MuggleCast 200 Transcript
[Intro music begins]
Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible.com, the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
On August 7th, 2005:
[A clip from MuggleCast Episode #1 plays]
Andrew: This is MuggleCast, MuggleNet.com’s brand new podcasting feature: Episode 1 for August 7th, 2005. If you haven’t finished reading Book 6 yet please do not listen to this podcast, as we do talk about several different spoilers.
[“Sunrise,” from “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” op. 30 by Richard Strauss plays]
Andrew: Now, this is MuggleCast, MuggleNet’s long-time podcasting feature, Episode 200 for June 9th, 2010.
Andrew: If you haven’t finished reading Book 7 yet, please do not listen to this podcast as we do talk about several different spoilers.
[Music continues and plays out]
[A version of “Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
David Heyman: Hello, this is David Heyman, and I’m the producer of the Harry Potter films, and this is MuggleCast!
[Music continues, followed by silence]
[Show music begins]
Eric: So first things first, Andrew. Micah and I, we showed up this morning on Skype to record our 200th episode of MuggleCast, and we were talking for a little while, and it occurred to us that we were just – we were missing something – the two of us – at first – we thought a little bit about what it was, and…
Andrew: The magic?
Eric: No, no, no, no. The magic was there because it’s our 200th episode.
Andrew: Heart and soul? The blood and sweat? [Laughs]
Eric: It was all there, Andrew, except we were missing our hosts.
Micah: What happened, man?
Andrew: Well, I – I’m back in New Jersey for a couple of weeks to visit family. This is also where I was recording MuggleCast for three – four years.
Micah: Your birthplace? The birthplace of MuggleCast.
Eric: Oh that’s fun.
Andrew: Yes, exactly, exactly. This is the MuggleCast hospital ward.
Andrew: And so I’m still getting onto East Coast time. It’s a little hard going from West to East [laughs] So I sleep in. And at 10:06 I hear my phone ringing. And I’m like, “Oh no! That’s Eric or Micah and they’re about to tell me that it’s 10 o’clock.” [laughs] I over slept. So I’m sorry guys for – for not being up. I was planning on being up two hours early. I was going to polish the show. But oh well, you guys did it for us.
Micah: Yeah. I mean it was surprising because normally you’re always online. I mean even when you’re 30,000 feet in the air you’re online.
Andrew: So right.
Micah: To wake up this morning as we approach our 200th Episode and not to see you online, we got a bit worried.
Andrew: Ah, yeah, well…
Eric: Did you feel like after we interviewed you on the last episode of MuggleCast that that was it? That you could just kick back and…
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, there was nowhere else I needed to go. I was good.
Andrew: But anyway, welcome everyone to our 200th Episode. We have reached a very nice milestone, and we’re so happy to say that we have an exclusive interview with the producer of the Harry Potter franchise, David Heyman. Micah and Eric conducted this interview a couple weeks ago. We said to W.B., “W.B. we’re entering our 200th Episode, we would love it – could you please, please, please get us David Heyman.” And they were so nice about it. We got hooked up with Mr. Heyman. He was such a nice guy. It was a great interview. Micah and Eric did a great job, came up with some great questions. And David was very into it. I mean he is a Potter fan. So you’re going to love this interview. And we have – we’ve got news and the usual stuff coming up on this week’s episode. So let’s get into it. For the 200th time, I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
[Show music continues and plays out]
Eric: That was nice, “the 200th time”.
Eric: That was really nice.
Andrew: Should I start every segment with, “For the 200th time”?
Eric: Yes, yes. Absolutely.
Andrew: [laughs] Micah, for the 200th time, what’s in the news this week?
Micah: Wow! I don’t even know how to respond to that, Andrew. That’s – 200 times? The MuggleCast…
Eric: Thanks, Andrew. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: I think it would be fair to say, if this is the 200th Episode we’ve probably discussed about 1,000 news stories.
Micah: Oh, at least.
Andrew: Because we have what, about five news stories.
Micah: That’s pretty amazing.
Eric: [laughs] A thousand stories.
Andrew: That is.
Eric: See, people said there wasn’t that much news in Potter.
News: MuggleNet 2.0
Micah: Yeah. Well speaking of news, how about MuggleNet 2.0? I mean…
Micah: It launched finally. We talked about it on last week’s show, but I don’t think it made the cut.
Andrew: Right, because we were having launch problems, so…
Micah: Technical difficulties.
Andrew: And I even said in that recording – Eric was like is it going to be by the time this episode’s out, and I said, “Eric, if it’s not out I’m going to be curled up in a corner crying uncontrollably.” But yes, we had technical difficulties, but now it’s out: MuggleNet.com. You’ll see the brand new website. I love this, and I may be biased because I pretty much designed the whole thing, but I love this website. If you guys haven’t checked it out, definitely go to MuggleNet. It’s a whole new design. We’ve got new features. This site is packed with new features, but the greatest thing is that it actually loads faster than the old MuggleNet did. And that’s a testament to the coding behind this. I’m a bit of a coding nerd, and oh, oh, the way this thing is coded. It’s a dream.
Andrew: But – so yeah we’ve got lots of new features. Do you guys like the new design?
Micah: I’m a big fan of the Trivia. And…
Micah: …I’ve spent a little bit time programming all of that. But…
Micah: So I guess I’m a little biased in that sense. Go and play Trivia right now, sign up and enjoy yourselves. But I just like the way the site has been laid out. It’s just a really clean look. It’s easy to navigate. And…
Eric: It catches your eye.
Micah: People were a little bit hesitant early on. But I think it’s all because of change. We discussed this amongst ourselves. And it takes a…
Micah: …little bit to get used to.
Micah: But I think the ability to share stories right away on Facebook and Twitter, that’s really gone up. And people seem to be commenting a lot more. They’re a lot more opinionated.
Micah: And I like refreshing the, “Did you know?’s” and looking at the Quotes and the Flashbacks and things like that.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: Because you forget exactly how much has gone on over the course of the last ten years.
Eric: Exactly. I think this was something that would – if this were MuggleNet when it first started out we may have looked for something different. As a 2.0 now that there is all this information, to have it categorized like this is great and there always was a lot to do on MuggleNet. But now with version 2.0 you can see visually on the page different things like the Flashback and the Trivia and the Quote. All of that is arranged in such a way that I think it wows you. And it’s not overwhelming, but at the same time you get the – it’s a visual representation of all the things that have gone on and will go on. Even the video player is just a great feature.
Andrew: And the idea was behind some of the features here like Flashback, Did You Know, and of course Quote, which we’ve had for a while, and even Trivia is that every time you load the page you’re going to see something new. And most commented, big news, top commenters, those boxes are dynamic so they’ll be changing as the users basically shape the website with commenting on stories. When there’s a very popular stories it will go on to the list – it will go into the most commented box and that helps people see what is hot lately on MuggleNet and I love that feature.
Micah: Yeah, we need to get “Welcome to the all new MuggleNet.com” to shift off that a little bit. But…
Andrew: Well, here’s a fun fact. It’ll display the top most commented stories of the past thirty days.
Micah: Oh, okay.
Andrew: So it will – so that thing will change, eventually.
Micah: But those three tabs I think it allows the users to feel a lot more interactive with the site because what they’re doing ultimately determines, maybe with the exception of big news…
Andrew: Right, right.
Micah: …what is hot and what people are talking about.
Micah: The themes too, I was just going to bring that up. People have been asking. We’re going to create more for those of you who were wondering. We just needed a set to get started with.
Micah: And yes, I did push the LEGO version.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Micah was like, “Create a LEGO version. Create a LEGO version.”
Eric: I have the LEGO version as my theme.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s good. I like that one. Visit MuggleNet.com and check it out. Before moving along, we’d like to remind everyone again that this podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature featuring audio versions of many New York Times best-sellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering a free audio book to give you a chance to try out their great service. One audio book we’d recommend is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. You all know it’s a classic story, and now you can get it for free. Just visit AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. That’s AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. What else is going on, Micah?
News: Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Micah: Well, the other big news the last couple of weeks has been the Wizarding World Theme Park. We’re just about 12 days away from it opening where we’re recording right now. But it did soft open to the public, and we got a pretty in-depth look from InsidetheMagic.net. They had videos and photos from their trip within the park, and if you don’t want to spoil yourself I would advise not looking at these videos. I know a lot of people in the comments said, “I’m not going to watch it. I’m going to wait until I get down there myself and experience it.” But we got to look at The Forbidden Journey queue, the Hogsmeade entrance to Hogwarts Castle, Ollivander’s, Flight of the Hippogriff. There’s really no place they didn’t go and shoot video.
Micah: So, I took a look at some of it. We also had a review of The Forbidden Journey ride. I didn’t look at that at all so I don’t have any news to report on that. I’m sorry.
Andrew: Well, you know what? That – that one that we posted is spoiler free. And he actually…
Micah: Oh, is it?
Andrew: Yeah. So, you can check that out. That – I did read that.
Eric: Well still I wouldn’t draw attention to it. I don’t really like this review. I mean it’s – it’s kind of – I don’t know. It’s a crap review.
Andrew: Well, it wasn’t…
Eric: It’s kind of like, “Hey. You know,” It’s spoiler free but at the same time it’s not really – they say, “Oh, I must emphasize again that this is nothing like you’ve seen before,” but yet they say it’s like lacking story.
Andrew: Story. It’s a big mash up. Yeah. I mean, I – That’s sort of what I expected. If you’re going to make a Harry Potter ride, one that…
Eric: You need to sum things up.
Andrew: Yeah. You got to mash it all together.
Eric: That’s like…
Andrew: Fans really…
Andrew: …won’t mind that, I don’t think.
Eric: I don’t think so either. Like the Back to the Future ride for instance was – I mean, I guess…
Eric: …they created an all new story if you remember it. I guess it either burned down or it was closed. It’s now The Simpsons at Universal but at any rate that was like a new story in the Back to the Future universe. It was short, there was some kind of time travel, Biff had stolen the Delorean for the umpteenth time, and…
Micah: I think I went on that ride about ten years ago. [laughs]
Eric: It was a great ride. It was great. It had its own score, which I’m sure this does. So, I compare that a lot to it and I think that’s what Universal rides are all about. So, I think the lack of specificity on the part of this review was kind of what upset me. If you’re going to go the park and review the ride that’s most talked about I think – I don’t know. Maybe I should search their site for a better review of it.
Micah: Well, Andrew…
Andrew: Well, he also just did post a spoiler review. So – [laughs]
Andrew: If you want to be spoiled you can look at that, but.
Eric: Now that I can, I don’t know that I want to be.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Go ahead, Micah.
Micah: Well, I was going to say that you and I will be down there for the opening of the park in…
Micah: …about a week and a half or so. So if you want real reviews I’m sure Andrew…
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Micah: …and I will be doing something.
Andrew: Well, I’ve got to say…
Micah: Possibly a podcast.
Andrew: …this guy, this InsidetheMagic guy, his name is Ricky. He’s really cool, and obviously he’s done a great job with coverage. I mean, he’s gotten some amazing HD videos of the park.
Eric: Yeah, the videos are good.
Eric: The videos are really good.
Andrew: But yeah. Micah and I will be down there. Universal was very nice to give us three tickets to the grand opening, and we’ll be going and it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ll post a review, absolutely. There will be a lot of coverage. I got my video camera and my photo camera, and I’m going to be – I’m not going to overdo it, because at this point people have seen tons of photos. But I think the main focus of the reporting will be on the grand opening itself because a lot of stars will be there.
Micah: Absolutely. I’m going to go check out the Hog’s Head and see if Aberforth is in. [laughs]
Andrew: Another thing I found out through the soft opening is that they are serving authentic, U.K. beer.
Eric: Yes, they are.
Andrew: And that includes Stella – well, I don’t know if Stella’s…
Andrew: …an English beer. Yeah, Stella Artois. Strongbow, that is a very popular cider in England. I love Strongbow. I just started – I had some a couple months ago in England. Yeah, so a lot of authentic beer, and then right next to it is the Hog’s Head [laughs] beer…
Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Andrew: …spout, whatever you call it.
Eric: They have their own brew. Yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, so very cool, very cool. I’ve got to say I’m pretty satisfied with all this – how the park’s looking.
Eric: Yeah, and now there’s a store at the airport with some of the merchandise. How did that – that surprised me. What did you guys think of that?
Andrew: Well, because Universal has a store in the airport, so I guess it makes sense to sell it there.
Micah: Yeah, but it’s kind of a little bit premature in my opinion because the park hasn’t really officially opened yet. So to have that store there – I mean it kind of takes away a little bit…
Eric: Yeah, it does. Because it has exclusive merchandise. I mean that’s…
Andrew: But this is a good way to promote the – the Wizarding World, because if people go into that store in the airport, they see all this cool merchandise, so they’re like, “Wow, all this is there? I’ve never been able to see this anywhere else.”
Micah: I’ll see how cool it really is. You and I will check it out.
Eric: You should broadcast from the airport store.
Andrew: No, the pictures look good. They are selling a lot of merchandise at this theme park that you cannot get anywhere else.
Andrew: It’s expensive though, but…
Eric: Is it?
Micah: That’s not surprising.
News: Deathly Hallows Epilogue
Micah: But the other big news of the last few weeks was Deathly Hallows, the epilogue, I think, is complete in terms of filming. We have a lot of video, a lot of photos from this epilogue scene, and wanted to get your guys’ thoughts on what we saw, looking at Draco and Ron and Harry. Not too much of Hermione – very few photos, actually. We did get to see Ginny, as well as all of the kids. Looking at this, I thought they looked, at least from Draco’s standpoint – [laughs] a little bit too old. I mean, they’re only in their thirties.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, this is a bit worrying, and a lot of people were saying this in the comments as well. Personally, yeah, I agree. Draco looks a little too old. Harry looks a little too old. But I think that in a way, it is a bit unfair to judge already because when it gets on film, the lighting’s going to be different. They’re going to be shooting these guys from different angles. They may even do some digital touch-up.
Eric: That’s very true.
Andrew: They might realize, “Oh my God, they looked way too old.”
Eric: That’s actually extremely true because I guess it’s good to add more wrinkles and more detail that you can take out as opposed to trying to…
Andrew: That’s true – yeah, yeah, yeah.
Eric: …do it so the computer – so maybe they will look younger. One of the photos of Dan, he looks younger. He has a huge forehead. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: But he looks really young. And then in the other one that we saw with him and Ginny he looks quite a bit older. But I think it’s too soon to judge. I think the important thing is these aren’t the official videos. I’m sure if W.B. had their way these photos wouldn’t exist, and frankly I don’t know that – I mean I just think that it is too soon and I think we should wait for official kind of material to…
Micah: Yeah – no, that’s right.
Andrew: Well, I will say the women and children all look good. They don’t look too old – the kids look right, Bonnie looks good, and Emma, who plays Hermione of course, she didn’t look too old either. I – I think they did the least to her, actually. We saw one or two pictures.
Eric: That’s because she’s got a contract with Burberry. She can’t age too much or appear to have aged in anything, so.
Andrew: [laughs] Oh man, that could be true.
Andrew: So – yeah, like I said, we can’t judge too much just yet, but it was cool to see all these pictures coming out of the filming of the epilogue.
Micah: Yeah, I mean, we’re getting close. We’ve only got probably two weeks left of filming for them…
Micah: …and then it’s all a wrap. We’ve been hearing from different actors that are done filming. I know the Phelps twins are done. Chris Rankin is done.
Andrew: Warwick Davis.
Micah: Warwick Davis is done now. So it’s slowly coming to an end. I remember when we posted a couple months ago that Alan Rickman had finished filming – everybody was starting to realize that this is all slowly but surely coming to an end.
Andrew: Yeah, I would say they’re about – this may be the week coming up or the week you’re listening to this episode, may be the final week because they had about two weeks left, and that was a week ago at least – it may have been more. I mean, they could be done now. [laughs]
Eric: Well, we saw also the touch-up shots. You guys remember this – that were posted? The reshoots, the Deathly Hallows reshoots…
Andrew: Yeah, they were doing reshoots, right.
Eric: …where they were in the fields and stuff? And this is pretty cool. Because it’s – again…
Micah: Is that like postproduction work, in a way?
Andrew: Sort of.
Eric: Kind of. It’s like – either, if they didn’t get the scene they wanted the first time, or if they realized upon seeing an edited – a cut – a rough cut copy – that they could use filler, or if they have pushed scenes off. Like little low clips, like intro then they’ll go back and shoot it.
Andrew: Yeah, they could just be not – they could just not be happy with what they shot about a year ago. They were filming those same scenes about a year ago.
Andrew: Because photos leaked from it that time, too.
Micah: Right, right. Well, and that was with Slytherin’s locket. I know David Heyman talked a little about that in the interview. So…
Eric: Yeah, but we did miss the Epilogue. We didn’t get to talk to him about the Epilogue. He did mention about it, but as far as the mass hordes of pictures and videos happened a few days after we interviewed him, so that will not be on the interview. I just feel like I should prepare people who were looking just for that.
Micah: Yeah, but I think also though any time you film in a public place like that, you’re opening yourself up to photos and videos, and that’s just the nature of what happened here.
Eric: I mean truly they built a King’s Cross set, right? For the – for the scene where Harry’s in the afterlife – or not? Do you think they filmed that at King’s Cross too?
Micah: Well, they could probably do that at Leavesden with a bit of green screen work I think because it doesn’t necessarily have to all be replicated…
Eric: Or just a pillar.
Micah: …of King’s Cross.
Micah: …kind of a…
Micah: A foggy – yeah, exactly.
News: Deathly Hallows Props Pictures
Micah: Exactly. So another bit of news, we got to look at some of the props…
Micah: …that are going to be used in Deathly Hallows, specifically The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. We got a look at that book and A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot. So those are two books that play a big role in the final film.
Andrew: I love…
Andrew: …the cover of Life and Lies.
Micah: I thought they did a good job…
Micah: …with that.
Eric: I like…
Eric: …A History of Magic better.
Micah: Very Rita Skeeter-ish.
Eric: I think – yeah, it is very Rita Skeeter-ish. It’s kind of like a tabloid-esque cover.
Andrew: Yeah, but the theme with all of these is that they are definitely very authentic. I mean, such cool props.
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: And a lot of…
Micah: Well, in such detail. I mean, if you look and you read through some of the pages that they took pictures of, there is actual content…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: …on there.
Andrew: Relevant content. Like The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, there is a – the book is open and you can read the story. And I assume that story is the one that…
Eric: I was asking if that was – yeah, in the book.
Andrew: Yeah, a sample of it. I mean – but this can’t be the whole story, of course. I mean, it must be the same pages duplicated.
Eric: Well, I feel like it only has the pages that they are going to show on film.
Andrew: Right, right.
Eric: The rest would be [talks gibberish]
Andrew: I just noticed on…
Andrew: …the back side of the cover – when you see the open page picture of Life and Lies, you can see [laughs] Rita’s face on the – along the side.
Eric: Oh, really?
Andrew: [laughs] It’s pretty funny, yeah.
Eric: Didn’t she say she wasn’t coming back? Hang on.
Andrew: Yeah, and I think we talked about this on…
Andrew: …a couple of episodes ago. She did end up coming back.
Eric: But it is such a huge part. Such a huge part.
Andrew: But I think it was just to do some quick reshoots.
Eric: Oh, yeah. You’re right. There is…
Micah: Right, right.
Eric: …her face on the – it’s kind of like, I guess, a book cover or the inlay of the book. That is very cool.
Eric: That is a very cool touch.
News: Deathly Hallows Casting
Micah: Speaking of casting, Peter Malone is going to be playing – or Mullan, sorry – as Yaxley, the Death Eater. And it is good to know since he is in the opening scene of Deathly Hallows that…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: …he will be in the movie.
Eric: Micah, why are we getting…
Eric: …this news so late? What is…
Micah: I don’t know, I don’t know. The other piece was that Ninette Finch has been cast as Augusta Longbottom. And so these small little pieces of casting news – I guess they needed to get out there before the movie starts being highly publicized because these were two characters – well, Yaxley more so. I remember we talked a little bit about that on the show. We had never heard any information as to who was cast for him. And the others were the Dumbledores.
Micah: That family, you know, did they cast them? Because there is obviously a lot of backstory there. And it is good to know – like I said, Yaxley, he plays a big role in the opening scene with Snape and then obviously in the Ministry.
Andrew: Well, that’s the thing about this whole casting thing. Like you – W.B. didn’t announce it. Nobody announced it. It was just put on their websites, right? The actor’s…
Andrew: And I think that’s why it comes out so late, just because…
Eric: When the actors themselves get around to it?
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t even think they were allowed to…
Andrew: …because – they were allowed to post that, because W.B. is always so secretive. And by the way, the pictures of those props? W.B. can’t be happy with that either. I mean, they keep everything…
Andrew: …under tight wraps.
Andrew: So… [laughs]
Micah: But – well, with these two, I think the thing is that they also weren’t included on that press release that W.B. sent out.
Andrew: Yeah. Those were minor…
Micah: That’s where we learned about…
Andrew: Those were minor characters…
Andrew: …though, right?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, that is where we…
Micah: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: …learned about Miranda Richardson. And one other thing actually, while we’re mentioning what W.B. does and doesn’t care about anymore…
Eric: Careful, Andrew.
Andrew: If these – [laughs] if these photos that – no, this is a compliment. The epilogue photos. They didn’t complain a bit. But with Half-Blood Prince filming, I remember some pictures of filming from that came out and they asked us to take it down. You know, fine, whatever. But the epilogue is something I would think you would want to keep pretty under – you would…
Andrew: …want it to stay under tight wraps because you want to do a big reveal of how they actually look. So, I’m kind of surprised they actually didn’t complain about the epilogue pictures.
Eric: My theory on that is that the epilogue is such a huge and unique deal to everybody. I remember when Deathly Hallows came out…
Andrew: It is everybody’s scene?
Eric: No, it’s important because it is the end of the series and I think it is symbolic that – I mean, I think they knew that people were going to seek it out. And I think, due to the very nature of the epilogue, that many people wish it had never been included in the Deathly Hallows book. I am not one of them, but I think that is safe to say that a lot of people didn’t like it, the way that it ended or whatever. But it is – so, it is a conclusion. It is separate from the movie. It’s not like – if you reveal some photos of the epilogue, it’s not like you’re going to get a secret glimpse into what the rest of the movie is like in…
Andrew: I know. But I’m…
Eric: In a way…
Andrew: …just saying…
Eric: Because it is…
Andrew: …it is ruining the surprise of the epilogue.
Eric: Yeah, that it is. I mean, I would have been – I was interested in seeing the makeup and all of that for the first time on screen.
Eric: Like, perhaps without…
Micah: But I think it goes back to what I was saying before though is anytime you do it in a public place, you risk the exposure. And there is no way to really control that. I mean, it is one thing if one photo leaks out online, and the fan sites pick it up and post it. It is completely different if you are filming in front of hundreds if not thousands of people who walk through that station every day. There is nothing that you can do about that.
Andrew: So, they went into it knowing, oh, photos are going…
Andrew: …to come out. Okay, Micah, what else is going on?
MuggleCast 200 Transcript (continued)
Deathly Hallows Sneak Peak Discussion
Micah: Well, there was a little bit of a clip that aired for Deathly Hallows.
Andrew: Oh my goodness!
Eric: I – what are you guys saying ‘finally’ for? What do you mean by that?
Andrew: Because the last clip we saw came out about six or seven months ago now it has been, when the Half-Blood Prince DVD came out. So this is basically our second batch of footage. And, I mean…
Micah: It is not really a trailer. I – what do you…
Micah: …guys think?
Eric: It is…
Andrew: …you – go ahead.
Eric: It is not. And that’s what upset me because…
Andrew: It was a sneak peek. They never promised a trailer, though. Keep that in mind.
Eric: I don’t know. I get the feeling that the press release said just from Part I or something. But it was – it is another preview of clips from both films actually.
Eric: And I just get the feeling – by this time, I expected a trailer for Part I. Sure, it is cool to see some things about Part II, but it is a year and a half away or whatever. Actually, no, just a year. Wow.
Andrew: Well, remember we found out a few weeks ago that the first trailer will be coming at the end of this month, so…
Eric: Well, that is good. But at the same time, this – I just don’t know why they are showing us stuff from Part II. Sure they filmed them at the same time, but it is like – I just – I want to start getting excited about Part I and only Part I. You know…
Micah: Well, you’re…
Eric: …what I’m saying? So…
Micah: …not going to get that much of a look into Part II. It’s just not going to happen. I think probably with the MTV Movie Awards, what they did was they gave them the best of what they had to offer.
Andrew: Yeah, we – what stood out to me, first of all, that shot of the dragon in…
Andrew: …Gringotts. That was awesome. And what this tells me – and we saw a few scenes. Not just the Gringotts with the dragon, but we also saw a couple of shots of Voldemort. And we saw the protection around Hogwarts. So, they have a lot of the special effects done and they look great. Don’t you guys agree?
Micah: Yeah, I agree. I didn’t get too excited with the protection around Hogwarts. It looked a little odd to be honest with you. It looked like the giant blob from horror…
Micah: …movie lore was surrounding itself…
Eric: It is…
Micah: …around the castle.
Eric: And the bubble…
Micah: The dragon…
Eric: …was quite large, wasn’t it? The bubble was quite large. It was not just around Hogwarts proper, the actual castle. It was around everything from the lake. It was a really far out shot. It was pretty ridiculous. Wherever they would be attacking from, that the bubble is breaking – it just seemed like the bubble was far too large. Hogwarts was very small inside it and I don’t really – I don’t understand that.
Andrew: The first time I saw it, I didn’t even realize that was Hogwarts in there because it was…
Andrew: It looked…
Andrew: …so dim.
Eric: The low quality version was kind of bad for that. I think – I remembered – I really thought Voldemort was on the train tracks in front of the Hogwarts Express.
Andrew: That’s what it looked like to me too. Wasn’t he?
Eric: When I first saw it, yeah. It wasn’t though. It is – I think it is the Carrow guy for some reason. It is not Voldemort because if you – I’m going to try and find the timestamp.
Micah: Yeah, it is definitely a Death Eater. It is not Voldemort. But I wonder if they went for that special effect overhead because that gives them sort of the Deathly Hallows book cover look, possibly when the battle happens in the Great Hall.
Eric: What do you mean overhead?
Micah: Well, they have this thing that looks like a darkened sky/blob thing that is over Hogwarts. And I’m saying that is very similar to the cover of the book. You know…
Andrew: I thought it…
Micah: …what I mean?
Andrew: I thought it was Planet Earth at first, on fire…
Andrew: …or something. It looks like a few continents in the ocean. It just – I don’t know. I…
Eric: It does.
Andrew: …don’t know what to think about it. I guess it is all right if you could see Hogwarts through it. But just a quick glimpse, which is what…
Andrew: …the sneak peek shows. Maybe at…
Andrew: …the theme park, they are going to be able to put this around the castle there. That would be pretty cool.
Micah: But a couple of things that I picked out of this which I didn’t really get were – number one was Hedwig being sent off…
Micah: …at the very beginning. Doesn’t she get the boot…
Micah: …into a…
Eric: Just a…
Micah: …powdered puff of feathers?
Eric: I guess she is – I… [laughs]
Micah: Unless they decided not to kill her.
Andrew: There is no way they didn’t kill her. What if this was before they even escape?
Micah: Yeah, but there is not much that goes on before that.
Eric: Not in the books. Maybe he is learning about Horcruxes. Maybe he is writing to people…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: …like Hepzibah Smith’s grandchild that he is keeping up correspondence and…
Eric: …that is how he finds out that there is a cup at Gringotts.
Andrew: Or maybe he is accepting the wedding invitation and…
Andrew: …sending it.
Micah: That is it. That could be it.
Andrew: It is going to be something silly like that, I think. That is definitely at the beginning of the movie. It has to be. There is no way they didn’t kill Hedwig.
Eric: Hedwig. [laughs]
Andrew: If they didn’t kill Hedwig, that would be stupid.
Eric: All bets are off?
Andrew: I would…
Andrew: I would throw a Hedwig doll at David Yates at the premiere and be, like, “This guy was supposed to be dead.” Or maybe this is a – some marketing plot for the theme park because they sell Hedwigs there.
Micah: Well, some of the other stuff, which led to Eric saying earlier that there is stuff from the second part, was there is a shot of Harry and Ginny at Hogwarts. And there was also…
[Someone makes kissing noises]
Micah: Yeah, they were doing a little bit of that. And [laughs] Gringotts, which I would think would – as well as the shot of Hogwarts, so I guess that could probably be – in either part, they can do a shot of that protection over Hogwarts. But I would think that the Gringotts scene would probably be in the second film.
Micah: But maybe…
Micah: …I’m wrong.
Andrew: There is a cool, quick shot in the cafe. Overall, just a great – I was really excited to see this. And I’m glad – and MuggleNet, when this premiered, it – [laughs] the site crashed.
Andrew: We got so much traffic. And while I was, like, “Ugh,” I was also, like, “That’s awesome.”
Andrew: Because so many people…
Andrew: …are going to MuggleNet after probably…
Eric: Can we replicate this? Can we… [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, I hope not. We are going to try to fix it for the future. But very cool, yeah. It got everyone very excited.
Eric: Just the – I mean, even though it is a few frames – that dragon just pulling himself out of – and you – I think he is in chains. You hear chains getting crunched and he is breaking through pillars. That is awesome.
Eric: Except what was missing was the trio on its back, I guess. I don’t know.
Micah: Maybe they had to wait until he got outside. He has got to break through the wall first. He can’t break…
Micah: …through the wall with them on top. That…
Micah: That wouldn’t…
Micah: …seem safe.
Eric: All that rubble will fall on them.
Micah: But another thing that led me to realize that this was some stuff from the second film was Voldemort. He has a line in there where he says, “The boy who lived, come to die.”
Eric: What is Harry doing when he is saying that? Because Harry is backed up against the wall. Do you guys see – it is, like, twenty-nine seconds in and it is just – he is in this…
Micah: That could be in the…
Eric: …moment of severe pain. It doesn’t make any sense to me.
Micah: Godric’s Hollow. I mean, that could be in – it doesn’t have to be from the second part. It could be from the first part when they are in Godric’s Hollow, and he just sort of deceives Harry into coming to the house and upstairs. I mean, that would be my guess.
Eric: Oh, because he collapses then, doesn’t he? Right after Bathilda snake comes out of…
Eric: …Bathilda body. That was a weird, weird moment.
Andrew: So overall, a great, great look. And this is – I mean, we heard about this big marketing campaign starting at the end of June and it looks like this is sort of like the tip of the iceberg. Very…
Micah: Well, you left out the most important scene that…
Andrew: Well, what was that?
Micah: …people will be talking about, was the fight.
Andrew: Oh, yeah. Between Harry…
Andrew: …and Ron.
Eric: Yeah. That is actually – I mean, I feel like that is going to be an amazing part of the movie.
Andrew: Why do you say that? I mean, it looked good. But – I mean…
Eric: Well, just compare…
Eric: …it to – okay, compare it to Harry and Ron’s fight in Goblet of Fire, the movie. Did you even remember that Harry and Ron fought in Goblet of Fire movie? Be honest.
Andrew: I’m trying to think but I don’t think so. [laughs]
Andrew: I remember the, “He was their friend!” in Prisoner of Azkaban but [laughs] that is it.
Eric: No, there was that fifteen minutes where Ron is not speaking to Harry and then there was that, “I’m not an owl!” Emma…
Eric: …Watson thing.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You totally forget that happened? Sure. But my prediction is that in Deathly Hallows, you are not going to forget that this happened. Sure, maybe it is because he is going to be missing for half the movie, but…
Eric: …I think the acting is just completely picked up. You can tell from…
Micah: Well, the fight is a bit more physical here too.
Micah: As opposed to Goblet of Fire.
Micah: And there is also the shot after that of what looks like Harry trying to destroy the – or maybe Ron, destroy the locket. It is like a really…
Micah: …quick scene.
Andrew: Yeah, I think it is Ron. And I think you are right. It is cool because it goes straight from that to the dragon busting down the pillar to…
News: Deathly Hallows Video Games
Micah: And it has really been busy news-wise. We found out that Electronic Arts is going to release a Deathly Hallows video game, Part I, so they are maximizing their revenue. There…
Micah: …will be a Part II.
Eric: Well, I feel like…
Micah: Well – I mean…
Eric: …you can’t release stuff.
Micah: We debated that. We debated that…
Eric: I feel like…
Micah: …for a while.
Eric: …you can’t release Part – you can’t release a game that has Part II stuff if the movie hasn’t been – I mean, a movie game doesn’t work that way.
Micah: Well – I mean, they could have waited until Part II was about to be released in theaters and then…
Eric: That is true.
Micah: …release the game. But they are deciding to do it Part I and Part II.
Eric: Well, I think maybe – judging from MuggleNet staffer, Nick’s review – and Nick did go to Electronic Arts headquarters in Surrey. And he posted a pretty cool report which is readable on MuggleNet. But judging from his report, they seem to kind of – been a little wary about some of the criticism the games have received in the past. So, I’m suggesting that maybe they split the game in two just in case [laughs] they still don’t get it right after…
Eric: …Deathly Hallows: Part I, the game.
Micah: Well, I’m sure they are developing it fully right now. I mean, it doesn’t really make sense for them…
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Micah: …to wait to develop the whole thing. I mean, they are going to get input from Warner Bros., and where this movie splits and where it ends, and all of that other stuff. So, I just think that – so far the reaction, as you mentioned, Eric, has been kind of negative. We got that first look at the picture before Nick gave his report online and people didn’t seem to be too happy with it. And I know Nick mentioned that the graphics do improve, that a lot of the photos that are coming out right now were kind of early stages of how things look. And he wanted people to know that so that they didn’t jump to conclusions: “Oh, these graphics are terrible!” But that one picture that we did see early on was this battle between the trio and the Snatchers somewhere in the forest. And I think – I have been highly critical of the EA games and I know some of the other people have too. But I think this may be a little bit different being removed from Hogwarts and kind of having a little bit more of this free-roaming ability to be in a different setting completely.
Andrew: Yeah, but – well, wasn’t that the appeal of Half-Blood Prince? You were in a free setting too. But you could walk around…
Micah: Well, you were…
Micah: …limited to the Hogwarts…
Andrew: I see.
Andrew: And this one…
Micah: I mean…
Andrew: …you can go anywhere.
Micah: …you couldn’t…
Eric: Well, this one is just – this…
Eric: …one just…
Micah: …again, I don’t know…
Eric: According to…
Eric: …Nick’s review…
Micah: …for sure.
Eric: …this one just doesn’t take place at Hogwarts. And he has some bullet points like you can defend The Burrow and stuff like that. I just – I have no idea what the setting or even the plot of the game will be. I just think looking at a picture – and maybe this is like a complete one of what I said about the epilogue, but I just think – looking at that Deathly Hallows picture, I don’t know what people are complaining about for the video game. Quality-wise there was nothing wrong with that picture of Harry – sorry, the trio and the Snatchers. Games now are in such high definition 1080p – I don’t think there was anything missing or wrong with the graphics. My God, maybe it’s because my favorite video game ever was Crash Bandicoot from 1997.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: But still, I don’t have high expectations. I want the game to play well. It doesn’t matter if my HDTV is going to get optimum resolution for the game. For me if the game is good, it’s going to be good. You know…
Andrew: It does to me.
Andrew: I need to see Harry, Hermione and Ron in all their 1080p glory!
Eric: Well, here’s some quick bullet points from Nick’s review. Sorry, Nick for bastardizing these by just taking them all and using what we liked. That’s what we do. [laughs] The wand – okay, Crucio as a spell will be available in the game, Andrew. So I don’t know what you’re talking about, “We need more spells.” But it will be weak as Harry’s intent is not evil. So what do you think the purpose of this Crucio spell is going to be in the game if it doesn’t – if it’s weak? What does that mean? Are you going to be going around mildly hurting people?
Micah: I don’t know. Maybe just to get away, if you need to shoot a quick spell…
Eric: That’s true.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: Put somebody under this curse to run away.
Andrew: Could that also be a way to keep the game rated PG or something? Or whatever the game – E?
Eric: I feel like there is some attention drawn to escaping the Snatchers, and a lot of the – Nick’s report gives a list of some of the enemies. Interestingly, even though the game is not set at Hogwarts, there will be some returning creatures such as trolls and Whomping Willows even.
Eric: Dragons, Pixies again? I don’t know if they’ll find Pixies in the wild, but that’d be kind of cool.
Micah: Well see, I like this side to the game because they’re trying to bring back parts of the series that maybe people would be familiar with. So I do like this attempt by EA to be all-encompassing, but again, it’s going to come down to the game play and how true does it stay to the movies and I guess that will also be how true the movies stay to the books for the enjoyment factor. I think – I don’t remember the number but there was close to 25 hours of game play, or something like that. I forget it – Nick mentioned it in his report – but that’s a lot compared to where the Half-Blood Prince and Order of the Phoenix games were at. I mean, you could probably get through it in a couple of hours without very much effort.
Eric: Yeah. Very true. I think that a large bit of the focus of at least movie game 5 was free-roaming Hogwarts and they put a lot of effort into it. But I think that kind of detracted from the story game play because they spent so much time building this Hogwarts that when the final product came around, it was an empty Hogwarts. I mean, you could do Exploding Snap…
Micah: Yeah, it is empty – that’s a great word. I agree with that. I think that’s probably the best way to describe what it was. It was empty, there was nothing going on. Yeah, you could pass students and maybe hit them with a spell but there wasn’t enough happening. There wasn’t enough side tasks or side stories if you were roaming around the castle to get involved with, and I think that’s really where they missed the boat.
Eric: So saying – removing that from the equation, you’d think “Well, now they don’t need to worry about free-roaming Hogwarts anymore”…
Andrew: Until Part 2.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, until Part 2! Well, I really want to see Grand Theft Dragon. I think they should release a separate video game – Electronic Arts’ Grand Theft Dragon, focusing just on the Gringotts escape sequence. You know, beat up a goblin, steal his mine cart…
LEGO Harry Potter
Micah: So if you want to read all about this video game, Nick did write up a great report. You can check it out on the site. I’m sure we’ll post the link in our MuggleCast show notes. But to wrap up video game news, LEGO Harry Potter released what I think will probably be their final vignette, unless they do a compilation of all the different years for their video game. This one was Year 4: Goblet of Fire. Just quickly, what are you guys’ thoughts? It looks pretty good. They seem to be staying pretty true to the books, actually.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s really nice to see all these scenes come to life in LEGO form. It’s just really clever how it all looks, and each one of these vignettes gets more and more exciting because you’re seeing all these things in the film now in video game form in a clever, cartoonish sort of Lego way. It’s really fun to watch. So what else is going on?
News: 200 Episodes of MuggleCast
Micah: Well Andrew, as you mentioned at the top of the show, this is our 200th episode.
Andrew: Oh really?
Micah: Yeah. So I thought a good way to wrap up the news – or actually, you thought a good way to wrap up the news – would be talking about 200 episodes. It is a milestone for us. Of course, we want to thank the listeners. We wouldn’t be here 200 episodes later without all the great people that listened to our show and that we’ve met along the way and all the different places that we’ve been to…
Eric: You know, it’s funny you should say that, Micah, because a lot of us aren’t here anymore. [laughs] There’s only three of us! It’s like MuggleCast Survivor here…
Andrew: Well… [laughs]
Eric: Who has made it through 200 episodes?
Micah: Well, as Andrew was mentioning…
Andrew: Well, you know what? We should say that Jamie wanted to be on the show today, but he’s in the middle of moving so he couldn’t make it. He didn’t have Internet, but he did send us some Make the Connection ideas…
Eric: Oh, that’s awesome.
Andrew: …which we’re going to read through in a little bit.
Eric: But yeah. We wouldn’t be here…
Eric: Even the three of us wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the fans.
Andrew: Absolutely. I mean, we say it all the time, but it’s absolutely true. So we’re very appreciative of everyone who’s been listening, whether it’s been five years or whether you just start listening the other day.
Micah: Yeah. And that’s – we talk about this a lot the last couple of episodes, but we really do have a lot of new listeners that are just sort of coming on board. And I know we get a lot of e-mails about downloading old shows to kind of get a feel for what things were like up to this point. But I like your idea, Eric. Maybe we should hire Jeff Probst to come in and read the final votes for the three of us and see who wins…
Micah: To be on the final show. But based on what Andrew was saying, it’s kind of like moving on from the PS2 to the PS3. I mean, people have – there’s other commitments that come up and…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: …there are things that people have to do. That’s just the way that it works. And I think – it’s not that they don’t want to be on the show. I think – we always get people asking us, “Where’s Ben? Where’s Jamie?” And Laura’s off in some foreign country somewhere. Who knows when she’s coming back.
Andrew: They’ll all be back, we can promise you that.
Micah: They will.
Eric: But yeah, even – I think what sticks out for me, too, for the most – throughout the past 200 episodes, is the e-mails that we get from people. And not just – you know, people from all different walks of life, people that we meet at the live events, like college professors, and all sorts of people from all different walks of life and their support – and whether you’re a new listener or an old listener, if you can take something from the show, or even send in an e-mail of your thoughts and help us add to it – it’s been a collective, organic process, and it does work around people’s time schedules. It was a lot easier to get everybody on when we were all in high school.
Andrew: And when we weren’t oversleeping and missing the recording.
Eric: Well, that’s just your problem. I don’t think I’ve ever had that problem, Andrew.
Andrew: Yeah, I don’t think many – we haven’t had many oversleeping cases. We’ve had a lot of – audio files have disappeared. What are some other big flops we’ve had?
Micah: Ben was trying to get wireless in the car in Kansas somewhere.
Andrew: Right. There’s been times where we were getting ready to record for so long we were just like, “Oh, screw it. Let’s just do it tomorrow.” [laughs]
Micah: There was one episode that was completely lost…
Micah: I remember that.
Eric: Well, I did – I think as far as audios getting lost, that’s happened, I think, twice for me.
Micah: You win the title for that.
Eric: I win the – oh, come on.
Micah: If we were doing Survivor and you were the fan favorite for that, you would get the $100,000 for losing the most audio.
Eric: I did – I remember completely re-recording my – I had like a – it didn’t record correctly. I think the RAM on my computer was low, and so the entire episode – Andrew, do you remember this? Where like my audio clip for the entire episode was the beginning and end of my sentences or words in response?
Andrew: Yeah, I think I remember that.
Eric: But what I did was I used the echo that I heard in that audio file from what everybody else was saying to completely re-record everything I had said – and of course it was still fresh in my mind – to rebuild the episode. But then there was one where I think we just lost the audio file and we had to re-record, because it wasn’t – that was Episode 13, but we talk about that far too often on the show.
Andrew: Yeah. So a lot of great memories of recording this podcast over the years. And it’s just been so much fun and you know…
Thanking the Transcribers (you’re welcome)
Micah: I think we should take a moment also to thank the transcribers, all of them that have been a part of this show…
Micah: …for 200 episodes. I mean, they’ve obviously changed. Somebody named Matt Britton started as a transcriber and he…
Andrew: Someone named Micah Tannenbaum started as a transcriber, too. [laughs]
Micah: That’s true.
Micah: Way back in Episode 1.
Micah: So it’s interesting to see how things change, and obviously everybody over there does a tremendous job. I think we’re pretty much caught up. We’re at Episode 196 now, so just being at 200 there’s not too much of a gap. You know, we try and get things out on time, and they really do do a great job, and it’s kind of one of those thankless jobs, and people take it for granted sometimes that the transcript is just there, but…
Micah: …it’s a lot of hard work on people’s parts.
Eric: I mean, if you started out – if you’ve been a MuggleCast transcriber at any point in the history of MuggleCast, we thank you. And not only that, we understand if you’re no longer with us. [laughs] We get it.
Eric: If fact, I’m going to go further and say, I’m sure the transcribers transcribing this episode, tasked with that, would just appreciate, really, if we didn’t ñ if we quit thanking them, because they’re transcribing every word.
Eric: That said, I’m going to sum this up in quite a few more words here: transcribers, thank you.
Micah: No, that was good. That was very good.
Andrew: That was about to get serious for a moment.
Micah: But no, I mean, I know people who have used that experience on resumes and in job applications, for what they did on the site, and it’s helped them out a lot.
Eric: Very cool.
Micah: It’s valuable experience, I guess.
Andrew: I have my original microphone sitting right here that I recorded the first episode with…
Eric: Oh, wow.
Andrew: It’s a little Logitech desktop microphone ñ it’s not a headset…
Micah: Aren’t the rest of us still all using those?
Andrew: Yeah, I am too! I’m talking on my headset right now.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: I have no ñ Andrew sent me a new headset about a year ago, or two. And I’ve been using that one. But I have the original somewhere. I think it’s at home. I think it’s probably next to my can of Tootsie Rolls.
Andrew: I think for old time’s sake, when I record the intro for this episode, I’ll record it with this microphone.
What’s Next for MuggleCast?
Micah: So Andrew, a lot of people want to know, where is the show going to go from here? I mean, we’re 200 episodes in, we have a theme park opening pretty soon, we have a movie coming out in the fall, another movie next summer. What’s our plan moving forward?
Andrew: I’m done. I don’t know about you guys…
Micah: Oh, okay.
Andrew: I’ve always agreed to 200 episodes.
Eric: [sarcastically] Ha, ha, ha.
Micah: That’s your contract?
Andrew: No – well, we will. I think it’s fair to say we will do this through Part 2, and we’ll work from there. Now I’m not saying we’re going to end the show. I don’t think MuggleCast will ever end. I think ñ through the next year, absolutely, we’ll continue doing shows every other week, and then we’ll work from there and see what we can do. I mean, by that time Jo may have the encyclopedia announced and that could reveal a lot of new information, so…
Micah: Don’t bet on it.
Andrew: [laughs] Don’t bet on it!
Andrew: I mean, there always has to be some podcast to follow Jo’s Twitter, I think.
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: So maybe we’ll just turn MuggleCast to Muggle Mini-Cast, and whenever she issues a tweet, we’ll just read it on the show and call it a day.
Eric: I think that’s fraught because tweets have…
Micah: It will always be “Pen and paper are my priority.”
Andrew: So thanks everyone so much for, you know, staying with us and we hope you enjoy the show. We hope you continue to enjoy the show. We still love recording it – I think I love recording more than ever. It’s just a lot of fun to do.
Micah: Yeah. I think the spacing out, though – not to sound lazy [laughs], but when we decided to move it to being almost bi-monthly, I think it allows us to keep it fresh and we’re a lot more energetic coming into each episode…
Eric: And I’ll find myself…
Micah: Looking forward to a lot more.
Andrew: And there’s more news to talk about.
Eric: Yeah. Well, I’ll find myself in the off-week – like you just said, I’ll find myself in the offweek wanting to record and I’ll be like, “Oh I have another week to wait.” But at the same time, I’m excited and then I have something to look forward to. I make mental notes and I’m more prepared because I’ve been culling it over for two weeks…
Eric: …when to record. So that’s a benefit.
Andrew: So thanks everyone so much. And I guess now that’s a great way to intro our interview with David Heyman. Like I said at the beginning, he’s the producer of all the Harry Potter films. He’s been there since the beginning. I mean, he got this whole thing started essentially. He’s a great guy. You guys are going to love this interview, so let’s roll it.
MuggleCast 200 Transcript (continued)
David Heyman Interview
Micah: All right. Well, we are now joined by the producer of what will be all eight Harry Potter films, Mr. David Heyman. David, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s our 200th episode of MuggleCast. So it’s really great that you could be with us.
David Heyman: Wow! Well, thank you for having me and I feel very honored to be here on this, the 200th episode. That’s amazing!
[Micah and Eric laugh]
David Heyman: When was the first one?
Eric: August 2005.
David Heyman: Wow. Well, congratulations!
Eric: Well, thank you very much. So to help the listeners get an idea, can you tell us how you first got involved with Harry Potter?
David Heyman: Yeah sure. I was a very fortunate person to – I was in the right place at the right time. I read an unpublished manuscript in 1997 – the beginning of 1997 – and fell in love with it. And there began my journey, I suppose. I had no idea that it would become the phenomenon that it’s become. It was just something I had read and loved. You know, it made me laugh, it moved me. I’d been to a school a bit like Hogwarts but without the magic.
David Heyman: I had friends who I – who were important to me. I had friends who I hung out with, I had teachers who I liked and teachers who I didn’t like. And it felt just entirely relatable and yet at the same time there was this sort of wish fulfillment aspect to it. I loved it. It reminded me of those books I’d read as a child and yet in a completely fresh and new voice. I fell in love and so I sent it to Warner Bros. with whom I had a relationship. They were paying for my office in exchange for first book deal and I sent it to them and they didn’t have a clue [laughs] what they were about to get their hands on.
David Heyman: I sent it to someone they call Lionel Wigram. Lionel was someone I’d been to – you know, I’d grown up with. I’d known him since I was around 13-years-old. The first girl I ever made out with was at a party thrown by Lionel. That’s probably more detail than you need.
[Micah and Eric laugh]
David Heyman: But anyway, that was a long time ago. And I sent it to Lionel and he read it and he liked it and there began the process. I think that Warner – they really didn’t have a clue. I’m not sure they even read it besides Lionel at the beginning, but they had this deal with me and this was the first substantial thing that I’d submitted, and I think they were – you know, they wanted to show faith and it’s worked out brilliant for everyone – for everyone concerned.
Eric: I’d say.
David Heyman: But clearly I was in the right place at the right time because I’d just moved back to London. If I’d moved back six months later, someone else might have gotten it. Though actually there were people who did read it and passed on it. It wasn’t like everybody was convinced that this was going to be a – that this was the film, but certainly before it had been published.
Micah: Well going in to the production of moving the books into the movies were the studios prepared for the attention that the movies were going to receive? I mean, having had so much time to now see this fan base and how passionate it is.
David Heyman: I think that when we, you know, it took a – the negotiation was quite long to acquire the rights and we eventually, you know, Warner Bros. secured the rights for some time, just before the book was published and the first book was published in the United States. Once you understand, and it’s hard to think of this now but Harry Potter was, in large party, a word of mouth phenomenon. It wasn’t one that, you know, huge marketing dollars led to sort of create the good will that the books earned. But it was people, you know, it was kids talk to kids, parents talking to parents and the fan base filled. So when we optioned the book they really – actually, even when we hired Steve Kloves to adapt the first book it was still not a phenomenon. However by the time that it reached number one, number two and number three on the New York Times Best Seller list, I think they realized that there was something that was, you know, that there was huge possibilities. But again I don’t, you know – I remember on that opening weekend of the first film when it came out in cinemas, I think everybody was in a bit of shock at quite the fervor, the passion and you know, the amount of people that were coming to see these films.
David Heyman: Warner’s had already by that point committed to making a second.
David Heyman: When they were making the first – when we were making the first we already knew we were going to make the second. When we were making the second we knew we were going to make the third. So we were always one ahead, as it were. So I think they had a sense that there would be an audience. I think that the extent of that audience and the passion of that audience – I don’t think they were quite prepared for.
Eric: Mhm. Oh absolutely, and we’ve seen how the fansites have grown. MuggleNet started back in 1999 with a few other select sites and just as the fandom itself has grown and sought resources on the internet and otherwise, we have seen how it has grown so much throughout the years and obviously – it’s cool to hear you talk about that and how the studios and all that reacted to it. Now has the relationship or – how has the relationship between the studios and the fans adapted? How has it, would you say, changed throughout the years?
David Heyman: I’m not sure I understand the question. I mean I can tell about how we approached the films…
David Heyman: …is, you know, how I’ve – I’m a fan. I love Jo’s books and I think people working on the films feel the same way. Our desire is to make the very best version of these films we can. And clearly there are many different versions of the Harry Potter book that you could do, that you could make. And we have to make choices about what we choose to emphasize and what we don’t emphasize. There was a big moment when we were starting the third film when Alfonso Cuaron came aboard where we really, in order to give the film some form of cinematic structure we decided to tell the story from Harry’s point of view and things that didn’t relate to – many of the things didn’t relate to Harry’s journey itself, fell by the wayside. Some things I loved actually and missed in the films. So – in terms of film makers to audience – fans – there is great respect for the fans; there is great respect for Jo’s work, and we do show the script to Jo, and Steve Kloves clearly has a keen understanding of Jo’s voice. I think when she first met Steve – I think that was the thing that – I think that that first meeting was one of the scariest things for her because this is the person – a fellow writer…
David Heyman: …and he was being entrusted – in a way – with the adaptation, and I think she was greatly relieved; I remember that meeting so well – driving her to the studio and having lunch with Steve and then driving her afterwards back to the hotel, and how relieved she was, by having met him. We have to – we’re all incredibly respectful and passionate about the material. That being said, we all – we have to make choices – we have to make choices that will please some and not necessarily please all because you’ll become acutely aware of as a producer when you see the number of letters that I do – that we do. Each with – everybody loves and misses something different; everybody has their own interpretation…
David Heyman: …so it’s going to be impossible for us to please everybody, and so we have to make a very – we ourselves, as fans, have to make certain choices. It seems to be the studio. They I think have come to – they’ve always respected the fans, and actually I think respected the work first and then the fans. And clearly with that things have been difficult with fan sites with fans, and I know it has not always been a smooth relationship, but I do believe Warner Bros., and I’m not Warner Bros., I am an independent producer who’s making films…
David Heyman: …for Warner Bros…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: …but I do think they have – it’s a very important distinction – I do believe – I really do believe that they have Jo’s – that they really do care about Jo’s material, most certainly the way they supported myself as a producer, and not just the resources but the independence they gave us to make decisions as opposed to being mine and so many other different voices…
David Heyman: …which just can’t happen at other studios. They’ve been very respectful…
Micah: Yeah. I know one of the things you just brought up: difficult decisions. The Marauder’s story line and I think the House Elves are kind of the two things that stick out amongst fans. You know, obviously…
David Heyman: I think there’s a whole host more than a couple things. The funeral – the memories.
David Heyman: Boy oh boy. I’m sure if there was a Voodoo doll of me…
[Micah and Eric laugh]
David Heyman: …there’d be quite a few pins in there for missed things. But again, if you follow the House Elf story, it would – these films, as they are, are two hours and 30 odd minutes. It just becomes – and some people think they’re too long – some people may not think they’re long enough. But many – some people do think they’re too long, and I think it’s just to give a clear story, a define narrative, means that you have to make some choices.
Micah: Right. Well with effect to the…
David Heyman: Sorry.
[David Heyman and Micah laugh]
Micah: No, we understand, we understand.
David Heyman: I’m sorry! Really I am.
David Heyman: Because I’ve loved to have all those.
Eric: I thought the Dumbledore death scene at the end of Half-Blood Prince – I thought it was just fine. I didn’t miss – and clearly there would have been a lot more people to cast, and it would have kind of been a mess of huge amount of actors at the funeral scene.
David Heyman: And just so you know, the reason behind it wasn’t actually purely an economic one, though that…
David Heyman: In spite of the vast sums that Warners gives us, it’s all – any film you make, you always want more, though some of the best decisions are made through having to work within budgets, I feel. But Dumbledore’s funeral is an interesting one because in the book it was one of my favorite scenes. I shed a tear whenever I read the book. Really I find it incredibly moving. But in terms of film, how many scenes of grieving we could have.
David Heyman: It felt that it would be not redundant, clearly not redundant, but at that stage in the film we would be – I think our concern was that we would be in a place of melancholy for too long, or a place of grieving and that the repeated emotional, or similar, similar beat that we were repeating on more than one occasion.
David Heyman: Does that make sense?
Micah: Yes. Yeah, talking about taking the Potter books and making them into movies, do you think this has helped other books be green-lit into for other films as well? This has kind of laid the ground work?
David Heyman: Well I – when I moved back to London in 1996, I decided that books was going to be the foundation of my business of how I produced. I love to read; I’m a voracious reader, and books traditionally have had the greater success in terms of going from development to films. More so than pictures or other such things. They have had great success. So that was my – I love to read, and I thought that, there were many reasons why, but traditionally they have been quite successful in terms of being made. I do think that what Potter – and I think there’s been interest in family entertainment, but I think that the success may have paved the way for revisiting certain books, whether it be Narnia or Lord of the Rings already in the works, but I think it gave it fresh life…
David Heyman: …possibly. I don’t know. I can’t honestly say. Clearly, there’s a lot more – the success of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Narnia has meant there are a lot more book, I would say, family books that find their way to screen, like – <>Percy Jackson or, I think people are looking in that direction maybe more than they have. But you look back through time, Snow White. Disney’s been adapting Jungle Book, adapting children’s books for a long time.
David Heyman: So I don’t think it’s an exclusively contemporary thing.
Eric: Yeah, I definitely see what you’re saying and being a voracious reader that’s absolutely excellent. And now that you’re on the subject we looked and we see you are currently attached two upcoming book adaptations, the first is Paddington Bear by W.B and the second is the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
David Heyman: Yeah.
Eric: Can you comment on either of those? Because I’m really excited particularly for Dog in the Night-Time, to see that to fruition. Are both of those projects still in the works?
David Heyman: Yes. Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is another book I auctioned before it was published. I just read it and felt that Mark Hadden had a really distinctive voice in it. This is a very moving and powerful story. Steve Kloves been a little busy with recent work of the Harry Potter films…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: We attached him as writer and director way back when – he directed, he’s directed a couple of films. Well, I love both of these films, The Fabulous Baker Boys, and he is really capable of capturing the voice of the author, as he has done with Potter. And I was really excited when he said, “yes” having not directed for so long, since Flesh and Bone, and he would do this. But I’ve been waiting quite a while because he’s been busy and he says – he assures me that some time in the next six to twelve months I will see a script and that will be really exciting – and yes it’s very much in the works. Clearly not a film on the scale of Potter, a more modestly-sized film but one that I think can be great. And then Paddington, I love Paddington. It’s part of my childhood and we’ve got a wonderfully talented young director called Paul King who has done the adaptation and hopefully we – who’s attached to direct, and he’s just doing the final flourishes to the script and then we’ll turn it in to the studio. The difficulty and the times we are in now, means that the studios are really interested in major brands in that Spiderman, Ironman, Batman comic books and books like Harry Potter, but of course there are other things. But it is harder and Paddington is well known in Britain and in other territories – Japan and Australia but it’s not a big, bestseller in America, so I’ve got to navigate that minefield before bringing it to screen. But they seem positive and Winnie the Pooh was just announced and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: Another bear, another British bear.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: But I’m really hopeful and I’m going to do everything I can to see it made. I think Paul will do a brilliant job with it.
Micah: I think I will have to ask you the lottery numbers for tonight between Potter and all these others films…
[David Heyman laughs]
Micah: …that you have been able to land.
David Heyman: I’m a very lucky man.
Micah: Well, you have done a tremendous, tremendous job. We really appreciate it as fans, though. I can’t tell you enough.
David Heyman: Thank you. Well, somebody said – one of the nicest compliments I had, this weekend I was visiting some friends and they – my friend’s son said to me that one of the things that – they love the films and they said they’re so much better than they need to be. And I took that as a real compliment in the sense that I do think that, each time, we’re trying to make the last – the latest one better than the one before.
David Heyman: We’re really ambitious for the films, you know, Stuart Craig and David Yates now, and everybody is – everybody working on it is hungry, is determined to make this Potter the best one yet, and nobody is complacent. Nobody is just resting on their laurels, and I’m sure we make mistakes and I’m sure that there’s certain things we could have done better, but we most certainly – we don’t settle, and – and the studio has been supportive in that, I have to say. They encourage us to reach and give us the independence to do so. And the fans – we have – I feel we have a great responsibility to the fan base. I mean, your fans and the other people – you know, all these ever-growing web sites and the people who send letters and it’s – there is a real responsibility there, I think.
Eric: Mhm. We have a few more questions for you and it’s…
David Heyman: Fire away.
Eric: Oh, it’s a bit of a lighter segment here where we – we do it. We call it Favorites. We’d like to know, first and foremost, your favorite book.
David Heyman: Wow. I think I – God, that’s really hard. I – the first – each – it’s funny, because I’ve been – these have been so much a part of my life. Each one marks off a certain time in my life. The first one, that first love, as it were, when I first read Philosopher’s or Sorcerer’s as it is known in America, Stone was really just – I was caught up in this world. I love the third book and the scale of the fourth. I loved – I love all the memories in the sixth, even though very few of them have found their way into the film.
David Heyman: And I love the way Harry is so wound up and tight in the fifth, and what – and the discoveries he makes. And the seventh, I think that Jo outdid herself with her final offering, and I think it’s just the most fantastic book.
Eric: Yeah. Okay. Do you have a favorite villain?
David Heyman: Voldemort.
Eric: Voldemort, really?
David Heyman: Yeah. I have to say, I love Snape, but…
David Heyman: …he’s not really a villain, is he?
Eric: No. I was thinking of Umbridge, because she’s obviously quite…
David Heyman: Well, I tell you, what I love about Umbridge is I think she’s delicious.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah.
David Heyman: I love her. I think that she’s – Ralph – I think Voldemort, in some ways, is the most challenging – it was one of the most challenging decisions we had to make, and choices, and the creation of that character, because he is – we’ve been building him for four films and he’s got to carry us through the next, as it turns out, four, and he is the embodiment of evil. And there have been some – there have been many attempts, I think, to try and make Voldemort distinctive. We’re – and I was really proud of the way that Ralph and Mike helped see the – and sort of Jo’s – helped adapt Jo’s villain. I love Umbridge in 5. I think…
David Heyman: …she is – what I like about her is her smile, and her pink, and her little giggle.
David Heyman: …and I think Imelda Staunton…
David Heyman: …is wonderfully irritating.
Micah: Yeah, I remember one of our other hosts used to say all the time that when he was reading the books he used to literally start hitting things when Umbridge would be brought up and he felt that Imelda Staunton did exactly that in Movie 5. It just makes you want to jump into the screen and attack her.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: Well, I love the scene in 5 where – one of the things I like about Umbridge is her quietness and how much she is about control and yet she is so abusive. That scene with the quill, where the quill writes on Harry’s hand in the film is I think one of the most chilling scenes that we’ve had.
David Heyman: Most disturbing and uncomfortable, and yet it’s a scene of ñ well there’s cats, sweet purring cats.
David Heyman: All the alpha veneer softness masks this…
Eric: Truly horrible thing.
David Heyman: …horrible thing. And I found that scene to really make me feel very uncomfortable. It’s very hard to watch. And the slowness of it…
David Heyman: …it’s allowing it to breathe and that handwriting not being too quick and you feel it just digging into him. Oh, I just – and I love the way that Harry looks at her towards the end of that scene, the resolve. That’s one of my favorites. But I also like the fact ñ because I don’t think this is always easy – is I think she’s very funny.
David Heyman: I think you take great pleasure in her wickedness. So yes, I think that’s a very good character to bring up.
Eric: Oh, but so is Voldemort. [laughs]
David Heyman: Oh no no, Voldemort’s more obvious.
David Heyman: I think more obvious just because – but it is, as I said before, if you think about it now that he’s there…
David Heyman: …but when we tried to conceive him; Who are we going to cast? How are we going to dress him? There was, believe it or not, a big debate about the nose, because Ralph was unsure about losing his nose…
David Heyman: …and that dialogue and how all those pieces ñ the decision to not make him have slit eyes…
David Heyman: …and the reason for that was that the eyes are the window ñ are so important. And if you gave him slit eyes it would – I know that Voldemort is inhuman, but we felt that the lack of humanity or humanity was really important to get across and that was better done with seeing eyes, we felt, making him slightly less of a creature. But all of those decisions that ñ because every – there are so many decisions one makes that many of the fans or the audience don’t realize but everything is an accumulation of hundreds or thousands of decisions. I really feel that the decisions we made with Ralph, for the most part, were successful.
Micah: Yeah, well going I guess a little more light-hearted, away from the villains, what do you think your Animagus or Patronus would be? For you specifically.
David Heyman: A lion.
[David and Micah laugh]
Eric: No, I think that’s good.
David Heyman: We haven’t seen one of those have we?
Eric: Now the Potter…
David Heyman: [laughs] Take of that what you will.
Eric: Hey, that’s fine. Now the films are filmed on location in gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous areas. They do tours now to Scotland and England looking for some of these places. Do you have a favorite place from your travels, in working on these films?
David Heyman: Well, I love going up to Scotland. Filming in the Highlands which was did a lot in 3, even in the terrible weather. We meant to film there for five days and we ended up there for, I can’t remember thirteen, fourteen…
Eric: Oh wow.
David Heyman: …fifteen days because it was raining. And Alfonso – I remember Alfonso was just smiling away because the overcast, it all contributed to the aesthetic, which he wanted. But boy, it was very hard. But yeah, filming up there I think that’s one of the most beautiful locations I think I’ve been on. Since that time, we’ve been doing more and more filming here at Leavesden because I think Warner Bros. was so – well two things, one, Warner Bros. really didn’t like the lack of control the elements brings you, and two, the nature of the visual effects have improved such that we can, with green screen, we’re able to make an environment extend far more and create environments that don’t exist where we’re filming them so a lot of our work is plate work.
Micah: Is there a musical piece or one of the film scores that stands out to you, that you’re particular proud of, that you thought was the best?
David Heyman: Well, I don’t know, I remember first listening to “Hedwig’s Theme” when John Williams sent it and really loving that. I loved his score for the third film.
David Heyman: I think that it’s wonder – it’s very minimal compared to – his scores can be – are quite full and broken in parts but I really respond to a more sparse score. The ticking clock when you’re going back in time, the tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…
David Heyman: …playing over, I thought was beautiful. In the fourth, I loved Patrick Doyle’s melody and I think some of the pieces that Nick Hooper did in 5 and 6 were very, very moving. Pat Doyle at the end of 4, when we see the Beauxbatons leaving. And in 5, some – I love the piece in 6 when Harry is getting Slughorn to reveal – to hand over his memory at Hagrid’s hut I thought was a very difficult piece of music and very moving. So that’s some of the pieces that I liked.
Eric: So I’m sure one of benefits of producing a film is seeing the props and sets that are – that have been constructed. If you could take a prop away from the film or the sets, and I’m not suggesting you have, if you could, which prop would it be that you would sort of take home as a keepsake?
David Heyman: You know that’s funny. I have taken a few props…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: …from a few films [clears throat and laughs]
Micah: We’ll edit that out, we can edit that out.
David Heyman: I took – I got a Quidditch box, you know the box with the…
Eric: With the balls in it?
David Heyman: Yeah.
David Heyman: I got one of those.
Eric: I want one of those.
David Heyman: I’ve got Harry’s wand and – I’ve been too busy actually to cull the others but I’m about to sit down the week after next with the head of props and take a few more things.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: Yes, that would – but I don’t know, I really like – there’s so many things – I think Harry’s wand I think is a very special thing to have. The Snitch. I like the – and it’s not in the book but I love the Jamaican…
Eric: The heads.
David Heyman: …heads. I think that really – every time I see the film, makes me smile.
David Heyman: I would love to able to take the – where all the memories are held – that box. But I’m not sure they’ll allow me out of the studio with that one or will be able to leave with it sufficiently discreetly…
David Heyman: [unintelligible] – I think that’s really beautiful. I like the Deathly Hallows emblazoned on Umbridge’s locket. There are a lot of them I think – what the departments here, what Stuart Craig and his team and the props and all the manufacturing it’s just – it’s really incredible what they do, the detail. Now in the films – I almost wish I could invite – well I can’t – invite everybody to have a look at the level of detail that goes in these films and things you don’t really see. For example on the notice board in the Gryffindor common room, which is probably my favorite set just because it’s so comfortable and cozy. I mean I like many sets but that’s just got a special taste for me. There’s a notice board and we really don’t focus on that notice board, but on that notice board are class schedules, meeting groups, warnings, notices, all of which have been hand-drawn and they just contribute to the making of the environment seem that much more real…
David Heyman: …so that when the actors are playing in it, they have to think a little less, they have to use their imagination a little less.
David Heyman: It feels like what it is.
Eric: Yeah. Fortunately, I have been able to visit the travelling exhibition which has props from the films, just as a hint…
David Heyman: What do you think of that?
Eric: Oh, I loved it. I absolutely loved it. Just the detail, and particularly the Bloody Baron’s costume…
David Heyman: Yep.
Eric: …from Philosopher’s Stone. He just does a fly-by, he’s transparent, but the detail…
David Heyman: I know.
Eric: …on that outfit is just amazing to see. And it’s good to have an exhibition where you can see it in a glass case a few feet from your face…
David Heyman: Yep.
Eric: …to see that detail because that is that it the environment in which a lot of these pieces deserve to be seen.
David Heyman: Thank you.
David Heyman: I think the level of work done by the people here is just – again, there’s much more detail than there needs to be and Warner Bros. have been generous enough to allow us to do that. But I think it also contributes to making the films feel as majestic and as rich as they are. I’ll tell you what one of my favorite costumes, which I’m not sure you’ve seen yet, I don’t think they’ve been in any publicity source, is Fleur Delacour’s wedding dress.
Eric: Oh! I haven’t seen…
David Heyman: [makes a long sighing noise] Wow. I mean, she is lovely but the dress is…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: …is just as lovely as she is.
Eric: So, I recently went to the theme park which has not…
David Heyman: Oh, you did?! When did you go? Did you go last – when?
Eric: No, I was there in the end of April, I think. No, the end of March. I’m sorry. So it was a couple of months ago but we heard that you were possibly there as well during that time.
David Heyman: I’ve been there three – a couple of times. Universal has been very inclusive. One, they wanted to get the film look and two, especially with the main ride, they wanted to get – because we work a lot with the special effects – they wanted…
Eric: Well they…
David Heyman: I’m a bit of a – actually they wanted – I probably gave them more notes than they wanted.
David Heyman: I’m a bit of a pain in the derriere about this.
David Heyman: I can’t let it go. Even if it’s a theme park…
David Heyman: …I can’t let it go! I think it’s incredible what they’ve done.
Eric: Yeah, they took us through Hogwarts and it looks great.
David Heyman: It’s incredible, isn’t it?
Eric: Yeah. It absolutely is.
David Heyman: I don’t know if you’ve seen it with – when you can see Ron and Hermione there and they project them…
David Heyman: …but it looks like they are really there.
Eric: It’s unbelievable, the new technology they developed there. They also talked to us – I did want to ask you about the Three Broomsticks, because they talked to us about that being in sort of conjunction with the Three Broomsticks that was going to be used in the film…
David Heyman: Absolutely…
Eric: …for Deathly Hallows because the set had not been created before, I guess, or…
David Heyman: Well, the set had been drawn but not completed and I think that there was a good dialogue – an interesting dialogue between Stewart, and just yeah, absolutely, there was a conversation which was had. It wasn’t as we designed our set around the theme park…
David Heyman: …and they design theirs around ours but, yes, there was a dialogue between the two. They were going on simultaneously.
David Heyman: Yeah. Mind you, the Hog’s Head is a bit – it’s an amazing space at the theme park. It’s much bigger than our set because there will be more people in it than there were making the film, but it’s fantastic, I think people will really enjoy going there for refreshments…
David Heyman: …and Butterbeer!
David Heyman: They’ve got Butterbeer. Which is amazing. I have to confess, it’s a little sweeter than my palette can stomach…
David Heyman: …but everybody loved it. Jo loved it – I mean, from what I hear, Jo really loved it. Everybody really dug it. But maybe it’s just my judge of too much sugar.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: They’ve been really interesting, they’ve made an effort to – there is not Coke, there is no branded – I don’t think there are branded soft drinks. They’ve been truly trying to be conscious of health and all that within it, but that was something that I think Jo stipulated. But the Butterbeer is incredible. The white froth on top is [laughs] amazing.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: It is kind of mad that you work on these films and you make your own Butterbeer, and the next thing you know – and Jo wrote these books – and here we are having Butterbeer…
Eric: Uh huh.
David Heyman: …in the theme park.
Micah: Wow. Well, I guess I wanted to ask you a little bit about Deathly Hallows and whatever you are allowed to…
David Heyman: Yeah, that’s fine.
Micah: …or whatever you feel free to talk about. But I know you guys have about a month of filming left…
David Heyman: Yeah.
Micah: Now at this point, have you guys decided where the film is going to be split…
David Heyman: Yes.
Micah: …or is that still going to be…
David Heyman: Yes, we have. Actually it’s funny, the script was written with an end in mind and the first draft was written with one ending, and then as we developed it, it went to another ending, and then we reverted it almost in part to the original ending, because we felt that it allowed us a more emotional conclusion. And felt like it was more complete, as it were.
David Heyman: But we’ve added this other scene which I think is really amazing and I can’t tell you where it is, I’m sorry, but I do feel that it will be incredibly dramatic, very moving, and will make people want to watch the next film.
Eric: Can you confirm that it won’t be in the middle of Ron and Hermione’s kiss, that they’ll go in for it and then the film will end?
David Heyman: I can confirm one hundred percent that that’s not the case.
David Heyman: It is funny how the gossip now just…
David Heyman: …takes something and – I don’t know if that – I haven’t heard that….
Eric: No, no, that was just me.
David Heyman: …oh.
Eric: I just created that, but that’s…
David Heyman: It could be – if I had not answered that question, it would have been on the gossip column.
Eric: I’m terribly sorry to put you in that position.
David Heyman: No, no, no, no, no, I’m very happy to answer that one, it won’t be in the middle of it. If it was their kiss, there would be very little left.
Eric: Oh, that’s true. I’m sorry, I forgot where that was chronologically. I thought that was when Ron returned. But that’s…
David Heyman: But yeah, anyway.
Eric: Sorry, my bad!
Micah: So with that type of decision, obviously you play a huge part in that. Is that you and David Yates and other people that are involved in deciding this stuff?
David Heyman: It’s Steve Kloves and David Yates, myself, and David Barron is around too. So that’s the group.
David Heyman: Steve writes, we look at it and discuss it. Sometimes it’s easier when it’s presented to you in a script, though funnily enough when you’ve seen a cut – I’ve already seen Part I three times. Two times? Three times, in the most rough forms from shooting and things become clear when you read it in the script, things become clearer when you see the cut version of the film. So it became clear when we looked at the first cut, that the ending wasn’t quite what we wanted, or we felt it could be better and I think we’ve ended up in a much, much, much better place.
Micah: Nice. Now, what do you think is the stand out scene, without too much specifics? What was the scene that you had the most fun filming in this final bit?
David Heyman: Well, I can give you a couple of good scenes. We had a lot of fun filming the seven Harrys scene where they drink the Polyjuice Potion and they all become Harry. Just Dan having to perform like all the others was very fun…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
David Heyman: …but I think very challenging for him, but really great. And I think the final battle is going to be fantastic. But I also like – one of my favorite scenes so far, is the scene where Ron leaves because I think it’s really moving. For all the spectacle – obviously the battle at Hogwarts is going to be spectacular and all that – but what I love the most in the Potter films are the characters. All the spectacles, all the action and magic. I really love Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna. Just the relationships between the various characters. And so that scene when Ron leaves. And also we have a little moment, which I kind of can’t elaborate on except to say that Hermione and Harry are alone, missing him, are some of my favorite scenes that we’ve shot in ten years.
Eric: Excellent. Okay, well just two short bits here. We do have a segment on our podcast called The Dueling Club which is where we basically choose a character in our heads, and then we state the characters and we face them off against each other, arguing in favor of the character we chose, who would in a duel. Would you think that would be something you’d be interested in playing?
David Heyman: My goodness, I’m going to be – who will I be playing?
Eric: You’d be playing against Micah, and you can choose whatever character from the Harry Potter books that you could possibly think of.
David Heyman: Okay.
Eric: Okay? Do you have your character?
David Heyman: Yes.
Eric: Okay, Micah, do you have your character?
Eric: Okay, which one…
David Heyman: You go first, just to give me a hand, what I’m meant to do. [laughs]
Micah: [laughs] I guess I’ll go with Bellatrix.
David Heyman: Ah, excellent! I’ll go with Snape.
Eric: Ooh! This is good. All right gentlemen. Since, Micah, you presented first, what is your argument in favor of Bellatrix beating Snape?
Micah: Well, I think…
David Heyman: [laughs] Wait, do you want to accept defeat now?
Micah: Yeah, exactly!
[David and Micah laugh]
Micah: I don’t even know that that’s even a fair fight. I know she’s a very powerful Death Eater, kind of Voldemort’s right hand woman, but I don’t know that she would stand up very well in a duel against Snape. I think he’s too powerful. I think…
David Heyman: I think Snape is really under – I think the power of Snape – I think we both agree that Snape would win.
David Heyman: But I think that – but I didn’t think about this because you chose Bellatrix. I think thats it. I think Snape is very underrated, one, he has the ability to deceive terrifically because he deceived the Dark Lord for an extended period of time. He also had wanted to be the Professor of the Dark Arts forever so you know he is well versed in all the Dark Arts and the defense of as well ñ defense against, And also he’s not too bad at potions either. So he’s a quite well rounded wizard…
David Heyman: …in many ways. I think he does have Achilles heels. And maybe if Bellatrix knew about Lilly then maybe a vulnerability there in some form or other. So that she was in many ways his greatest strength. The fact that he was able to love which of course is the thing that Voldemort is not able to. Bellatrix is, because I suspect she’s in love with Voldemort.
Micah: She’s a bit of a head case though. I think Snape is probably – he keeps his mind about him no matter what. So I think that gives him the upper hand right off the bat probably.
David Heyman: You’re very right. He’s very much in control, and he isn’t.
Eric: Yeah, so Micah you lose. [laughs]
David Heyman: Sorry Micah.
Eric: No thank you for playing too. And so finally that’s all of our questions really so thank you so much!
David Heyman: Thank you and thank you for all your support. It’s fun. This is a really nice forum.
Eric: Good luck wrapping everything up.
David Heyman: Thank you so much. Take care.
Andrew: All right! There you have it. Great job guys, great job.
Micah: Thank you.
Andrew: What stood out for you in the interview with David?
Micah: Eric you want to go first?
Eric: Yeah I’ll answer for you and you’ll answer for me. For Micah it was Bellatrix getting her butt kicked.
Andrew: That was funny.
Eric: I think the Dueling Club, immediately after that happened Micah began tweeting and all of these references of “I have a new favorite segment” and all that stuff. It was a great moment of – I mean I just can’t believe that David Heyman said “Do you just want to admit defeat now?”. That’s the producer of all the Harry Potter films getting way to excited, well not to excited by any means, but very excited that he just played this game on MuggleCast with the MuggleCast hosts and totally whooped our butts. So that’s Micah’s favorite.
Micah: Yeah I think just to see that kind of level of excitement and enthusiasm in something that he didn’t even have to do if he thought it was cheesy or whatever you want to call it and to see that kind of level of intensity or what Eric said yeah I thought that was pretty cool. It was pretty funny actually too.
Micah: I just liked the way he was talking about different things just how passionate he was just throughout the entire course of the interview especially when he was talking about the relationship that W.B. has and even him have developed with the fans and how much time and effort goes into the decisions that they make about the films. And overall just how gracious he was with his time to be able to sit down and to talk with us and to seem genuine about everything.
Eric: Yeah right before the interview too we asked ñ his agent had called and ñ we’re sitting down it was like Monday morning and we’re very nervous sitting down. I think I asked right before he came on, “how much time do we have to use twenty or thirty minuets?” and, “yeah twenty to thirty minutes is fine”. We had, as you guys just heard, we had him for forty-five minutes, or you know, roughly forty minutes of usable footage. So, he just, he answered all the questions we had, I mean, thats why, at the end I was like…
Micah: And he probably would’ve spoke for longer too.
Eric: Yeah. Which is very true.
Andrew: So, great job guys, again. I got to say, my favorite moment was him just, this is very broad, but just, he had a – my favorite moment was the whole interview.
Eric: The whole show.
Andrew: Basically what I was going to say.
Eric: And a lot of the interview’s good, like, I mean I think the whole interview’s good. He’s – it flowed very well. I think it went from one thing to another, and of course, I actually really liked when he was talking about the other literature adaptations that he’s doing because I hadn’t noticed it until he said it, but that he’s devoted his career to sort of…
[Eric and Micah]: Books.
Eric: Yeah, movie adaptations. Like that is very interesting. And its something that is unique to him and its something that he’s done. I went back and looked at his filmography and I was like “oh yeah these were all books!” So it is very cool.
Micah: And its funny – there’s also one bit too, and I don’t know if you caught this. I don’t know if a lot of people listening the first time will have caught it but he actually talks about making out with some girl.
Eric: Yeah. At some party.
Micah: At a party, he was in his teens or whatever. Which I thought was kind of funny. He’s like “thats probably more information than you need but” I think he was talking about it in reference to one of the guys – one of his friends that he worked with.
Eric: Yeah one of the guys at W.B.
Andrew: Who made out with him?
Eric: His contact at W.B…
Micah: No no, he made out with some girl at this guys party.
Eric: At this guy’s party. And that was like, the third question we asked him. Like, was what led that answer. And right away we knew it was going to be a great interview. Like, he was so candid, he was so personal, and personable. He’s just a great guy. Like, he’s a guy I could foresee having back on just to do Dueling Club in the future.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: I’m sure that he has time for that.
Eric: I really think that would stick out in his mind. Well, a lot of people will say, when you posted that preview of “we will have Heyman on” a lot of people were saying “Wow we cant believe you got him because he’s so busy now.” Like it was pretty cool and I think it was due to the fact that it was our 200th episode that you know, not that he sensed obligation or anything, but that you know, even when we told him it was the 200th episode, he congratulated us, heartfelt and genuinely so I think helped.
Micah: I mentioned this in the post too, and it was just interesting listening to how candidly he talked about if he hadn’t moved back to London in 1999, if he had moved back six months later, even probably you know, two months, three months later, how he would have not been involved in Harry Potter and how his life would be completely different. And that’s how we got into talking about his connection to W.B. and the girl he made out when he was, you know, sixteen or whatever it was.
Micah: But you know, it’s just interesting, you’re always kind of getting the background information on how people get involved in things. Like were always hearing about how you know, Heyman was sitting in the theater with Dan Radcliffe and his parents a couple rows up. And its just, to get that back story and for him to be so open talking about it. That was kind of cool.
Make the Connection
Andrew: So now lets move along to Make the Connection. As I said, Jamie unfortunately, he really wanted to be on this week, but he couldn’t. But, he made up some Make the Connections for us. Now this is different from Make the Music Connection. The original segment we used to do on MuggleCast was called Make the Connection. So basically Jamie would list a something very obscure and these are very difficult. And you have to connect it to Harry Potter. So, Eric, can I give you the first one?
Eric: Now is it you reading them or is it Jamie reading it on an audio?
Andrew: I’ll read it.
Eric: Oh, okay. Somehow that makes it less fun, no offense.
Andrew: I’ll read them in an accent, if that helps.
Eric: Oh thats cool.
Andrew: I’ll just get into it here. On, all right. I’m in. All right. Make the connection between Harry Potter and wondering whether Roger Federer’s tennis racquet has a picture of Marilyn Monroe in it’s wallet.
Eric: I think there is a lot of downtime in sports and maybe not for the Seeker but in Quidditch if you are sitting on the bench or maybe Harry at tryouts, I think in the locker room when you are getting changed in the books you’re thinking of a lot of weird stuff and interesting stuff happens and I think that would be kind of the thoughts going through their heads sort of either before or after the game, probably before game, you’re just showering waiting for the game to start there is not a whole lot – I think they would be thinking about tennis racquets and pictures of girls on them I think that is very not unheard of in school sports, so…
Andrew: Micah, make the connection between Harry Potter and asking an athirst cactus whether it has ever been to Hawaii.
Micah: You know Jamie – he needs to write for a television show or something like that because he has just got this imagination that…
Andrew: [sighs] Do you want to do an easier one?
Micah: No, no, I – an atheist cactus…
Andrew: It’s ever been to Hawaii…
Micah: Whether or not he’s been to Hawaii. Oh, it’s ever been to Hawaii. I guess that would be like asking the Whomping Willow where it came from, I really have nothing better than that.
Andrew: That’s true.
Eric: That’s okay.
Andrew: I mean because the Whomping Willow can move so you would think that it could possibly get up and walk to Hawaii.
Eric: Maybe the – or throw itself [laughs] – what if the Whomping Willow had a Jamaican accent? Like what if instead of the Shrunken Heads the Whomping Willow had like a Jamaican accent like [in a Jamaican accent] “Ya man! Don’t prod the knots you’ll get underneath the…” I don’t know.
Micah: But an atheist cactus that’s…
Micah: I’m trying to think there is no real religion in the series so…
Andrew: Nor plants, like cactuses. I mean you can compare it to the things that scream.
Micah: What about one for you, Andrew?
Andrew: Okay, ask me one.
Eric: Do your Jamie, don’t do your Simon Cowell you kind of sound like Simon Cowell.
Andrew: Oh, sorry. I hear him more than I hear Jamie.
Micah: Are you going to give one to yourself here or…
Andrew: No you’re going to give me it, so it doesn’t…
Micah: All right. Make the connection between Harry Potter and eating a roast duck cooked by Tiger Woods aboard the International Space Station.
[Andrew and Eric laughs]
Andrew: I could do the first half of that but the “aboard the International Space Station” really throws me. So let’s say that they’re having a hard day trying to solve all the mysteries of Hogwarts and poor Harry is really hungry and he doesn’t want to go in the Great Hall to ask – to get some food so instead him and Ron come up with the idea of going in to the Forbidden Forest and they find a duck and they roast it but…
Andrew: Well they were planning on roasting it but they run in to Tiger Woods beforehand because he was in the Forbidden Forest looking for some trolls and so – he cooked the duck.
Eric: No Andrew, I think you mean some tail.
Andrew: Some tail. [laughs] Yes, so they roasted it and for a nice view while they ate they headed up to the Astronomy Tower. [laughs] I don’t even know how we are supposed to connect these exactly, it’s very…
Micah: Well I think you’re supposed to tie it into the series you don’t necessarily have to reference exactly what…
Andrew: Right, right.
Micah: You know.
Andrew: Well that’s the best…
Micah: The duck could be the feast in the Great Hall or something like that.
Andrew: I put my spin on it – yes that’s a good one.
Micah: But I don’t know how you tie in to…
Andrew: Well they just found out that someone was cheating on someone but there is no really “cheating” in the books. So that is how we play Make the Connection and thanks Jamie for sending in those items.
Muggle Mail: Congratulations on 200 Episodes
Andrew: So, to wrap up the show, we have three e-mails here, two Muggle Mails and one Chicken Soup. Eric, could you read the first one from Emma.
Eric: Yes, Muggle Mail from Emma – could this be Emma Watson? – 22, from the U.K.:
“Hello, MuggleCasters. I have never written in before but wanted to say congratulations on reaching your 200th episode. I am one of the old crowd. I have been listening since the release of the very first MuggleCast and have never missed an episode. When you began, I was seventeen and studying for my A-levels. I am now 22 and about to complete my Master’s degree. A lot has changed for me, and MuggleCast has grown just as much. You should all be very proud of what you have achieved, and we are all so lucky to have grown up with Harry Potter. Keep up the fantastic work. Lots of love, Emma.”
Andrew: Thank you, Emma.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s another nice thing about the show. We have really grown – and I mean this could be said about any show – but a nice thing is that you can grow up with the show. It’s sort of like a constant. It’s always there. There’s always MuggleCast…
Eric: It is a constant.
Andrew: …lurking in the background, releasing…
Eric: But she said something – yeah, she said, “we are all so lucky to have grown up with Harry Potter,” and I think that’s…
Eric: Yeah, it’s true. If there were like a – I don’t want to say tagline – to the show, but that just seems to be – that’s accurate. That’s a truth.
Muggle Mail: Bored at Work? Try MuggleCast
Andrew: Micah, can you read the next e-mail?
Micah: I can. The next e-mail comes from Erin, also 22 but from Columbus, Ohio, and she says:
“I just want to take the time to show my appreciation of what you guys do. I started listening to MuggleCast way back at the beginning but got away from it while I was in college because there wasn’t enough time to listen. I recently got reacquainted with the show, and I have to say it’s even better than I remember it, which is quite the accomplishment since you all rocked at the beginning, too. I work a job that can, at times, be quite mind-numbing. I spend eight hours a day staring at my computer, and every so often, I get to type some numbers or letters. And I’m very grateful to have my job, and the people I work with are highly entertaining, but on our quieter days, it can be very boring. Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy. I used to listen to music on my iPod all day, but that got old after a while, listening to the same music day after day. That’s when I decided to get caught back up on MuggleCast. I listen to the most recent episodes on iTunes. Lately, I’ve been downloading the older episodes in the archives and working my way through the awesomeness. You guys give me great amusement when I’m bored out of my skull, and there’s been more than one occasion at work when I’ve been caught laughing out loud at something you’ve said. Thank you for giving me things to think about and putting a smile on my face when things are dull. You guys rock. Thanks so much, Erin.”
Andrew: Thank you for that. Thank you for that, Erin, nice e-mail.
Eric: That’s awesome. We post e-mails from people who are actively perusing the archives.
Eric: Because it’s a testament to how devoted – and the support that we get, which really makes us feel good.
Andrew: Yeah, you know I was listening to episode 100 yesterday because I think I read somewhere somebody said they were listening. I was like, “Oh, let me pull it up.” It’s a good episode…
Andrew: …but my God, at the beginning of the episode, I am talking so fast and it’s just because I was so nervous. That was a huge event, and…
Andrew: …oh man, I wish I could go back and slower. [laughs] People enjoyed the episode, don’t get me wrong, but in hindsight…
Micah: You guys all looked very good at that episode, by the way. You guys were all dressed up …
Andrew: Oh, thanks.
Andrew: Thanks, Micah.
Eric: Was there video? Because I thought there…
Andrew: Yeah. You know what?
Micah: I think there was video.
Andrew: I think we had to pay to buy the tapes.
Eric: I kept asking you to get it.
Andrew: Yeah, we have video. Yeah, we do have video. God, I don’t where it is. It’s probably around here somewhere.
Eric: I just remember the light fixture nearly killed me, and I think it was Jamie, too, who was next to me. Because we had people on three levels. I think we had listeners on three levels of the store, I think. Or maybe just two levels. There was the floor we were on, and then the floor directly above us…
Micah: [laughs] Yeah, I remember hearing this.
Eric: Yeah, the floor directly above us at Waterstones…
Andrew: And we said, “Hello…”
Eric: And upstairs there were TVs and we were doing shout outs like “hello to just everybody. Are there actually people upstairs?” And then they all started stomping.
Andrew: And then they all started stomping their feet. Yeah.
Andrew: And we could hear it and it – they busted one of the light fixtures…
Eric: I think…
Andrew: …above us.
Eric: I think we heard the glass crack or something happened where the lights maybe flickered. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, that was funny.
Eric: So we asked them to tone it down.
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: And the final e-mail for today is a Chicken Soup from Cassie.
“Hey MuggleCasters, I have been a long-time listener of the show and I thought it was about time I e-mailed in and showed how much all of you have touched my life. I have BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) and it pretty much consumes my life. It’s hard to go to work and just be in public at all. It makes me anxious amongst so many other things and it’s very hard to deal with. Whenever I have a bad day with it I pick up my iPod and listen to episodes of MuggleCast and honestly, it makes all the difference. You guys distract me with all your jokes and wonderful insight. I just want to say thank you all so much for everything you do, not only for the fandom, but for the fans and your listeners. You do a truly amazing job and I look forward to every new episode like it’s Christmas. Love always, Cassie.”
So thank you, Cassie, and we’re glad we help you out as well. You know, this show is somewhat therapeutic because it’s fun to do and we just have a lot of fun and knowing the impact it makes on several of our listeners is also – it makes it worth doing alone.
Micah: Yeah, we’ve had a lot of Chicken Soup over the course of 200 episodes.
Eric: I’m kind of tired of soup.
Micah: [laughs] We’ll have to rename the segment.
Eric: Chicken peas!
Andrew: It’s metaphorical. It means warms you up inside.
Micah: Yeah. It’s always great to hear from listeners and to know that, if there is something difficult that may be going on with them, that we’re able to provide them that sort of release – just to get away, whether it’s an hour or however long our show is. It’s always kind of – it’s touching to hear from all those listeners.
Andrew: So, I think that concludes this episode. It’s been a great one. Thanks to David Heyman for coming on the show. And I say thanks to all the hosts for 200 great episodes.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Thanks Micah and Eric and Jamie and Ben and Matt and Laura and everyone else who’s been on from time to time. Elysa, Kevin…
Eric: Mikey B and Nick.
Eric: Mikey B.
Andrew: Mikey B, of course.
Micah: Didn’t we have Andy on?
Andrew: Andy. There’s been a lot of characters on the show.
Micah: Aris Janetakos.
Andrew: Aris Janetakos, he was on our second episode.
Eric: Special thanks to – this one’s for you, Aris!
Andrew: This one’s for you! [laughs]
Andrew: This one’s for the listeners. Yeah, and anyone else who’s made a guest appearance on the show, everyone who’s called in, the transcribers, all the listeners. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Micah: And everyone else who’s come on the show like – we’ve spoken with.
Andrew: Special guests. Warwick Davis…
Micah: Mary GrandPre, Patrick Doyle…
Andrew: Jim Dale. Yeah, yeah. Good, good line-up. And now David Heyman. So, we want to encourage you, as always, to visit the MuggleCast website, it’s got all the information that you’ll need about the show. We have links to our iTunes page, where you can rate and review us. You can follow us on Twitter, and the URL is Twitter.com/MuggleCast. You can also ‘Like’ us on Facebook, Facebook.com/MuggleCast. And also just visit MuggleCast.com for lots of information about the show, episodes, transcripts, about us, pictures of Micah. Whatever you want it’s there on MuggleCast.com. Thanks everyone for listening. Again, thank you for every episode that you’ve listened to and for your support and we will continue to bring you lots of excellent MuggleCasts. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I am Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: We’ll see you next time for Episode 201 with some reviews from us of the theme park.
Eric: For the them park grand opening.
Andrew: Bye, bye!
Eric: See you later. For the 200th time, goodnight.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: For the 200th time, get out of here. No, too – I don’t know. Okay.