Harry Potter

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Ben » December 27th, 2015, 7:09 pm

Tarzan is largely done and is in post now while he shoots Beasts (which is also largely done). Post is being done in the same places on both movies, so he's especially just overseeing FX shots, music, editing and mixing at this point. And word is that although WB have hopes for Tarzan, it isn't looking that good for it...

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Randall » December 27th, 2015, 10:32 pm

I can't say I was too thrilled with the Tarzan trailer. I also didn't find the direction of the last few Potter films too dazzling, either. Workmanlike, more like it. Oh, a little pizazz here and there, but so little emotion at times where the films needed it most. Anyhow, I'm about done with Harry Potter, too. That tale's been told, I'm ready to move on.

But Rogue one? I'm pretty excited to see that. That one's really quite integral to the main Star Wars plot, and could make for a great outer space espionage epic. Of course, I wasn't too jazzed with Edwards' Godzilla, so...

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Ben » December 28th, 2015, 4:18 am

The other thing to remember with these big franchise pictures is that the director is there to call the shots on set and actually make the movie, but the producers hold the actual keys. The best example is Kevin Feige at Marvel, who has the overall plan and direction the films need to go in. At LucasFilm it's Kathy Kennedy, while Potter has David Heyman - effect all these films have a stewardship that will maintain a certain quality and story sense so I wouldn't worry about Rogue One in that sense.

I think the very reason Yates has been retained so many times is because he's a basic TV director who can easily be "manipulated" to make the film they want, just as Lucas used Richard Marquand on Jedi after he felt too much resistance on Empire from Kershner. With Yates they know they will get a perfectly decent movie at the end of the day and that he's a safe pair of hands who will get the job done as they want it.

Notice that he really hasn't done anything since or other than Potter...from my understanding the Tarzan project was bait to get him to agree to the Beasts trilogy. Tarzan will no doubt fail (unless it's really good, but inside word isn't great) and he will have to stay in Potter jail for a few films more (the Beasts trilogy and possibly the eventual Cursed Child two-movie adaptation)...

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby EricJ » December 28th, 2015, 2:45 pm

Ben wrote:I think the very reason Yates has been retained so many times is because he's a basic TV director who can easily be "manipulated" to make the film they want, just as Lucas used Richard Marquand on Jedi after he felt too much resistance on Empire from Kershner. With Yates they know they will get a perfectly decent movie at the end of the day and that he's a safe pair of hands who will get the job done as they want it.


Think it's more that while 1-3 were self-contained books that Chris Columbus could film verbatim for marketing and whimsy's sake (like his work on the Percy Jacksons), Books 5-7 focused on serializing the big Harry vs. the Return of Voldemort battle, and became the Harry Potter Universe, Phase 2.

Warner, seeing how well serial epics did for Tolkien, was only too happy to keep the "cross-film linked" serial storyline for the last four movies, but that meant they couldn't take chances and play stylistic post-Columbus director roulette like they had with Movies 3 and 4. As far as they were concerned, Yates was directing one big eight-hour movie in four parts.
(And they certainly don't want to take any chances now, with the real risk that audiences might not think it was another Potter film.)

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Ben » December 28th, 2015, 7:07 pm

No.

Columbus was seen as a safe pair of hands that could get the ball rolling. Yates was only up for one film, which turned into two, which turned into four. After Columbus the plan was to keep switching directors, but they ran into some "trouble" when 3 and 4's directors wanted - and got - more say. When they found Yates, and that he was able to basically do what they wanted, he got to stay on and has been invited back.

As for the story...I believe the Potter books are the first true Young Adult phenomenon. They started as kids books, but aged with the characters and laid the template for the likes of Twilight and Hunger Games completely accidentally. I actually think that only the first film shoots the book verbatim...from Chamber Of Secrets onwards the series has a different feel, even though the second film was still Columbus. Interestingly, it's the two first Yates films - Order Of The Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince - that I find to be the most disjointed of all the films, save for the ending of Phoenix in the Ministry. Both these films almost dispense with the books entirely!

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Randall » December 29th, 2015, 12:28 am

Movie 5 was a disappointment, even considering the source material. It just didn't feel "big" enough. And Movie 6... I don't even have a memory of! Which says something, I think...

I thought #2 was still awfully close to books, while #3 is really where things started to diverge for me. #4 was a great adaptation, even though it had to leave out 70% of the book; it just kept all the right parts. Conversely, I thought even the celebrated #3 really missed the mark in a couple respects.

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Ben » December 29th, 2015, 5:08 am

Looks like Rand and I are pretty in sync on the films. Four is my favorite, since although it does dispense with a lot of the book, it was the first in the series that made for a really great *film* experience, plus the ILM effects were a huge step up over the rubbery Imageworks ones of the first two films, especially.

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Dan » December 29th, 2015, 11:26 am

Goblet of Fire is probably my favorite film in the series as well, as you guys pointed out it being a better film experience than the others. I think it's interesting also that I tend to find it as the entry singled out in most lists that include Harry Potter in best of things (I recall it was the one picked on a list of best films exploring school-life).

Goblet of Fire and Prisoner of Azkaban tend to flip flop as my favorite book and Azkaban could have done the same thing in the films had they included what I felt was the most crucial subplot, which was Lupin and Black explaining the history of the Marauders while in the Shrieking Shack. I still think that would have been a great flashback to show. It also would have given some positive light to James that I always felt was missing in the latter entries, it's no wonder why most fan fiction and art want to ship Lily with Snape instead because of how much more sympathetic he comes off.

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby EricJ » December 29th, 2015, 2:29 pm

I remember when analysts were so convinced--like the eternal seach for "Pixar's First Flop"--that the Potter Franchise would stumble at "this point in the script" after the first two movies were runaway hits, they kept trying to predict that Azkaban would flop before it was released, just because there was a change in director...And then, when the mania for Shrek 2 took away some of its audience, tried to spin crazy theories why it "had".
Fact is, the change in director did it good, and nobody wants to say that Richard Harris did the franchise a "favor" by dying, but can we go back and film the first two movies with Michael Gambon as Dumbledore? Harris was dream-team stunt-casting, but Gambon just stepped out of the book.
The problem Azkaban did have, however, was that it was a downer: The main finale crisis revolves around a werewolf attack, trying to keep a lovable critter from being unfairly beheaded, and other betrayals. We didn't mind Cuaron making it "dark", but could he maybe make it fun too?

Goblet of Fire is more the "If you had to show somebody ONE Potter movie" that encapsulated everything that readers thought was cool about Hogwarts, had the "Olympics" structure, and managed to transition into the Harry vs. Voldie plot. It was a good book but a long one, and after Warner had to cancel their plans for a word-verbatim two-part movie, the movie just invented how to condense the book plots down to the Essentials.

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Randall » December 29th, 2015, 9:09 pm

Lord Akiyama wrote:Goblet of Fire and Prisoner of Azkaban tend to flip flop as my favorite book and Azkaban could have done the same thing in the films had they included what I felt was the most crucial subplot, which was Lupin and Black explaining the history of the Marauders while in the Shrieking Shack. I still think that would have been a great flashback to show. It also would have given some positive light to James that I always felt was missing in the latter entries, it's no wonder why most fan fiction and art want to ship Lily with Snape instead because of how much more sympathetic he comes off.


Exactly! Keeping all that backstory out of the film really hurt the film versions going forward. As I had read the books anyway, I could deal with it; but that's exactly where I felt that the film-only audience really began to miss out. I would have loved to have been able to take a final pass at the screenplays, and just inject the odd line here and there to make the films just a tad richer. The screenwriters had a challenging job to be sure, so no disrespect meant, but some scenes just cried out for a little something more in terms of history, character, or emotion. Overall, the film series is very well done, but the necessary quickness of making the films did let the storytelling down occasionally.

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Ben » December 30th, 2015, 5:44 am

Especially in Order Of The Phoenix (losing what was essentially a breather prequel that gave us Voldermort's history and threw all that out bar one or two Tom Riddle flashbacks in favor of teenage angst that was only hinted at in the books) and Half-Blood Prince, which pretty much avoided ANYthing about the Prince until Snape blurted out it was him all the time about five minutes from the end, as if they suddenly realised which book exactly they were on that week.

The first three were smaller books, and so easier to encapsulate into movies, while the fourth cut whatever out to make a decent film and the rest just started to fumble things until the last book (actually lesser than four, five or six) was cut in two and evetything went the other way and they started to put things *in* to pad out two films' running times.

Then again, I will say that as a film series, Potter is pretty all over the place and not particularly done well technically. They're all sufficient, well enough made, but personally I can't wait for twenty years or so when someone else takes a stab at them...! ;)

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby EricJ » December 30th, 2015, 1:47 pm

Ben wrote:Especially in Order Of The Phoenix (losing what was essentially a breather prequel that gave us Voldermort's history and threw all that out bar one or two Tom Riddle flashbacks in favor of teenage angst that was only hinted at in the books) and Half-Blood Prince, which pretty much avoided ANYthing about the Prince until Snape


(Speaking of "realizing what book you're on"...)

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Ben » December 30th, 2015, 3:37 pm

:?:

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby Bill1978 » December 30th, 2015, 4:31 pm

Sounds like I'm in the minority with Order of the Phoenix. It's probably my favourite of the films cause it tossed out all that extra stuff from the book that in the end contributed nothing to the overall story. I remember reading the book thinking - just get me to goddamn Hogwarts. For me, Phoenix the book is the moment when Rowling forgot who she was technically writing for. Maybe there are some things in Phoenix the movie that is brushed over or left out, but I feel the movie really streamlined the overall story and told it more effectively than the book.

I am still on the fence about this new movie series coming out. At the moment I just see it as a money making venture without interfering with the actual Potterverse canon. I may be more enthusiastic if it was originally planned as a single movie instead of a trilogy. It's my current gripe with Hollywood, why can't they just be content with making a stand alone movie and then if it is successful make a sequel. Why do they need to announce a franchise before the public has decided they want actually want a franchise.

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Re: Harry Potter

Postby EricJ » December 30th, 2015, 6:17 pm

Ben wrote::?:


It was Half-Blood Prince that had both the Snape's revelation AND the needless, needless Tom Riddle & His Mum flashbacks cut out of the movie to concentrate on the actual main characters and their teen angst.
Order of the Phoenix barely got into Riddle and the Horcruxes yet, as that story had the Ministry refusing to admit the climax of Book 4 had happened, and sending Georgina W. Umbridge into the school to say "Mission accomplished"....As you may recall, and I'm sure you do.
But we'll forgive anyone who tries to block memories of the book.

(There, now see why I never admit when I goof my facts wrong in public, and just wait for one of the other posters to correct it instead? Easier, isn't it? :P )

Bill1978 wrote:I am still on the fence about this new movie series coming out. At the moment I just see it as a money making venture without interfering with the actual Potterverse canon. I may be more enthusiastic if it was originally planned as a single movie instead of a trilogy. It's my current gripe with Hollywood, why can't they just be content with making a stand alone movie and then if it is successful make a sequel. Why do they need to announce a franchise before the public has decided they want actually want a franchise.


Well, that's just it (and yes)--
If you asked them, they'd say it was because it's less expensive to contract the same actors for three films than to let them raise their price or refuse on the second one if the first film is a hit, so best to plan ahead, slot the release schedules for the entire trilogy over the next three years, and contract the directors and actors for all three, just in case...

What you WOULDN'T hear them say is the real reason we've had so many anti-Hollywood jokes lately about why movies today are "nothing but" sequels, existing book franchises, comic-book properties, recent history, 80's remakes and other pop-culture staples like TV series:
While studios complain that a movie can "only make its money in the first week"--now that audiences basically go to the theater to audition the Blu-ray disk for purchase and then go home again--that means that studios have upped their ante too far to ever risk money on an unknown-property original screenplay again. (Unless it's a vanity vehicle thought up for a comic or action star, which also sells itself.) They no longer have time to persuade an audience to see their movie, they feel they now have to make movies the audience already knows on opening day.
Which not only means franchises--or "brand names", as Universal can assemble a group of car stunts into Generic Action film, and package it under the brand label "Fast & the Furious", or spy stunts for their "Bourne" brand--but that studios now want to make "Linked trilogies", "Book series" and "Cross-linked universes", because that way, well, you'd just HAVE to make Movies 2 & 3, wouldn't you? It's not like that interfering audience could speak up and say they didn't want one, the studio's hands would be tied, they'd simply have no choice but to greenlight all those movies at once, and do that hard, hard drudgery of making them all the way into summer 2018! :roll:

Basically, if you want to know how neurotic studios are in the '10's, keep your eye on Warner as the bellwether:
Warner is not interested in letting a screenwriter come into the studio with the cracker of a script idea he spent six weeks on, they're interested in telling audiences that the Warner Shield MEANS Harry Potter, Tolkien and the Dark Knight...Ask for it by name!