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Potter Producers Heyman and Barron on "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" Changes, Additions, and Spoilers

DH Film
Posted by: Edward
April 05, 2011, 12:54 AM

CinemaBlend has a report online from last week's CinemaCon event, which included a discussion with Harry Potter film producers David Heyman and David Barron.  In addition to the much talked about four minute collection of footage from the film, the producers spoke at length about the second half of  the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" film.  In the Q&A, which can be heard and read in its entirety here, Mr. Heyman and Mr. Barron discuss alterations made to the final battle elements of the film, as well as speak to the reshoots done for the Epilogue scene last winter.  Below is a small portion of the lengthy Q&A.  As always, beware of movie specific spoilers!

In the footage we saw today, there's a scene of Snape and McGonagall facing off in the Great Hall, which I don't remember happening at all in the book. 
They do face off, but it's not in the Great Hall. There are a lot of things there that are slightly different from the book, but they are true to the spirit to the book. Snape and McGonagall do face off in the book, but it's in a corridor as Harry's on his way to the Ravenclaw common room. It didn't work the way we were structuring the final battle to have that, so it takes place in the Great Hall. We also wanted to make a bigger scene of Harry's confrontation with Snape. Snape's role in the film is minimal, and it was minimal in the second half of the book, and yet you wanted to have the emotional investment when you see his past story [the memory Harry views in the Pensieve]. We wanted to build that up in order for it to have its emotional impact.  
So the Pensieve moment stays in too? 
Yes, that and Dumbledore [at King's Cross]. But what I love about these films, what I love about the books, is that all the action, adventure and magic, what means most to me is the character stuff, the slow stuff. I love having the time to tell the story. I'm really happy about breaking the book into two films, it gives us the time to really spend time with the characters and have the moments such as the flashback, Dumbledore at King's Cross. If we had done it as one film, we would have lost the Snape flashback.
Do you keep the desks that Professor McGonagall is instructing to charge? 
No, we didn't.  
Oh, I loved the desks! 
I liked the desks too, but if you think about it, in a film which has grown up, that's kind of juvenile. It's like Peter Pettigrew strangling himself [which happened in the seventh book but was cut from the film]. It's great in the book, but really hard on film. Those things don't translate as well when the films are growing up.     
When you went back and reshot the epilogue at the end of the film, was it mostly tweaking the makeup effects? 
It was a couple of reasons. One it was the makeup, that was the first thing. The other was, to be honest, we were limited by shooting at King's Cross. It really limited our ability to block. And in terms of performance, these little kids, some of who weren't actors, were drowned by the noise of the trains, the announcements. That was really a problem. When we filmed it back at the studio, we brought the trains to the studio and filled the station in digitally. It's really beautiful. 

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2408 Points

I don’t know why people persist on harking on and on about the mini series. Frankly I love the books and I hate to see a representation that makes them border upon the obsolete. I love these movies, can’t everyone enjoy the movie Harry Potter world. It’s different and I love it all the more for that because the spirit and the themes always stay the same in each. And afterall isn’t that what everyone loves about the world Rowling created?

Think about they throw everything into these movies, if you’ve ever attempted making even a 20 minute you know the amount of detail goes into every tiny thing. Cut these guys some slack! They’ve done incredible. Count your lucky stars it could have ended at PS a la Golden Compass

Posted by KiwiMcI on April 05, 2011, 05:18 PM report to moderator
4208 Points

Good comments, weeny owl. I think they meant that in the books, we do not see much of Snape. We hear a bit of his head mastering when Harry hears from the picture that Ginny and Neville and others were punished by being sent into the Dark Forest. We don’t actually read about Snape until he shows up in the corridor where McGonagal chases Snape out of the castle.Then Harry sees Snape’s death, and finds out what was really going on, in the penseive. Most of the book is about the trio trying to keep one step ahead of Voldemort’s minions and then the Final battle. I think they will make a good movie, but I sure would have liked to see Prof. McGonagall shooing those desks into battle!

Posted by Fresca ROAR on April 05, 2011, 05:20 PM report to moderator
4852 Points

I’m not going to read this! I’m determined to see this movie SPOILER FREE!!!

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on April 05, 2011, 05:36 PM report to moderator
38 Points

Whoever forgot about Snape and McGonagall facing off is a fool. One of my favorite moments in the book… it is a perfect representation of McGonagall’s loyalty to Dumbledore, care for her students and her prodigious skill. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I kind of like the idea of them fighting in the Great Hall, although the corridor was awfully cool in the book, I think having it in the Great Hall will work better for the screen.

Posted by Andrew on April 05, 2011, 05:56 PM report to moderator
350 Points

Kloves- you suck.

The desks, the burrow, then ruining the final battle? You suck, Kloves, you suck hard. He totally forgot to be awesome.

THANK MY ROWLING WE HAVE THE BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Posted by Bless_the_children on April 05, 2011, 10:49 PM report to moderator
30 Points

I love the HP series!! I just wish the movies weren’t over already! I was only born long enough to see the 6th through 7 2/2nd movies in the theaters and totally understand them! ah, alas, all good things must come to an end at one point…I’ll always remember the food times I had reading and watching the series!

Posted by lunarocks98 on April 05, 2011, 11:10 PM report to moderator
5389 Points

I promised myself that i wont see any of the spoilers this time. So i didn’t read this artilce

Posted by Azaad Potter The Chosen One [ROAR] on April 06, 2011, 12:10 AM report to moderator
667 Points

@Kiwi: totally agree. Even my daughter (who’s seven, by the way) understands that the movies are a tad different.They are adaptations and have to be enjoyed as such. If Jo can accept the differences, why shouldn’t we? I LOVE the books, but compressing them into working scripts is really difficult.

Posted by chikitcorpuzvesterbaek on April 06, 2011, 01:42 AM report to moderator
96 Points

What an incredibly stupid interview.

Calling that McGonagall scene “juvenile”? Why is this person working on the films? Arrogant and disrespectful.

Posted by j@m on April 06, 2011, 02:30 AM report to moderator
28416 Points

David Heyman is a respectful man, and a nice one too, when you are reading an interview as opposed to hearing it, you do not get the tone of the way things are said. He is entitled to his views and at least he answers the questions honestly. When he says ‘there is nothing we can be told,’ it is no doubt because they have had many of these discussions between themselves, they are aware of what fans think, but they also know how to make films which, in a practical sense, we do not. They know what Jo’s response is when they discuss things with her, they have far more access to all the information they need than you could imagine, Jo visited the studios on occassion too. David Heyman read Philopher’s Stone before it was published and set about securing the rights to the films as he thought it was a brilliant story, he was very much ahead of the game there.

If you look at the adaptations of many books that have been brought to screen or indeed turned into TV series, some of them move so far from the source material, that you wonder why they bothered to ‘adapt’ it at all, that has not happened with the Harry Potter films, in the main they have been faithful to the spirit of the books, and kept many of Jo’s actual words.We might disagree with some of their choices, but someone has to be in charge and make hard decisions. Films are not just for fans of the books, they have to work for others too, and I know a few people at work who have not yet read the books but love the films. On talking to them I find that they have understood the story perfectly well, and are not at all confused about what is happening, and are planning to read the books once they have seen all the films, knowing that there will certainly be more detail in them.

We will always have the books, I intend to enjoy the films for what they are, but the books will always be my real love.

Posted by moglet [ITC!] on April 06, 2011, 03:04 AM report to moderator
11768 Points

Agreed, Moglet. For example, all the films made of Ursula le Guin’s Earthsea books have been absolutely dreadful, even the Studio Ghibli animation. To start with, they all make the main characters into white guys when it’s evident from the books that the hero looks more like a Native American, and his best friend is black. That’s even before they get to work on the plot! At least David Heyman and the rest have treated the books and characters with respect. And it was never going to be possible to please everybody. You only have to take a peep at the fan art and fan fiction to realise that other people can see the characters and incidents in a completely different way from how you do, and could probably back up their vision from the books too.

Posted by Valeria-Johanna on April 06, 2011, 03:36 AM report to moderator
75 Points

Most of us accept that changes and cuts are necessary. Are the charging desks necessary? Of course not, but I don’t think I would’ve called that juvenille. After all, the battle is at a school, being fought by students and teachers. I thought charging desks were extremely appropriate. Still, I have no problem with that being cut. No, what I do have a problem with is when they sacrifice character moments and/ or being true to a character at the expense of more special effects and/ or going for a laugh. Overall, these films are so well done. I do think they care very much about staying true to the story. I’d just like to have had a go at each script and argue the case on behalf of fans for why some things needed to not be changed or needed to be included.

Posted by Chreechree on April 06, 2011, 11:02 AM report to moderator
6552 Points

I can’t wait to see the movie, especially all the Snape scenes. But I am sad too, I really don’t want it to all end.

Posted by Figment on April 06, 2011, 11:41 AM report to moderator
7027 Points

Hate Twilight if it wasn’t for them the 8th film would be out now!!! I can’t stress enough how mucch I hate the sparkley vamps!!

Posted by Ariana Devins on April 07, 2011, 03:40 PM report to moderator
398 Points

@WeeneyOwl- AMEN. I have been saying the same thing. It is sad to see that yes, these movies have been nice to watch BUT they did not satisfy. When writers and directors “create” their own scenes and how it should be played out, to me they never were a fan. Wish they had taken a cue from the likes of Jackson and some of of Lucas’ storytelling. Keep it to the story and no one gets hurt. Like you WeenyOwl, i will wait til it becomes a made for cable tv & possibly Jackson taking over the reigns!

Posted by sidnandragin on April 07, 2011, 10:22 PM report to moderator
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