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The Economist on Economy of Harry Potter; Deathly Hallows Filming Ends in May

DH Film
Posted by: Edward
December 19, 2009, 08:23 PM

Business and world finance magazine The Economist has published a lengthy profile on the varied ways in which the Harry Potter series by author J. K. Rowing as impacted on the financial and business markets over the past twelve years.  In this article, the successes of the series are examined, along with many of their particular economic effects.  Of interest are comments made by Harry Potter film producer David Heyman, who relates that filming for the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will wrap up in May.  Comparing job losses in traditional industry to the those which will be felt once the final installments of Harry Potter wraps filming, Mr. Heyman is quoted as saying, “People talk about the effect of factories closing... when we stop filming next May, at least 800 people will be looking for work."  Readers will recall earlier in the month an MTV article, in which actor Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) was interviewed, reported that filming for the final films had been extended until June of 2010.

The Economist piece goes on to detail the multifaceted growth of the Harry Potter franchise as the popularity of the books expanded, films were produced, and plans made for theme parks.  Discussion of the Harry Potter films continues with an examination of the processes by which the films were made.  Quoteage:

Instead of A-listers the films feature hitherto obscure child actors and British theatrical talent. Perhaps the biggest star is Alan Rickman, previously known to American cinema-goers (if at all) as the villain in “Die Hard”. Over time they have faded neither commercially nor artistically. If anything the reverse is true. After the first two films the Harry Potter franchise was handed to non-American directors more associated with independent film and television. Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates have been given a good deal of autonomy by Warner Bros.


In Harry Potter’s case, creative experimentation is possible because of the rigorous control exerted over many aspects of the production. The team that has worked on the Harry Potter films is unusually stable. Mr Heyman and the lead designers have stayed put throughout. All but one of the screenplays have been written by Steve Kloves. Stimulated by a steady supply of complex work, local outfits like Double Negative and the Moving Picture Company have grown in competence and can now handle just about all the films’ special-effects needs. Even more unusually, some sets have been allowed to remain in Leavesden Studios for almost ten years. As Mr Heyman puts it, directors may shoot the action from different angles but they are filming the same Hogwarts. It is as though the auteur tradition has been fused with the industrial approach to film-making that was common practice in Hollywood before the war.
The publishing side of the Harry Potter economic story is also profiled in this article, with Publisher Nigel Newton speaking towards Bloomsbury's acquisition of the novels, and eventual successes.  The creation of a Harry Potter industry is further examined with looks at the upcoming Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park at Universal Studios, Orlando; series of toys, games, and collectible merchandise; and fan communities that have formed around the novels.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is set for a November 2010 release, while Part Two will arrive in theaters in July 2011.

Many thanks Amanda!

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80450 Points

Alas, all good things must come to an end…

Posted by Won_Two on December 21, 2009, 04:58 AM report to moderator
3048 Points

What an interesting article! They certainly delved in depth into the structure and organization of this franchise. The fact that the end of the films will represent unemployment for so many people who have been attached to this franchise for years is a rather tragic reality.

Posted by Kirk on December 21, 2009, 05:27 AM report to moderator
200 Points

Harry Potter is timeless, it will last forever!

Posted by ϟTheWizardϟ on December 21, 2009, 07:34 AM report to moderator
218 Points

I can’t believe it’s going to come to an end soon. I’m gonna miss it so much!

Posted by Elderwand103 [FTC!] on December 21, 2009, 08:13 AM report to moderator
507 Points

it will be so sad and weird when it is all over

Posted by lilmisssnape on December 21, 2009, 09:07 AM report to moderator
185 Points

I still can’t believe it is going to be over soon! :( And wow, 800 jobs is alot of people, the end is bad for everyone.

Posted by Potter_Puella on December 21, 2009, 12:12 PM report to moderator
41 Points

it IS sad that hp is almost done…800 people out of work… woah! Won_Two has a point… as do the rest….. remaking hp?!?!?! odd idea but, not impossible idea… HP WILL LIVE ON!!!!

Posted by #1 Griffindor Fan 134 on December 21, 2009, 02:35 PM report to moderator
889 Points

It’s terrible that so many people will be out of a job. I believe that many will be able to use the fact that they worked on the set as something positive on their resume and it will help a great deal in getting jobs elsewhere. I don’t see an end to HP just as there is no end to Spiderman, The Hulk or Superman. Interesting characters are redone. I hope that whoever redoes HP will have more color, light and use more of the funny scenes that JKR has in the books. Optimistically I hope they will leave in everything – that would really be amazing!

Posted by molly43 on December 21, 2009, 04:23 PM report to moderator
276 Points

It’s amazing that JKR started a trend that created jobs and money for people involved. It go to prove that things can happen with the right opportunity and moment.

Posted by leigia on December 21, 2009, 10:52 PM report to moderator
44 Points

I’ll cry when DH Part 2 comes out. Because there will be no more books or movies to get over-excited about :(

Posted by InfiniteBoggarts on December 22, 2009, 12:39 AM report to moderator
3762 Points

As much talent and experience as those people have, other companies and or businesses would be crazy to not hire them. I wish them all the best of luck. Now isn’t it time for a Deathly Hallows part one countdown!!

Posted by Want to be a Weasley on December 22, 2009, 01:29 AM report to moderator
3134 Points

Cool article. HP made The Economist! Excellent …

3238 Points

gasp Already?!? This is going to be sad when they come to theaters and I will cry…

Posted by phoenixes are in ravenclaw on December 22, 2009, 06:02 AM report to moderator
109 Points

im so sorry about that the harry pottering will end soon:( harry potter is timeless:)

Posted by seamus_ofcourse(*ROAR*) on December 22, 2009, 06:13 AM report to moderator
49 Points

Must be a first for the Economist’s comments entries to be flamed to cinders by rabid HP fans!
Interesting that noone here seems to have commented on the Economist’s observation that the HP books are “not great literature” – one of the other well-known fansites is going insane over this. Personally (i.e. as a 55-year-old non-fanatic) I can see what the Economist writer is getting at – JKR is an undoubted master of plot design, but I’m sure there is room for her to grow as a writer and I hope we will get the chance to see whether she does.
Fans much younger than me will have the opportunity to see for themselves how the HP thing is viewed in, say, fifty years time, and whether the books are then seen as “great literature” – whereas in recent years it’s been difficult to see past the commercially-driven hype – but, hey, if we enjoyed them, who cares? Corn Flakes are not generally seen as great food, but they do seem to sell an awful lot….

Posted by SpellWraith on December 22, 2009, 03:05 PM report to moderator
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