as well as a media preview earlier in the day, which was hosted at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. James and Oliver, along with creative wizards Eddie Newquist and Robin Stapley, shared a number of interesting facts about the exhibition.

Notably, they spoke about the logistics of bringing such a large exhibition to Australia and some of the more recent props and costumes on show for the first time.

Here are some of the most interesting facts that were shared.

  • It took 23 shipping containers and 40 days to bring Harry Potter: The Exhibition to Sydney.
  • At one point, James and Oliver had to have their wands shipped back to Leavesden Studios for 'Deathly Hallows' filming.
  • There's a mark on one of the Bludgers where it was dropped on set.
  • There's authentic James and Oliver Phelps graffiti carvings on the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.
  • There are new props and costumes on show for the first time in Sydney, including the Hallows and Horcruxes (photos below).
  • Bellatrix's costume is a new edition to the Sydney display (photo below).

Harry Potter: The Exhibition runs through until 18 March 2012 at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Tickets are now on sale.

Photos from the London 'Deathly Hallows: Part 2' premiere Photos from the London 'Deathly Hallows: Part 2' premiere

Harry Potter Fan Zone attended the London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 last Thursday. We saw the film which was both amazing and a fitting end to the series.

Here are some of our photos from the event.

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' world premiere tomorrow! 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' world premiere tomorrow!

The world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in London is tomorrow!

Harry Potter Fan Zone will be on the red carpet wearing black and blue HPFZ stickers – if you see us, come and say hey.

Live stream of the premiere event:

Stay tuned for photos and videos form the event. We'll also be updating our Twitter account with live updates from the red carpet.

Composer Alexandre Desplat talks to fan sites, Harry Potter Fan Zone Composer Alexandre Desplat talks to fan sites, Harry Potter Fan Zone

Recently, Harry Potter Fan Zone, along with a number of other fan sites, spoke with composer Alexandre Desplat.

Desplat recently scored Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (he also scored part one last year).

Harry Potter Fan Zone: When you wrote the score for the film, did you find that your ideas came to you very quickly in short bursts, or did they take a long time to develop?

Alexandre Desplat: You know these films are such huge machines–there’s such a huge expectation and so much pressure from the past because its the biggest series of the last 10 years–that you have to be very careful and double-check, triple-check that every note you write is accurate and fine, and you want to challenge yourself to be, if not as good, to approach the talent of the master that John Williams is, so it requires a little bit of attention. You can’t write a score of that kind in a short amount of time so you need to really try things over and over again. Also on these big machines now, the editing keeps changing and you have to adapt to that, so you need that time to be able to write properly and accurately.

Did you compose the soundtrack for Part 2 as a follow up for Part 1 or did you treat them as separate projects?

When I first was asked to write Part 1, it was not yet signed that I would write Part 2, so, unfortunately, I could not write thinking of the two episodes at the same time. However, there are still some themes of Part 1 which continue in Part 2 like what I call the “Band of Brothers” theme when all the friends reunite at the beginning of Part 1. We hear this theme again in Part 2 and also some of the themes and motifs of “Obliviate,” the thing that opens Part 2, that comes back also in Part 2, so there is some continuity.

Did you get to see the first half of the final film with your score added to it, and how did you feel about seeing everything put together?

I saw Part 1 finished a long time again, and it was great. I think the essence of what it portrayed–the sense of loneliness and a loss of childhood–were very strong, and I think it was a great first part.

Since Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was filmed way before it normally would be, did you got more time to score the film, and if so, did that affect your scoring process at all?

I think I had a lot of time to write, a very comfortable amount of time to write, because all together writing it and composing took about three and a half to four months for each episode. When you're filming on set, you can decide on shooting all the scenes that belong to this set and then you can still change them. It's very different with the score. I had to wait until I saw Part 2 edited to be able to start putting ideas together and try to find a sense of an arc and a dramatic sense for the film. There was enough time, and it was hard work for many months but also still very inspiring.

There are quite a few deaths in this film. Which was the most difficult to write, for and were there any that hit you harder than the others?

Death is very present in the Harry Potter story from the beginning because it starts with an orphan who lost his parents, and, actually, the theme of death is very present in this episode, since Lily, Harry's mother, is the lead character of this episode. We start the film with hearing Lily’s theme, which will kind of ghost the film all along and be the music thread that will take us from the beginning to the end of the film. So that's one element of death, the people that you miss, the people that you long for, the sorrow, and the question about death and the resurrection stone and how you cope with the death of the people you love. That’s very present in the themes that are used and you see it when you see the film and hear the soundtrack that I’ve tried to be very sensitive and emotional on these matters. The other side of death is, of course, also the battles, the duels, the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, and they are both fighting for death, and there’s no mercy. So I wrote some epic and lyrical pieces for these battle moments.

Desplat conducts the score to Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Read the full article.

Exclusive preview of our 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' set report Exclusive preview of our 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' set report

Last year Harry Potter Fan Zone visited Leavesden Studios where cast and production crew were busy at work on both instalments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

We posted a report detailing everything we saw relating to Deathly Hallows: Part 1 last October, but much of the trip was spent looking at many of the juicy photos, props and sets designed for Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

While we can't share the full report just yet, we can offer a few teasers today. There's much more to come leading up to July, including details of our experience watching Alan Rickman (Snape) and the cast hard at work filming a climactic scene during the Battle of Hogwarts.

What's to come?

  • We revisit the Chamber of Secrets where Ron and Hermione share an intimate moment. You'll actually see the Chamber in the film. The Basilisk is also back, this time as a decaying skeleton.
  • Gringotts has been greatly expanded too. Production staff are hard at work on building the giant dragon which dwells below the bank and, on our visit, we're given a look at the motion control rig that Dan, Emma and Rupert will ride.
  • "Harry Potter will never set foot in this castle again" utters Alan Rickman during the filming of a scene in the Great Hall. There are shouts. Statues come alive. We watch numerous takes as the actors perfect this climactic moment.
  • Of course, we have much to report on the King's Cross scene (there's a really cool Voldemort doll), the epilogue, the Battle, a certain death scene and many other action packed and emotional moments in Deathly Hallows: Part 2, but that will have to wait for now.

Stay tuned!

Happy new year! Happy new year!

To all our readers, a happy new year! There are now only 195 days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is released.

Our guide to Harry Potter on Twitter and who to follow Our guide to Harry Potter on Twitter and who to follow

If you're both a Harry Potter fan and a Twitter user then there are plenty of actors, actresses, organisations and miscellaneous folk to follow on Twitter who'll keep you informed about all things 'Potter'.

We've compiled the following list (we'll update it as more people join), as well as created a Twitter list, to make that job a little easier for you.

As of April 2011, our list of people to follow includes:

Harry Potter Fan Zone (@HPFZ)
That's us! Follow us for all the latest Harry Potter news and media coverage.

J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling)
J.K. Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter books and this is her only official Twitter account.

Tom Felton (@TomFelton)
Tom Felton plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.

Emma Watson (@EmWatson)
Emma Watson plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films.

Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis)
Matthew Lewis plays Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films.

James Phelps (@James_Phelps)
James Phelps plays Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

Oliver Phelps (@OliverPhelps)
Oliver Phelps plays George Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

Freddie Stroma (@freddiestroma)
Freddie Stroma plays Cormac McLaggen in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis)
Warwick Davis plays Professor Flitwick and Griphook the goblin in the Harry Potter films.

Chris Rankin (@chrisrankin)
Chris Rankin plays Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch)
Evanna Lynch plays Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films.

Katie Leung (@Kt_Leung)
Katie Leung plays Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films.

Devon Murray (@DevonMMurray)
Devon Murray plays Seamus Finnigan in the Harry Potter films.

Jamie Campbell Bower (@Jamiebower)
Jamie Campbell Bower plays Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Arthur Bowen (@abowen1998)
Arthur Bowen plays Albus Severus Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Ryan Turner (@ryanturner2)
Ryan Turner plays Hugo Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Will Dunn (@WillDxnnPFC)
Will Dunn plays James Sirius Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Angelica Mandy (@angelicajmandy)
Angelica Mandy plays Gabrielle Delacour in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Simon McBurney (@SimonMcBurney)
Simon McBurney provides the voice of Kreacher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

John Cleese (@JohnCleese)
John Cleese played Nearly Headless Nick in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Stephen Fry (@stephenfry)
Stephen Fry narrates the UK Harry Potter audiobooks.

Harry Potter Film (@HarryPotterFilm)
The official Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film Twitter feed.

Warner Bros. (@WarnerBrosEnt)
Warner Bros. are the studio behind the Harry Potter films.

Bloomsbury (@BloomsburyBooks)
Bloomsbury are the UK publishers of the Harry Potter books.

Scholastic (@Scholastic)
Scholastic are the US publishers of the Harry Potter books.

Raincoast Books (@RaincoastBooks)
Raincoast Books are the Canadian publishers of the Harry Potter books.

The Dark Lord (@Lord_Voldemort7)
The Dark Lord himself.

You can follow or learn more about all of the above profiles through our Twitter list.

Photos from the New York City 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' premiere Photos from the New York City 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' premiere

Check out Harry Potter Fan Zone's photos from the New York City premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 below.

Tom Felton and Rupert Grint look back on memorable Harry Potter moments Tom Felton and Rupert Grint look back on memorable Harry Potter moments

Harry Potter Fan Zone caught up with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) at the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 press junket in London last week, where they told us about some of their most memorable Harry Potter experiences.

Harry Potter Fan Zone: Are you going to look back on the whole thing as one big experience or do you have a stand out film (Half-Blood Prince for example)?

Tom Felton: Not really, it kind of all blurs into one. I don't really remember saying goodbye and then coming back six months later. I just kind of remember it blending into one. Obviously, yeah, there are slightly different experiences. More to do with my age I guess. We were so young on the first ones. You don't really question anything when you're twelve or thirteen, you just get on with it and then kind of look back and think, "oh that was bizarre". Certainly around that time that I mentioned this infatuation with filmmaking. It was that film, the sixth one, that really embedded that. Just being on set a lot more and working a lot closer with [David] Yates made it a lot more fun.

Rupert Grint told us about some of his favourite 'Potter' memories, including the infamous slug sequence in Chamber of Secrets.

Rupert Grint: I'll never forget [the slugs]. I can still taste them!

Alexandre Desplat on 'Hedwig's Theme', composing the music for 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' Alexandre Desplat on 'Hedwig's Theme', composing the music for 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1'

Harry Potter Fan Zone, along with a number of other fan websites, recently caught up with composer Alexandre Desplat to talk about his music for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Harry Potter Fan Zone: What was the first piece of music or melody that you wrote for this film and how did the rest of the music evolve from that idea?

Alexandre Desplat (AD): I worked many bits and pieces, that's always the way I build my soundtracks. I take a lot of notes on a music pad, on a music writing little book. And so I take notes from these. And, and it's many of them, it's not just one. One of the ideas was the opening titles, the theme of "Obliviation", and most of the "Ministry of Magic". These three were the three I started to play around with, which means trying different ideas. But I can't say that one was leading the others. 'Cause at the same time I was also playing around with "Hedwig's Theme", making many questions of how I could twist the neck of this theme and make it different and bring it into my own little world of music. Except that at the end it did not happen because there was not enough room for the scene to be in the version that I'd written. So it's really a complex process, it's not just one theme, it's many, many ideas and themes. I just record 'cause I know I'm going to use a rhythm pattern that I'm going to use and reuse and display here and there.

Question: "Obliviate" seems to be a reoccurring theme in the film. It's somewhat of a much darker version to "Hedwig's Theme" in a sense that the track has a sense of flight to it. Could you talk about that track, and how you came up with it?

AD: Well, first of all it, has nothing to do with "Hedwig's Theme". It's completely away from the "Hedwig's Theme". There's not any combinations of notes that sound like "Hedwig's Theme". That's important to state. And if I may add to that statement that I loved the "Hedwig's Theme" and I was actually impatient to write a version of the theme. But unfortunately, the movie was repelling, it was not. Because of the nature of the film, this theme, didn't match. So, that's the first thing. Now "Obliviate", it is the seeds of the score. Actually this piece is the most important piece. That's the piece around which the whole score was built. The idea was to find a theme that had a sense of sorrow, loss of innocence, but still with a propelling motor, and also a sense of wide sound to deliver an epic kind of feeling to it. Actually, this piece opens the movie. It's the first melody that you'll hear. And it's music that goes with the theme where the three heroes leave their families, their homes to go to the unknown. They go on the road to fight the dark forces and it captures their anxiety, their fears, their sadness. And that's why this theme will be recurring in various shades all over the film.

Question: Fans really love "Hedwig's Theme". How did you go about choosing which scenes would feature it?

AD: Well, it's very easy to understand that. The movie being so different from the previous ones because it's the first time our heroes are away from Hogwarts. They're not children anymore. They're young adults. And the theme of Hedwig is really related to the early days of Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione. We tried really hard with David Yates to use it at very specific moments. Some of them did not make it until the end of the process, unfortunately, because they were kind of bringing the children to childhood while the movie was doing exactly the opposite, bringing the children into adulthood. So it's only a few moments when he's leaving his house, we see Hedwig go in the sky, away from Harry's hand, when Hedwig is killed, also, by one of the Death Eaters. We're not related anymore, neither to Hedwig, neither to the childhood of these heroes. That's why and how the theme is not recurring more than that, sadly, because it's a fantastic melody. Fantastic.

Read the full article.

David Heyman, David Yates on Alexandre Desplat's 'Deathly Hallows' music, John Williams returning David Heyman, David Yates on Alexandre Desplat's 'Deathly Hallows' music, John Williams returning

Earlier this month Harry Potter Fan Zone spoke with the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as part of the London press junket.

Below you can read our interviews about the music of the final two films, including producers David Heyman and David Barron commenting on the possibility of John Williams scoring the final Potter film.

Harry Potter Fan Zone (HPFZ): Was John Williams ever asked to score Deathly Hallows: Part 2? Did he decline?

David Heyman (DH): Yes, he was. We wanted to make it work with John but John's schedule didn't permit.

David Barron (DB): He was just unavailable unfortunately.

HPFZ: He wanted to do it?

Both: He did, very much so.

DH: We asked him around the time of [movie] six. Actually, we talked to him all the way along [about coming back for the end] but his schedule didn't permit.

DB: It's incredible for a man of advancing years who you think might be taking it easy, we spoke to him almost two years before the scoring sessions for this film and already then he had schedule issues.

DH: And then he tried to work his schedule to try and accommodate it but it just wasn't possible.

We also asked director David Yates about the use of "Hedwig's Theme" in Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

HPFZ: Alexandre Desplat mentioned that you picked very specific moments for "Hedwig's Theme". What was so significant about those moments?

David Yates (DY): Anything that felt like we were being nostalgic or in a way reflective of the past. That's when we used it.

HPFZ: Was it a conscious decision for him to play with the melody?

DY: Yeah, we wanted it to feel like it was all getting a bit distressed. We wanted to sort of [mess] it up a bit.

We'll have more, including an interview with Alexandre Desplat, the composer for the Deathly Hallows films, later this week.

'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' London premiere photos 'Deathly Hallows: Part 1' London premiere photos

Check out some of our photos from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 world premiere in London below.

HPFZ's coverage of the London premiere HPFZ's coverage of the London premiere

The London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is today at the Empire & Odeon in Leicester Square! HPFZ webmaster Andy McCray will be at the event from start to finish, so be sure to check back throughout the day for his coverage. In addition, you can watch LIVE coverage of the premiere beginning at 12 p.m. EST below.

The live stream has now ended, check out a recap video below

Check out our photos from the event by clicking here.

Follow us on Twitter for live updates!

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