Tag Archives: Harry Potter

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ already celebrating great success

by Nadine Schwizer

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Source: Warner Brothers

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ premiered worldwide last weekend to the delight of Potter Heads.

The Harry Potter spin-off that is set in 1920s New York has already had huge box office success, taking a total of £15.3m over the weekend. The film has enjoyed the most profitable UK box office opening weekend of the year.

The film, written by JK Rowling, is set 70 years before the tales of Harry Potter and follows another English wizard and ‘Magizoologist’, namely Newt Scamander and his fantastic suitcase as they meander around New York City.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ wonderfully merges two dimensions, bringing together the nostalgia of the 1920s and the world of magic. Both these dimensions and the various beasts and creatures are brought to life through stunning digital effects.

The quirky yet strong cast created memorable scenes. Especially Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne brought his unique and captivating charm onscreen, which perfectly matched the nerdy character of Newt. However, the characters themselves seemed to lack in depth a little bit.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ is the first of a five-part series circling around the dark wizard Grindelwald – a name that is likely to ring bells among Harry Potter fans.

While there was only a minor focus on Grindelwald in this film, the ambiguous ending suggests the audience will be seeing more of him in the next four films.

In true Potter style, audiences have been left craving more.

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is out in cinemas now.

Potter tour to open in London

Coat of arms of Hogwarts provided by Jakovche

The Harry Potter Studio Tour is opening tomorrow, 31st March in Hertfordshire, London.

Fans of the Potter franchise will be able to see sets from the films at Leavesden Studios in Watford, where all of the eight movies were filmed. The tour features real sets, models, props and costumes from the movies. Sets, which have been made in great detail include the Great Hall of Hogwarts, Harry Potter’s dormitory, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore’s office and Diagon Alley. 

Fans can also watch short films about designers talking about their work, ride a broomstick in the green-screen effects room and see how animatronics, prosthetics and make-up were used to bring to magical creatures to life.

David Heyman, a producer on all the Potter films has said: “This is a tour for Harry Potter fans, but it’s also a tour for people who are not necessarily Harry Potter fans. It’s such a good insight into the making of a film…basically a how-to.”

Tickets for the tour can be bought online at http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/en/your-visit/tickets-prices. Tickets cost £28 pounds for an adult and £21 for a child.  The tour promises to be a magical experience for the whole family.

Podcast: Final Harry Potter named best film at Empire Awards

The final film in the British fantasy film franchise took the top prize at the Empire Film Awards 2012 in London last night.

Along with Best Film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 scooped the award for Best Director, for David Yates. Accepting the award he commented, “It’s a real treat to get this from people who love movies,” referencing the fact that the awards are decided entirely by the public.

Harry Potter was not the only British film to emerge victorious, with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy winning the awards for Best British Film, Best Thriller, and Best Actor, which went to self-proclaimed ‘veteran’ actor Gary Oldman. Oldman, who received his first Oscar nomination this year after 32 years in the industry, commented that he was delighted to be receiving an award voted for by movie-goers, “This is a very special award, because it isn’t political. There’s no agenda, it’s just movie fans and I will cherish this.”

Best Actress went to Olivia Colman for her harrowing portrayal of a battered house-wife in Paddy Consedine’s Tyrannosaur. “Although it doesn’t seem it, it was the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had on set,” said Colman on accepting her award.

Another British film, The Inbetweeners, beat out raunchy comedy Bridesmaids to win the Best Comedy prize.

Listen to Katrina Conaglen and Kirsten Waller’s discussion of the awards in an Edinburgh Napier News podcast extra:

Listen here:

Continue reading Podcast: Final Harry Potter named best film at Empire Awards

More Potter to be found on Pottermore

Harry Potter fans are eagerly awaiting the launch of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s interactive website. It has now been announced that all users will be able to access the website, and ebooks, in early April.

Pottermore posted an announcement on their website today stating: “We know that the extended wait for those wishing to be part of Pottermore has been frustrating, and we’d like to thank you all for your patience so far”. Officials said the delay was a result of moving Pottermore to a new platform set-up.

The website’s full launch was initially scheduled for October, 2011. With more than 550 million page views made over the course of two months, access to site was forced into delay. Pottermore, allows users to duel with their fellow wizards, cast spells and progress through the storylines of the various Potter books. J.K. Rowling has also written 18,000 additional words of Harry Potter content for the new site. It was initially opened to one million beta users in July, 2011.   

“We always knew Pottermore would be incredibly popular, which is why we made the decision to only open to one million beta users to begin with. We wanted to make sure that we had a really good understanding of how people want to use the site and which bits we’d need to modify before giving more people access,” Pottermore said in a statement.

“We gathered some incredibly useful feedback from our beta users, and it became clear that our original platform wouldn’t be suitable when millions more users came on to the site. So we made a big decision: to move Pottermore to an entirely different platform set-up. This ‘invisible’ change has involved a lot of work behind the scenes but it will enable our users to get the best from Pottermore as it grows and develops.”

Early April will also bring Overdrive’s distribution of Harry Potter ebooks and digital audiobooks to more than 18,000 school and public libraries worldwide.

For updates about the website follow Pottermore on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/pottermore

National news in brief

Expenses MPs to be tried

Three ex-Labour MPs involved in the expenses scandal, including Jim Devine of Livingston, have lost their final legal challenge to facing criminal trials. They had claimed they should not be tried as they were protected by Parliamentary privilege. Nigel Pleming QC, who represented Jim Devine, said had told the Supreme Court it was not “an attempt to take them above or outside the law”.

Cameron demands prosecution for violent students

David Cameron has called for the violent student protesters who attacked Conservative headquarters on Monday to be prosecuted with “the full force of the law”, while NUS Scotland President Liam Burns warned that the issues behind the protest must not be forgotten.

Child cancer death rates fall 60%

Cancer kills 60% less children than in the late 1960s, according to research from Cancer Research UK. Nearly eight out of every ten children now survive past the five-year mark with cancer, compared to less than three out of ten in 1966-70.

Harry Potter premieres in London

The red carpet premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One took place at London’s Leicester Square last night. The film adapts the first half of the final Harry Potter book, with the final part to be released in the summer of 2011.

Facebook sobriety test released

BNP Paribas Masters
Andy Murray has reaching the quarters in Paris

The Queen can heave a sigh of relief this week as, after the creation of the British Monarchy Facebook account, The Social Media Sobriety Test was launched to help users avoid posting drunk messages. The tool allows people to block themselves from using sites like Facebook if they fail a series of coordination tests.

Murray reaches French quarter-finals

Andy Murray progressed to the quarter finals of the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris last night. Murray struggled through the early stages of the match, and was given a warning for throwing a ball in anger at one point, before defeating Marin Cilic 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-3.

Just like magic, the end is nigh.

by Simon Black

This week marks the beginning of the end for Harry Potter fans as the final instalment of the film series premieres this Friday, 11th November in London. The worldwide premiere is soon followed by the US Premiere on Tuesday 15th November.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows poster
The highest anticpated film of 2010

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” is the long anticipated finale in the Warner Brothers’ most profitable series. The final chapter involves Harry, who has now left Hogwarts, seeking for the source of Voldemort’s power and relentlessly trying to defeat him.

Potter fans have been renowned for the mania that surrounds the release of any Harry related material but popular ticket selling website Fandango have had a surge of fans pre-ordering tickets. “Even though the finale’s first part is more than two weeks away, fans are already showing their eagerness to join the final journey on opening weekend,” says Fandango CEO Rick Butler. “We’ve seen more sold-out showtimes for this film than we’ve seen for any other pre-release title this year.”

It is unknown which stars will be gracing the red carpet this weekend but with the actors being huge fans of the mythical world, they usually don’t disappoint on opening weekend. Daniel Radcliffe, who portrays Harry Potter and grew up with the character, admits that the end of the series is like the end of a relationship and he is “sad to see him go”.

Many fans have hit the internet to organise specific events for the release of the film, with many release parties being organised in local libraries! With the amount of hype for the film it is no wonder that many cinemas across the country are opening for a midnight showing on the release date just to accommodate the demand.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book cover.
The J.K. Rowling classic

The film series have slowly been getting better over the years and with the finale being separated into two parts, the seventh film has stuck relentlessly to the J.K. Rowling novel. Many fans are excited by this and those who attended the unfinished screening in August have depicted the adaption as “the most perfect Harry Potter film”

No matter who you are or where you come from the Harry Potter world has a place for you which makes this film the most anticipated release of the year. Young and old alike will not be judged for carrying a toy wand around while wearing deep maroon robes as most  already know that fans are simply potty for Potter.  

Book tickets now! www.odeon.co.uk

Warner Bros. buys Harry Potter Studios

By Celeste Carrigan

Leavesden Studio, Hertfordshire

Hollywood film makers Warner Bros. have announced plans to develop a permanent UK studio. The new complex will be built around and expand the existing facilities of Leavesden studios, Hertfordshire, which has acted as home for the Harry Potter films for the past 8 years.

Harry Potter

As the end is near for the Harry Potter films, Hogwarts will live on,  as they will have a permanent home in the new studios. Warner Bros. new complex will also include a visitor centre, which will give film fans the ultimate experience of their favourite films to come out of the studio. The centre will give them access to memorabilia such as sets, props and costumes from films such as the Harry Potter series, The Dark Knight and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Warner will be opening stages to the public for behind-the-scene tours, when the expansion opens in 2012.

Barry Meyer its Chairmen and Chief executive released the following statement regarding the purchase:

“Our purchase of Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden, and our multimillion-pound investment in creating a state-of-the-art, permanent UK film production base further demonstrates our long-term commitment to, and confidence in, the skills and creativity of the UK film industry.”

This is the first  Hollywood studio to purchase of its own permanent facility in the UK and is new build is estimated to cost £100m. The purchase will create one of the biggest filming locations in Europe.

Warner Bros. has been involved in the UK Film industry for the past 86 years and have spent £1.9bn in the past decade on film production . More recently it has increased it production activity in the UK  after buying Shed Media, who produce shows such as Wife Swap. They have also expressed an interest in purchasing Channel 5.

This comes as welcome news for the film industry following the decision to disband the UK Film Council. The expansion of  studio will not only be great for the UK Film Industry, it will also create around 1500 jobs and 300 jobs for building and specialist contractors.

Scientists take a step closer to creating Potter’s invisibility cloak

by Neal Wallace

Harry Potter’s famous invisibility cloak may not be quite as far fetched as it seems, after scientists in the UK demonstrated a flexible film, which can make objects appear invisible.

The team, from the University of St. Andrews, demonstrated the film’s, called “Metaflex”, flexibility, by using a tiny amount on a contact lens, can . It works by interrupting and channeling the flow light, rendering objects invisible, much in the way an invisibility cloak might.

Scientist Andrea Di Falco, who wrote the paper concerning the material, said: “The first step is imagining first of all that this could be done. All the typical results have been reached in flat and rigid surfaces because this is the legacy of the procedures used to create nanostructures.”

This is not the first time flexible metamaterials have been made, with previous attempts only able to work for light with a much longer wavelength – a far redder colour – than humans can see. This is because metamaterials are easier to construct when they have relatively large structures, and so only work at the Terahertz and near-infrared ends of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Metaflex works in a similar way to water bending round a rock in a stream. Thanks to a composition of tiny nano-structures, it interacts with the light, causing it to bend around the object, rather than absorbing it.

Invisibility may soon be a reality (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros)

According to professor Ortwin Hess, at Imperial College London, the next step is to manipulate the material’s optical for use in options and cameras. He described the team’s success as a “huge step forward”.

Di Franco insists there is still a long way to go before people will be able to sneak around Hogwarts undetected: “So far he’s had to live in a house and now he can live in something like a tent; it’s not the cloak that adjusts to his shape, but it’s a bit more flexible. Now we have to take the next step forward.”