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<<October 2016>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Filmmaker Interviews, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 17 of 17
1. Total Film’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ interview with David Heyman

We recently reported on Total Film including Fantastic Beasts as part of the 10 coolest movies coming your way, and after the magazine’s release on Friday, we can finally see the updates they had in store for us!

An interview with David Heyman (Producer) discusses working on Fantastic Beasts, and how J.K. Rowling provided a grounding to keep the films up to standards. 58278c095032d20d76e842c42e4ae389-650-80

By writing the scripts and supervising on set, Jo has had a lot more involvement than the Potter films (for which she was also a Producer), setting the tone perfectly:

“Fantastic Beasts is very much in the spirit of the Potter books but it’s not filled with young children and their issues. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘dark’ but, as with all of Jo [Rowling]’s work, it’s not soft. There is material in all of the books that has a truth about life. Here, there’s darkness within. But there are also these creatures, and an awful lot of humour and heart – which I think will appeal to young and old alike.”

“Jo was on set and has been an incredible support to us. We’d run concepts by her, she’d give her thoughts and we’d adjust accordingly. She certainly was aware of all the lead casting choices before we finalised them.” 

On Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander:

“Newt is someone who communicates better with his creatures than he does with people. He’s a Brit who finds himself in the US, and the [A]merican magical universe is different [from] the British one. Eddie was our first choice. He is very good at playing characters that are out of step, as it were, and bringing to them a real heart and compassion. He has a desire to bring truth to every moment. He’s very charming and appealing to men and women alike. And he’s a timeless actor, so he fits perfectly into 1920s New York.”

Heymen discusses the ‘beasts’ in the film, and the use of CGI rather than animatronics as used in the Potter films and seen at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. He assures us, however, that this will not impact the final result!:

“We’ve done a lot of research on movement and look because we wanted to make our creatures grounded. They should seem like they really could exist, so they’re not just pure fantasy.”

Thanks to Mugglenet and Wizards And What Not for the heads up!

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2. An Insider’s Account of the Birth of the Harry Potter Films

Producer David Heyman received his just recognition at the Producers Guild Awards over the weekend.  Gary Oldman presented him with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award, saying, “I’ve never seen him settle for second-best,” according to Deadline‘s account of the event. Director Alfonso Cuaron called the award “very well deserved,” and Heyman accepted humbly, “This is an extraordinary honor, all the more so because it’s given to me by my peers and the PGA who really understand what it is I do and what a crazy calling we have as producers….it’s the greatest job in the world. I wouldn’t change it for the world.” PGA released a video of David Heyman’s acceptance speech on YouTube, and can be seen below:

But how did Heyman find Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone before most people had even heard of J.K. Rowling?  In an extensive interview for Produced By, the bi-monthly publication of the Producers Guild of America, Heyman answered this and more questions about his impressive career in film-making– revealing the true story of how the beloved Harry Potter films began– and his amazing orchestration of it all.

After being laid off from work with a major studio, Heyman opened a small office in London and decided to focus on books being published in Britain.  Heyman told Produced By,

“I set out to be a bridge between the U.S. and U.K. and decided to make books a central part of my business. One, I’m a voracious reader. Two, books had probably the best ratio of development to film at the time. At the time, the British books weren’t so aggressively pursued, so I thought I could distinguish myself.”

According to David Heyman, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was almost missed by his London office. Talking about how it all started Heyman said:

We had three shelves for incoming manuscripts and screenplays: priority, medium priority and low priority. Tanya Seghatchian, my very bright development executive, read an article in a trade publication about a book that hadn’t yet been published. She called the agent. The book came in and sat firmly on the low priority shelf for a couple of weeks before Nisha, my secretary, who only read material from that bottom shelf, took it home. At our Monday morning I asked, “Anybody read anything good?” And Nisha replied, “Yeah, I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” I said, “Hmm, not sure about that title. What’s it about?” “It’s about a young boy who goes to wizard school,” she replied. My interest was piqued.

With that, the Harry Potter film producer became one of J.K. Rowling’s first true fans. Heyman described his experience to Produced By, saying:

I couldn’t put it down and there began my Potter odyssey… I thought if I was lucky, it might be my Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I had no idea that it would become what it became. What I did know was that I connected with it. It made me laugh. It moved me. I related to Harry and the characters at Hogwarts. We all, in our own way, feel like outsiders. And no matter who we are, no matter how successful, no matter how happily married we are or what good friends we have, there are times where we feel alone. At least I do. And I felt that story was something that people could connect with. It was about something: being true to yourself. It was about loyalty and friendship and fighting prejudice and so much more.

After Warner optioned the film, screenwriter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling really hit it off, thanks to Heyman’s introduction. Heyman talked of how the two writers bonded, saying:

As Kloves was writing the films, the books became wildly successful. All of a sudden they were No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 on the New York Times bestseller list. Now there’s all this pressure as he’s trying to finish the script. At the same time, Jo, who had written the first two or three novels essentially without any expectations, now had all this expectation. And she was struggling as she had written herself into a little bit of a hole on Goblet of Fire but had a firm publication date! They really bonded through that shared experience and challenges.

Once director Chris Columbus joined the project, production designer Stuart Craig was the film’s first hire.  Then, the team scoured Britain for young actors to play the three leading roles.  They felt confident in their choices for Ron and Hermione but opened the search to the U.S. and Australia before finding just the right person to play Harry. Heyman told the legendary casting story to Produced by, saying:

One evening, Kloves and I went to the theater and seated in the audience, I noticed this boy with big round blue eyes. He seemed an old soul in a young body. And then this voice called, “David, great to see you.” Sitting next to the boy was his father, an agent I knew called Alan Radcliffe. The play started but I paid little attention to what was going on up on stage. I kept on turning around and looking at this boy. When the play finished, I went to find Alan and his son, but they’d gone. So the following morning I called ICM and asked if Alan would allow Daniel to visit the studio to meet Chris. Alan said, “Why don’t you meet him first, and then we can decide.” So Dan, his mum and I went out for a cup of tea and we spent two hours chatting. Dan had this incredible energy. He was so curious and intelligent—a curiosity and intelligence that have helped make him the actor he is today.

The team had a list of accomplished adult actors that they wanted, and they all accepted because the children in their lives loved the books.  The Wizarding World was established. David Heyman remembered how it all unfolded, saying:

We made the first two [Harry Potter films] back-to-back, we were prepping the second as we were posting the first. Chris did a brilliant job. I wouldn’t be sitting here today having a conversation with you [at Produced By] were it not for Chris. He cast our three leads and so many others, chose Stuart and many of our department heads and helped create the film world and an atmosphere and culture in front of and behind the camera that lasted till the end. And he directed two beautiful films.

But that was just the beginning.  David Heyman then explains how director Alfonso Cuaron and others joined the franchise that became a family.  The focus, however; was always J.K. Rowling’s storytelling. David Heyman talked of the consistency of J.K. Rowling’s voice shining through each film despite differing directors:

One of the things I’m proudest of in the Potter series is that in each film a director’s vision shines through. Jo Rowling’s voice is front and center, clearly, but each director channeled that voice and has made their films their own. Without that voice, a film is a blancmange and I am not a fan of blancmanges. A director with a vision is essential, even, or maybe especially within a franchise. Having said that, we never approached Harry Potter as a franchise. We were simply trying to make each film the best it could be!


This only skims the surface of the story.  To read more about the birth of the Harry Potter films and to learn about other great projects David Heyman has done, see the cover story for the December/January Produced By, here.

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3. David Yates Talks Burrow Scene, Deathly Hallows Film, and Life after Harry Potter

Director David Yates has given a new interview to Vanity Fair, where he discusses again the decision to add the attack on the Burrow scene to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as weigh in with some thoughts on the look of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two and his career plans after the series has concluded. Notable quotes are as follows:<>

<><>Can you give me an example of ... Read the rest of this post

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4. Clips from Ultimate Collectors DVDs Online: Casting Hermione, Ron and CoS Scene

Warner Bros has released two clips from the upcoming Harry Potter Ultimate Collector's Editions DVD. Now online at the official Warner Bros website is a new clip from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone DVD (the second clip) with director Chris Columbus on casting Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). You can see new interviews with the two conducted while filming... Read the rest of this post

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5. Director Chris Columbus Reflects on Trio and the First Two Harry Potter Films

As part of the build up to the release of the much anticipated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Ultimate Edition DVDs due next month, director Chris Columbus is the subject of a new feature in the LA Times Hero Complex blog. In this article, Chris Columbus reflects back on the casting of the Trio and remarks too at how far they have come since th... Read the rest of this post

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6. Video: Leaky's WB Studio Tour Red Carpet Coverage

Leaky was on the red carpet at Leavesden Studios yesterday interviewing the cast and crew of the Harry Potter films about their favourite bits of the WB Studio Tour, the current projects they're working on and what they think the studio will do for the future of British filmmaking. The red carpet coverage is now online and can be found at the LeakyNews YouTube channel or embedded below.

Those interviewed include Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, Harry Melling, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, Nick Dudman, David Barron, David Heyman, George Harris and more. You can check out the video below, which also includes a clip of David Bradley (Argus Filch) talking about his upcoming role on Doctor Who and the ways in which it's different from playing Filch. Devin Lytle and Brian Rosenthal from Team StarKid were also there to tell us about their favourite parts of the WB Studio Tour.


Has this made you more excited for the studio tour and how hard will you be looking at the tables for the profanity Tom scratched in?!

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7. Another Confirmation on the Aging Process and Cast for Epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Several times in the past, we've reported on various cast members, such as Rupert Grint (Ron), discussing the epilogue for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the possible aging process to be used on the original cast members. Today, MTV has a new article where film producer David Heyman also weighs in on the epilogue, noting:

“We will shoot it,” producer David Heyman confirmed... Read the rest of this post

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8. MTV Half-Blood Prince Preview: New Video Interview with Emma Watson, Dan Radcliffe Talks Snape

As promised, MTV has now released their Summer Movie Preview of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, including 4 new video interviews with actress Emma Watson and actor Dan Radcliffe. In the videos, Emma discusses her character of Hermione Granger and the emotions when dealing with Ron and his new girlfriend. Dan Radcliffe delves in a bit more on Harry Potter and the character of Snape in HB... Read the rest of this post

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9. Kloves on Adapting Harry Potter: "Books Are Difficult to Wrestle to the Screen"

The Baltimore Sun is running a new article today, featuring an interview with Harry Potter film director David Yates, and also contains new comments from screenwriter Steve Kloves. Mr. Kloves is very complimentary of working with David Yates, and also speaks to the task of transforming the beloved Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling to the big screen.  Of interest are the following comments: "K... Read the rest of this post

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10. New Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Features in SciFi, SFX Magazine

The media barrage heralding the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince continues today as there are two more features now online featuring the sixth Harry Potter film. Seen here courtesy of our Order Partner DanRadcliffe.com, SFX has a long and rather light look at the film, focusing on the old David Yates quote about the film "It's all Sex, Potions, and Rock n Roll" and subsequent r... Read the rest of this post

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11. David Yates on Emma Watson in Half-Blood Prince: Much More Confident

The Telegraph has a new interview with David Yates where he reflects on his second stint as director of a Harry Potter film, this being the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Mr. Yates notes he has now settled in and is feeling more situated as he directs his second Harry Potter film, saying "Oddly, that meant that when I started this one, I was a little bit warier of everything... Read the rest of this post

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12. Tom Felton on the Bullying of Draco by Lucius and More

The new issue of Mexico's "Cinemania" magazine has a feature on Half-Blood Prince that contains an interview with several of the cast and crew. Courtesy of our friends at Harrypotterla, scans are available here, with the translation here. Of interest are comments by actor Tom Felton on his role as Draco Malfoy as he speaks to the things Draco has been through, including the bullying by his fath... Read the rest of this post

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13. PotterCast Extra: Red Carpet Interviews from Half-Blood Prince Premiere in New York City


We have for you today another special PotterCast, our Harry Potter podcast, extra with the audio from TLC's red carpet interviews from the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince premiere earlier this week in New York City.  In this special episode, we have interviews with many of the cast and crew members from the film, including the Trio, Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, director David Yates, and ... Read the rest of this post

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14. Heyman on Length of Battle of Hogwarts for Deathly Hallows: Probably Be 30 Minutes

Harry Potter producer David Heyman has given a  new interview to Collider.com where he discusses at length the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Among the many topics such as the forthcoming Ultimate Collectors DVD, info on why Scrimgeour was cut from Half-Blood Prince, we also learn that the scripts are both around 120 pages long, and notably some new (slight spoilers) about the h... Read the rest of this post

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15. USA Today Previews GoF Deleted Scenes on ABC Family, New Interviews with David Heyman on Deathly Hallows

The USA Today has posted a preview of the upcoming Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family. During this weekend, the cable channel will be airing ten extra minutes deleted from the theatrical edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Potter film producer David Heyman is interviewed for this piece, and said

"There were scenes that got cut in the interest of keeping the length down that were real

... Read the rest of this post

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16. RoundUp of HBP Set Reports Previews: More on Harry and the Waitress, Quidditch

In addition to the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Set Report preview posted by TLC and other Potter fan sites, a few more have now appeared online that give some additional quotes and insights of the sixth Harry Potter film. Of interest is more on a scene that was widely reported on several months ago, regarding Harry Potter flirting with a waitress. Rotten Tomatoes reports on this, not... Read the rest of this post

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17. David Heyman on Deathly Hallows Split: "An Emotional and Very Truthful" Break

Harry Potter producer David Heyman has given a new video interview where he comments on the two scripts and breaking point for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Talking to Collider.com who let us know of their interview which you can see here, David Heyman noted he had just been in London discussing the scripts for DH part one and part two with director David Yates and screenwr... Read the rest of this post

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