News articles tagged 'Harry Potter Fan Zone'

Reminder: Win 'Prisoner of Azkaban', 'Goblet of Fire' ultimate editions and Blu-ray player! Reminder: Win 'Prisoner of Azkaban', 'Goblet of Fire' ultimate editions and Blu-ray player!

Harry Potter Fan Zone is giving away copies of the ultimate editions of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on DVD and Blu-ray!

One lucky visitor will receive both ultimate editions on Blu-ray plus a Blu-ray disc player valued at $299. Three runners up will win two sets of both ultimate editions on DVD.

If you're a US resident and over the age of eighteen, click here to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win!

The Prisoner of Azkaban Ultimate Editions will give you these bonus features:

  • Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 3: Creatures and featurette – Tour Nick Dudman's Creature Shop
  • Additional Special Features: Featurettes – Creating the Vision: an interview with J.K. Rowling and the filmmakers, Conjuring a Scene: Creating Buckbeak and the Dementors for the screen; Additional Scenes and more
  • 48-Page Creatures Photo Book
  • Two Collectible Character Cards: Hermione Granger, Sirius Black
  • Year 3 Lenticular Card
  • Bonus Digital Copy of the Theatrical Film

The Goblet of Fire Ultimate Editions will give you these bonus features:

  • Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 4: Sound & Music
  • Additional Special Features: Featurettes – Preparing for the Yule Ball; conversations with the Cast; Reflections on the Fourth Film; and more
  • 44-Page Sound & Music Photo Book
  • Two Collectible Character Cards: Ronald Weasley, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody
  • Year 4 Lenticular Card
  • Bonus Digital Copy of the Theatrical Film

Dan Radcliffe on physical and emotional challenges in 'Deathly Hallows' Dan Radcliffe on physical and emotional challenges in 'Deathly Hallows'

Harry Potter Fan Zone, along with a number of other fan sites, recently had the chance to speak with Dan Radcliffe. I asked Dan about the most physically and emotionally challenging scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter Fan Zone: What would you say [was] the most challenging scene to film physically and then the most challenging emotionally in this film?

Dan Radcliffe: Physically? The underwater stuff is always pretty tricky and in this case it was particularly tricky. I'm going under into the frozen lake to get the Sword of Gryffindor and the Horcrux is fighting for its existence and is trying to kill me. We do what will hopefully be a pretty terrifying almost semi-homage to The Omen where I get dragged up against the surface of the ice and torn around by the locket. That was pretty challenging.

Emotionally? All the stuff early on in the film with Rupert. It's very, very hard to hate Rupert Grint, even in performance terms. That was a challenge but hopefully some really, really good scenes will come out of it. Also all the scenes in Godric's Hollow where Harry sees his parents' tombstone. They were obviously big emotional moments.

Harry being such a battle-hardened, almost desensitised person at this stage, is dealing with emotions which he doesn't know how to show because he's buried emotions for so long. That's how he's managed to survive and keep his sanity: by ignoring, a lot of the time, his tragic past and how he feels about it. So to combine the natural grief one would feel at that moment with the kind of stoicism that Harry has developed over the last year, that was a challenge, but one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Win 'Prisoner of Azkaban', 'Goblet of Fire' ultimate editions and Blu-ray player! Win 'Prisoner of Azkaban', 'Goblet of Fire' ultimate editions and Blu-ray player!

Harry Potter Fan Zone is giving away copies of the ultimate editions of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on DVD and Blu-ray!

One lucky visitor will receive both ultimate editions on Blu-ray plus a Blu-ray disc player valued at $299. Three runners up will win two sets of both ultimate editions on DVD.

If you're a US resident and over the age of eighteen, click here to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win!

The Prisoner of Azkaban Ultimate Editions will give you these bonus features:

  • Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 3: Creatures and featurette – Tour Nick Dudman's Creature Shop
  • Additional Special Features: Featurettes – Creating the Vision: an interview with J.K. Rowling and the filmmakers, Conjuring a Scene: Creating Buckbeak and the Dementors for the screen; Additional Scenes and more
  • 48-Page Creatures Photo Book
  • Two Collectible Character Cards: Hermione Granger, Sirius Black
  • Year 3 Lenticular Card
  • Bonus Digital Copy of the Theatrical Film

The Goblet of Fire Ultimate Editions will give you these bonus features:

  • Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 4: Sound & Music
  • Additional Special Features: Featurettes – Preparing for the Yule Ball; conversations with the Cast; Reflections on the Fourth Film; and more
  • 44-Page Sound & Music Photo Book
  • Two Collectible Character Cards: Ronald Weasley, Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody
  • Year 4 Lenticular Card
  • Bonus Digital Copy of the Theatrical Film

Exclusive interview with Andy Linden, Mundungus Fletcher in 'Deathly Hallows' Exclusive interview with Andy Linden, Mundungus Fletcher in 'Deathly Hallows'

I recently had the pleasure of chatting to Andy Linden, the actor who will portray Mundungus Fletcher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Although Mundungus appears in a number of the Harry Potter books, this is the first time we'll see him brought to life on screen.

Harry Potter Fan Zone (HPFZ): How did you come to be cast as Mundungus Fletcher?

Andy Linden (AL): I'll be brutally honest with you; a bit of nepotism came into play there as it does with showbiz. I've worked with David Yates before. I did an art house movie with him many years ago when the world was flat [laughs]. Then I had a small role in State of Play, a quite successful TV series, so he [kept] me in mind for Mundungus Fletcher.

HPFZ: Were you a Harry Potter fan at all? Had you read the books or seen the films?

AL: I'd read the last book actually. The thing is you see I'm pushing fifty-seven, so at my time of life it was more Lord of the Rings in terms of fantasy. I was in my forties [when the first Harry Potter book was released] and I wouldn't have known about Harry Potter, but in my youth it was Tolkien really.

HPFZ: Did you read up on the books once you'd been cast or go back and check what your character got up to?

AL: Yes, I did. I read the last one – the one that I was involved in – and I started watching the movies just to get a feel and shape of things to come.

HPFZ: When did you start filming Deathly Hallows?

AL: That would have been late February/early March 2009. I do believe mine was the very first scene [shot].

HPFZ: Was that the Seven Potters scene?

AL: No, that was later on. This was a scene in Diagon Alley. The scene is set where it's absolutely chucking it down. It's [raining] relentlessly. Needless to say, I was quite the big drip all day.

HPFZ: Could you talk about what other scenes Mundungus appears in? There's another scene in the book where he gets attacked by a house-elf.

AL: Yes, Dobby and Kreacher attack him in the kitchen. I do believe it's Kreacher that brings him back from Diagon Alley because he stole the [locket]. Eventually, he's questioned by the three of them regarding it. There are three very good scenes and it's a lovely little cameo. I had such a great time doing it.

HPFZ: Does Mundungus appear in Deathly Hallows: Part II at all?

AL: No, alas, Mundungus is not in Part II which is a shame really, but he's a joy to play.

HPFZ: What was it like doing special effects scenes for example transforming into Harry?

AL: Time consuming [laughs]. It's all highly technical so consequently all the scenes are broken up if you know what I mean. You're kind of acting to nothing really. It's hundreds of little series of eye liners and pulling faces and trying to anticipate what's coming next.

HPFZ: Daniel Radcliffe mentioned that that sequence took ninety-five takes to film.

AL: Yes, and that really wasn't the inability of the actors. It was technical. It was [the crew] having so much coverage that they're spoiled for choice if you know what I mean.

HPFZ: Did you get to ride on a broom as well?

AL: Yes, I did [laughs] but in the guise of Harry Potter. By then everybody had taken the Polyjuice [Potion]. Consequently, we're all decoys. That particular scene took a long, long time simply because Daniel had to replicate all our different expressions and movements.

HPFZ: It sounds like it was a pretty intense process.

AL: Yeah, somewhat elongated shall we say. But I had a great time on Harry Potter. I thought the cast were wonderful; the crew are fantastic as well. You've got a crew there that know exactly what they're doing. They've been doing it for ten years and you're in good hands.

HPFZ: Finally, in the books, Mundungus is a big one for hoarding souvenirs. Were you able to take any souvenirs away from your experience on Harry Potter?

AL: I would love to say yes, but I couldn't really. They're quite precious when it comes to props and costume. Even script, you've got to guard it with your life. I've taken away from it some good memories.

Harry Potter Fan Zone would like to thank Andy for his time in putting together this interview.

Exclusive 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' set report Exclusive 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' set report

As we move through the creature shop I am struck by the sight of a truly bizarre prop. A life-size animatronic model of a woman is suspended in mid-air. The figure is lifeless and there is blood splattered on her head. So much detail has gone into its construction. Each freckle on the figure's face has been matched against the actress she is modelled after. There is something disturbing about touching the groggy-looking figure as it sways in evident pain.

This is of course the opening scene in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the figure is Charity Burbage (played by Carolyn Pickles), the Muggle Studies teacher who is killed by Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and fed to his snake as she hovers helplessly in the Malfoy Manor. From this moment, the tone of Deathly Hallows is set. Warner Bros. too are continuing their trend of producing increasingly darker 'Potter' films, something that was most definitely evident when Harry Potter Fan Zone visited the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows earlier this year.

In 2008, Warner Bros. announced their decision to split Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two separate films. The first part would be released in November of 2010, while the second would be released in July of 2011. Consequently, "pretty much everything you read in the books will be in these two films", says Vanessa Davies, head of production publicity for the Harry Potter films and our guide for the day. "The first story is very much a road movie. They're out and about. They're often in the forest [though] there isn't as much camping as you get in the books".

David Yates

David Yates (left) directing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The ability to stretch the source material over two films is something that excited director David Yates. Speaking on set on day 226 of principal photography, Yates tells us, "we've kept more than we've ever been able to keep in some of the other adaptations I've worked on … there are some loose ends we can tie up as well". Additionally, the extended screen time meant that there was room to add new scenes, which would, according to Yates, "raise the emotional stakes".

In Deathly Hallows: Part I Yates talks of a scene where "Harry (Dan Radcliffe) comes back to the tent and finds Hermione (Emma Watson) listening to some Muggle music … they have this dance with each other, which is a very tender, awkward and emotional moment for the two of them because they've lost their friend … there is always that moment where you think could this trip beyond friendship to something else?". The director also tells us to expect more scenes with the Snatchers, including a big chase. Finally, we will see Hermione wipe her parents' memories (something that is only mentioned in the novel) in a new scene that "J.K. [Rowling] loved".

"We've set out to try and [create] a filmic rendering of the novel" emphasises producer David Barron and, as we tour the ever-expanding sets at Leavesden Studios, it is definitely clear that the bulk of the novel has been included in some shape or form. In the press room, we are given a look at some of the props, costumes and models from the film. As always, there is immense attention to detail. Some of the most noteworthy items include "The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore", "A History of Magic", Lily's letter to Padfoot, Sirius' motorcycle maintenance manual, Ministry ID cards, an "Undesirable No. 1" poster and Xenophilius Lovegood's Deathly Hallows necklace to name a few. There is also a model of the rather foreboding Malfoy Manor and the lilac wedding marquee.

The Wedding

Harry stands in the wedding marquee

"It was like going to a real wedding … It was beautiful" says Davies of the wedding. The sequence was particularly enjoyable for Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), sharing screen time with actor Rhys Ifans who plays her on-screen father, Xenophilius Lovegood. Lynch tells us, "it was brilliant … he was just perfect. When he came along it was like we were [outsiders] together because he's in this yellow mad stuff … it felt really relaxed. It was nice". Lynch also choreographed a dance routine for her character, describing the wacky moment as "[us both] spinning and closing our eyes".

The wedding scene is also of particular significance for Domhnall Gleeson who joins the Harry Potter ensemble in Deathly Hallows: Part I playing Bill Weasley. The son of actor Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody), Domhnall Gleeson originally tested for the part of Stan Shunpike in the third 'Potter' film. In the wedding scene, Bill Weasley marries Fleur Delacour (Clémence Poésy), which Gleeson jokes was a "bizarre" experience. "She's a great actress … It was bizarre … your first day of filming and you're playing husband and wife".

A pivotal part of Deathly Hallows: Part I also takes place in the Ministry of Magic, a complex set which is scattered around Leavesden Studios. On our tour, we climb up some steps to arrive in a new set: the toilet block which Harry and Ron (Rupert Grint) use to enter the Ministry. The attention to detail here is paramount. Visually, the room is old and dilapidated and everything about this set – stalls and all – looks oddly authentic. That is until you reach the end of the set, where a large painting of a London street hangs over the construction.

Ministry of Magic

Dolores Umbridge in the Ministry of Magic

On Leavesden's 'C'-stage, a new trial room has been erected. The room is noticeably "cosier" than those featured in earlier films. It is here that Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) will interrogate Mary Cattermole (Kate Fleetwood). Back in the Atrium, crew members are reassembling the iconic set after its dramatic destruction in the fifth 'Potter' film. It takes roughly a month to reassemble. Dolores Umbridge is now a dominant force in the Ministry and "everything's had a good dose of pink" says Vanessa Davies. Behind the Atrium, Ministry lifts are also being constructed. We are taken down a long, imposing corridor which has been built on an extension to the 'C'-stage. The corridor shares a similar visual motif with the Atrium, though the tiles here are black. This set will be used during the walk from the lifts to the courtroom.

Our next stop is the Hogwarts Express. The iconic train features briefly in Deathly Hallows: Part I in a scene where Death Eaters board the train and corner Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), demanding to know if "Undesirable No. 1" is aboard. It is then off to the creature shop where I spot a bust of Jamie Campbell Bower (Gellert Grindelwald) sitting on a shelf alongside an array of creatures and props from all Harry Potter films to date. The life-size animatronic of Charity Burbage is then brought to life for the group to much amazement.

The trio in London

Harry, Ron and Hermione escape to London

Of course, much of the setting that appears in Deathly Hallows: Part I is not housed at Leavesden Studios. A large portion of the film is shot on location, including the trio's escape to London which was filmed in Piccadilly Circus and at a café in London's West End (the crew originally planned to shoot at Tottenham Court Road, as in the novel, but construction work prohibited this). "[There is] more exterior filming than all the other films have had … the location department did the most extraordinary job" remarks Barron. "It was a crazy night" adds Rupert Grint.

Additionally, the outdoor camping scenes proved increasingly challenging to shoot. "We not only go to the woods, but we go to various woods at different times, different seasons, summer, winter" reveals production designer Stuart Craig. "The climate is our biggest enemy … Voldemort pales into insignificance compared with the weather" jokes Barron. "We have been to a lot of different forests around England" adds Grint. The crew also filmed some of these outdoor scenes, including the Silver Doe sequence, at nearby Pinewood Studios. Vanessa Davies tells us that these camping scenes include "lots of action, lots of explosions, all sorts of fun and games".

The trio go camping

Harry, Ron and Hermione in one of the film's camping scenes

What is clear from our visit to Leavesden is that the cast and crew are, as always, taking the adaptation from page to screen incredibly seriously. There is immense attention to detail, and a real effort to preserve the tone and heart of J.K. Rowling's final story. Though the narrative itself has been split into two films, Rupert Grint tells us that "it feels like one story" and David Barron remarks that "generally speaking, everything [plot wise] is necessary". While cast and crew describe Deathly Hallows: Part I as an exciting and adventurous "road movie", it seems David Yates feels the filmmaking journey has not been too dissimilar.

"I wouldn't have missed it for the world … It's been a real trip actually."

Deathly Hallows: Part I will be released in cinemas on 19 November. We will be bringing you more from the set – specifically juicy details about Deathly Hallows: Part II – next year.

Read our 'Deathly Hallows: Part I' set report preview Read our 'Deathly Hallows: Part I' set report preview

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of visiting Leavesden Studios where cast and crew were busy at work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. During the visit, I toured the sets (both old and new), and interviewed many members of the cast and crew. You can read a preview of my report below.

We climb up some steps to arrive in a new set: the toilet block which Harry and Ron use to enter the Ministry of Magic. The attention to detail here is paramount. Visually, the room is old and dilapidated and everything about this set – stalls and all – looks oddly authentic. That is until you reach the end of the set, where a large painting of a London street hangs over the construction.

The now familiar Ministry of Magic set has been extended for the film too. On Leavesden's 'C'-stage, a new trial room has been erected. It's noticeably "cosier" than those featured in earlier films. It's here that Dolores Umbridge will interrogate Mary Cattermole. Back in the Atrium, crew members are reassembling the iconic set after its dramatic destruction in Order of the Phoenix. It takes roughly a month to reassemble. Behind the Atrium, Ministry lifts are also being constructed. Filming is set to begin here shortly.

The full piece for Deathly Hallows: Part I will be available next month.

Happy birthday … Harry Potter Fan Zone! Happy birthday … Harry Potter Fan Zone!

In the early hours of 22 December 2003 a little known fan site appeared online. It looked something like this. From the idea that "it would be cool to make a website", HPFZ was born. Since that day we've been covering book launches, movie releases, nonsensical rumours and everything in between. It's been a blast.

Now entering our seventh year (see what we did there), there's much to come. There's plenty left in the Potter franchise, including a theme park, two movies and a potential encyclopedia. Site wise, there is also plenty on the horizon. Stay tuned!

Finally, a big thank you to all the folks who've helped out with the site these past six years. Kudos to you all.

Exclusive report from 'Azkatraz' Exclusive report from 'Azkatraz'

azkatrazRecently, Harry Potter Fan Zone's own Toni and David Gras attended Azkatraz 2009, a Harry Potter symposium. An exclusive report from the event can be found below.

Read the full article.

Reminder: Join the Harry Potter Fan Zone team! Reminder: Join the Harry Potter Fan Zone team!

jobsHave you ever had the desire to write news, content or editorials about the Harry Potter series? Desire no more! HPFZ is currently looking for dedicated folk to join our staff team and help improve the award-winning content on the site.

Working here is a great opportunity for anyone – especially Potter fans – to explore and refine their skills in fields such as journalism, multimedia, web development, and graphic design.

A job at HPFZ will give you the opportunity to work alongside an "impressively young staff", as J.K. Rowling herself once put it, to entertain an incredibly large fan base. If you're up for the challenge, we'd love to hear from you!

Join the Harry Potter Fan Zone team! Join the Harry Potter Fan Zone team!

jobsHave you ever had the desire to write news, content or editorials about the Harry Potter series? Desire no more! HPFZ is currently looking for dedicated folk to join our staff team and help improve the award-winning content on the site.

Working here is a great opportunity for anyone – especially Potter fans – to explore and refine their skills in fields such as journalism, multimedia, web development, and graphic design.

A job at HPFZ will give you the opportunity to work alongside an "impressively young staff", as J.K. Rowling herself once put it, to entertain an incredibly large fan base. If you're up for the challenge, we'd love to hear from you!

Changes aplenty at Harry Potter Fan Zone Changes aplenty at Harry Potter Fan Zone

hpfz-newsHarry Potter Fan Zone has undergone a major facelift today – we hope you like it! As well as the obvious cosmetic changes, you'll notice that a major restructuring of our content and navigation has taken place. The goal of the project was to make the site's content more accessible and organised.

Feature-wise, you can now browse through our news archives through the new permanent sidebar, as well as perform a global site search (search every news article and page of content from the one place). Additionally, you'll find many of our content sections have been given a complete refresh (take a look at our new book and movie sections for starters). More updates are also on the way!

Finally, we've brought some Web 2.0 goodness to the site – you can now join us on Facebook, Twitter, and of course subscribe to our RSS news feed. We'd love your feedback on the site refresh, so please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have a question or comment.

Happy Birthday, Andy McCray! Happy Birthday, Andy McCray!

Please join the Harry Potter Fan Zone staff in wishing HPFZ's webmaster Andy McCray a very happy twentieth birthday!  Andy has devoted the last 6 years of his life to HPFZ, and for that we are all grateful.  So cheers to as friendly, devoted, and driven a webmaster as there ever will be.  Enjoy your birthday mate – you deserve it!

Report from LeakyCon 2009 Report from LeakyCon 2009

Recently, Harry Potter Fan Zone's own Toni and David Gras attended LeakyCon 2009, a Harry Potter conference. Click here to read their wonderful report from the event. Photos from the event can be seen here.

'Half-Blood Prince' set report preview: part II 'Half-Blood Prince' set report preview: part II

Last year I had the privilege of visiting Leavesden Studios, the film set where Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was shot. Whilst at Leavesden, I was given a guided tour of the sets (both new and old), conducted interviews with the cast and crew, and watched filming. Part two of my report (part one available here) follows.

We set ourselves up on a table in the Great Hall and watch as the cast and crew prepare for filming. Again, the attention to detail is paramount. Everything from the cereal boxes to the books on the table are appropriately themed. A "Win Win Slytherin" banner sits in the corner alongside similar Gryffindor paraphernalia. Quiet is called on set, and David Yates shouts action.

You've probably guessed by now, but this morning we're watching the infamous placebo-potion breakfast scene. Dan Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), Emma Watson (Hermione) and newcomer Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown) all take the stage and the scene begins. On the ninth take I pick up subtle variations in the movement, dialogue and pace. It really emphasises the sheer amount of detail and persistence that goes into achieving a single shot.

***

It's off to the flight-shed next, a small trip away from the main stages at Leavesden. Giant wooden frames and scaffolding are visible as we enter the stage. Building is still in the very early stages, though we're given a sneak peek at some very detailed blueprints. The rather colossal build is none other than the streets of Diagon and Knockturn Alley. The sentiment is woven throughout my report, but it is only necessary to mention that once again, no detail has been spared. My hat off to production designer Stuart Craig.

***

A 360 degree look around Leavesden's backlot will reveal an assortment of famous settings from the Harry Potter universe. In front of me are giant Quidditch posts and a huge sandpit sits below. An enormous green screen covers the perimeter of the set. A little further on, construction of the Spinner's End set is well underway. Further on still, the crew are working feverishly on building the large Hogwarts entrance gates.

Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

From everyone here at Harry Potter Fan Zone, Happy New Year!

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