MuggleCast 257 Transcript
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Andrew: Because Eric, Micah, and Selina decided to record an episode without me, this is MuggleCast Episode 257 for September 22nd, 2012.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: This week’s podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 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.
[Show music continues]
Eric: Welcome to MuggleCast 257. It has been an entire month since our last episode of MuggleCast, which was at LeakyCon 2012.
Selina: Yay! LeakyCon!
Eric: We all had a lot of fun there. We were all on-site. It was myself, Micah, Selina, and Andrew who is actually not with us this week.
Micah: Yeah, we’ve lost our fearless leader. You know what I think it is? He had too much fun at the premiere last night of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Micah: I think that’s it.
Selina: He’s partying with Emma. Yeah, you’re right.
Micah: Yeah, he’s still recovering.
Eric: Yeah, I think it’s…
Micah: That guy just – he’s gotten too big for us.
Selina: [laughs] It’s his close encounter with Emma Watson. He doesn’t care about us anymore.
Micah: It’s true.
Eric: Well, at least he videoed it and put it on the website.
Selina: This is true. Did you guys see that sweet Hypable microphone?
Eric: No, I missed it.
Selina: Oh, that was the best part of the video. Forget Emma! [laughs]
Micah: Would you be responsible for that?
Selina: No. I think Andrew’s mum was, but still it was pretty cool.
LeakyCon 2012 Recap
Eric: Well, that’s all right. So, LeakyCon was a lot of fun. I know we were all there. You guys have any overall thoughts about the con? The last episode was our podcast at the con so we weren’t really talking about the whole experience.
Micah: It was a shorter episode, I thought, compared to episodes that we’ve done over the last couple of months. And even for live shows, I thought it was relatively short.
Micah: But we did get a chance to talk a little bit about the con, The Casual Vacancy, interacted with the listeners who were there, and the convention overall I thought was great. I think each year they get better and better. As far as LeakyCon goes, it was great in Orlando. I thought it was even better this year in Chicago and everything seemed to go really smooth. There was a lot of cool programming and it seemed like everybody had a really good time.
Selina: I thought it was absolutely epic. It was obviously my first con, and as you guys know I had no voice for the entire con.
Selina: I was ill, I had a fever – [laughs] it was ridiculous. But I had so much fun.
Micah: No, you weren’t ill. You were just screaming like crazy at all the different events that were going on.
Selina: No, I really was not. I really, really was ill. And I came home…
Eric: Selina was suffering from StarKid Fever.
Selina: Oh yeah, Darren Criss Fever. I just couldn’t contain myself. No, I came home and I was in bed for a week with a fever. It was terrible. [laughs]
Selina: But it was worth it!
Eric: [laughs] You’d do it again.
Selina: I would. [laughs]
Eric: Well, actually you can do it again.
Selina: Oh my God!
Announcement: LeakyCon 2013, MISTI-Con 2013
Eric: There’s two opportunities next year. As it turns out, there’s going to be two LeakyCons next year that we just found out about – well, we found out about I guess at the con at the very, very end during the closing feast, and actually by the time you’re hearing this, listeners at home, registration will have probably sold out already for both LeakyCons. If not the one in Portland next year, definitely the one in London. Those are the two locations.
Micah: Yeah, I think the opportunity will still be there for Portland. It’s the London one, I believe, that’s had more of an overwhelming response than I think anybody anticipated. But it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, right? It’s taking place in London which obviously plays a big role in the series, and those fans over there really haven’t had the opportunity to have a major conference, a fan-based conference, probably since the whole idea of conventions for Harry Potter started.
Selina: No, there really hasn’t been anything.
Eric: Occasionally you read about one, but it’s a lot smaller and we don’t publish about it as often. In fact, the convention that was going to happen in London this year, I believe it was called Alohomora?
Eric: And that actually – they are now in conjunction with LeakyCon. So LeakyCon approached them and it’s all now one big, happy con. So, that will be pretty exciting.
Selina: Do you guys know that there is actually a yearly Harry Potter conference in Denmark?
Selina: It’s very exciting. They have craft stalls and everything.
Eric: What’s it called?
Selina: I don’t know. It’s in Odense, which is the city where HC Andersen was from.
Eric: [laughs] But you know it exists.
Selina: [laughs] Yes, I know it exists. I was there one year. It was fun.
Micah: Yeah, but I was saying, how would you know about that? Because you are from Sweden.
Selina: [laughs] I know.
Micah: Do you travel often to Denmark? [laughs]
Selina: It’s my neighboring land, yes.
Selina: It’s all just the same thing, Micah.
Micah: Do you cross the narrow sea there?
Selina: Yes, I did. I did. The very narrow – it is actually a narrow sea. But are you guys planning on going to either of these cons? Do you know yet?
Eric: What do you think, Micah?
Micah: Tentatively, I’d say yes. I don’t know which one. It’ll probably be either one or the other. It would either be Portland or London, but I’m leaning more towards London right now.
Eric: [sighs] I’m sorry to hear that. Yeah, London is closer, I guess, to you. Just a hop over the pond.
Eric: But I’d like to go to both, but I am thinking that I will go to Portland. I have been to Portland before. I can recommend it as a city. It is pretty cool. A very nice hipster vibe. [laughs] And lots of second-hand stores that are very cool. So, I think it is going to be a great environment. But actually, the Portland Leaky is going to be at a convention center as opposed to a hotel, so things will be done a little bit differently. But I like that Leaky is trying new things with trying to suit the best environment to their conventions.
Micah: Then maybe I’ll go to Portland also.
Eric: Yeah! I’m going to be all, “Yeah! Do it, Micah! Do it!”
Micah: But Selina, I wanted to ask you, you said this was the first time you were at a con. What was your favorite moment or the thing that you remember the most or was the coolest? Aside from hanging out with us, of course.
Eric: Yeah, rooming with us.
Selina: Oh yeah, rooming with you guys, obviously, was the top part of it. I honestly really enjoyed the actual MuggleCast, obviously. I thought that was amazing. And I also went to the StarKid show, which, I have to say, was incredible. The atmosphere there was absolutely incredible. But I think my favorite thing – and this is going to sound extremely cheesy so you have been warned – but was – at one of the random days, I was looking for something, I don’t know why. I walked into the main hall and all of the Potter people were just sitting on the stairs, just hanging out. They were singing and they were just going between each other and just in all their costumes and just like – it was amazing because it was the whole community of people just hanging out, and that’s like – when you said that next year it won’t happen at a hotel my first thought was, “Is that still going to be there?” But I think it will because this group of fans is just so incredible. That atmosphere, it was just amazing.
Micah: You’re winning over listeners right now…
Selina: Oh, I hope so.
Micah: …with all those statements.
Micah: My big concern about it was with the conventions having taken place in Orlando for so long, and having the Wizarding World theme park there as a go-to, as kind of a fail safe. How was Chicago going to be able to really live up to that? And then, obviously, now next year going to Portland, going to London. London is going to have so much to offer in the sense that a lot of the actors are over there, you have the studio tour available. Places that people can go that were locations that were used for the film. So, I think London is going to be a great opportunity for people. But I think just – to some of the things that you were just saying, Selina, that’s what made Chicago so unique and I think why a lot of people enjoyed it.
Eric: Yeah. I think that Orlando was never the end-all, be-all. There were cons in Vegas, San Francisco, Houston, what was the one – Dallas, was it Portus?
Eric: Dallas. They go all over even without a specific environmental tie-in, but the ones that do have that environmental tie-in like London next year with the studio tour I think are going to be extra special in a way.
Selina: I hope so.
Eric: But as you’re saying, all the people who attend will make it a good time. And we’re talking about cons next year. There are a few other opportunities besides the LeakyCons. You wanted to mention – Micah, you wrote something down on the doc?
Micah: Yeah. There’s also MISTI-Con 2013, which is going to be taking place May 9th through the 13th at the Margate Hotel in Laconia, New Hampshire. And for people who might be looking to go to a little bit smaller of a conference, maybe it’s closer to them on the East Coast, there’s only a couple of more days left to get an early bird price of $110 registration, and it gets you into things like the Opening Gala, the Closing Breakfast, MuggleNet presents HP Family Feud and HP Jeopardy hosted by Keith Hawk…
Selina: [laughs] That’s awesome.
Micah: …some live podcasting, wizard rock, literally everything. So, it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of. Maybe, like I said, you want to go to a smaller conference, you have a family. It’s only $110 to register right now, it’ll go up to $150 after September 15th. You can find all the information out on www.misti-con.org. And that’s from May 13th through the 16th – oh sorry. [laughs] And that’s from May 9th through the 13th, 2013.
Eric: What I like about MISTI-Con – and many people who attended Ascendio this year were talking about MISTI-Con, so that was when I first sort of heard about it. And I think it’s run by most of the same people who ran Aeternitas.
Eric: Was it last year or earlier this year? And what I like about it is for Aeternitas they pretty much rented out an island or something, if I’m recalling correctly. Like it’s….
Selina: Are you serious? That’s so awesome.
Eric: It’s extremely exclusive…
Micah: [laughs] Is it Survivor: Harry Potter?
Eric: …in the New Hampshire area. It wasn’t a tropical island, but…
Micah: No, what they did was they transformed the hotel, and that’s really what’s happening at this convention, is that it’s a hotel owned by this couple that are essentially allowing the people who run this convention to transform the hotel into everything Harry Potter, all the surrounding area as well, which has a beach area and a lake. So, you’re really kind of being immersed into the whole experience.
Selina: Wow. That sounds incredible.
Eric: So, yeah. And there are other options as well for next year we’ll talk about, I guess, at a future date. None as pressing.
Andrew: Eric, Micah, and Selina are going to continue with the news in just a moment, but first I have returned, mysteriously, to tell you about Audible.com. This podcast, as you know, is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service. And as we’ll talk about on the next episode, JK Rowling says in a new interview she has not read Fifty Shades of Grey, but as I tweeted to her the other day, she should go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast and get Fifty Shades of Grey for absolutely free. Now, how do you do that? Like I said, AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast, sign up for free, and you will get a free audiobook.
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Eric: Now, actually, because it’s been a whole month since our last MuggleCast, we find ourselves with a plethora of Harry Potter news.
Selina: Ooh, nice one. [laughs]
Eric: And we’re just going to – that will make up, I guess, the bulk of this longer episode. And no better way to get it done than to start getting it done, I guess. Micah, what’s in Harry Potter news?
News: Harry Potter: The Exhibition Returns to New York
Micah: It’s actually been so long that the Exhibition decided that it’s coming back to New York City.
Micah: The touring exhibition that I’m sure a lot of listeners have been to, which is now touring internationally in Singapore, will actually be making its way back to the United States to New York City around the holiday season. They haven’t offered any specific dates yet, but it will return to Discovery Times Square. And I’m sure it’s going to be a major attraction around Christmas time. There’s no coincidence, I think, [laughs] in the fact that they’re bringing it back to its most successful area, which was New York. And the cool thing is that they will now have props and costumes from Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2, which probably weren’t in there the first time around. Definitely from Part 2, it wasn’t included. And also, they said that they’re going to have certain holiday-themed items that are going to be included, so interested to see what they’re going to do with that.
Eric: Yeah, that will be exciting to see the holiday theme, because I think a lot of the Exhibition – because the majority of, I guess, the props and the art department is focused on things like Dementors and Death Eaters. And it’s very dark, really, the Exhibition. There’s a little light, especially at the end of the tunnel, when you get to the Great Hall and there’s all that food there. But a lot of it is sort of the Voldemort, Death Eaters kind of area, and maybe a holiday theme will be a little bit better becoming.
Selina: I haven’t been to the Exhibition, but I have been to the Studio Tour. Would it offer me anything special?
Micah: Oh, look at you!
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Selina: I have been! I feel like I need to show off something. But would the Exhibition offer anything special that the Studio Tour doesn’t? Or is it – quote, unquote – just costumes and things?
Eric: Yeah, the Exhibition isn’t any of the sets. So, it’s costumes and props, and they’re arranged so that it tells a story. But it’s like a museum exhibit, really, and nothing more. There’s – you can get an audio tour of it that will tell you more about each prop, who constructed it, how it was made, and that sort of thing. But in terms of backdrops, a lot of it is kind of replica from the film and that sort of thing, and it guides you through – what I took away from the Studio Tour – and I saw it twice when it was in Chicago, and at least once when it was in New York. What I took away from it is just the skill and the craftsmanship that goes into the costumes and the props and that kind of thing. Now, I haven’t been to the Studio Tour yet, but I would guess honestly that…
Selina: You would love it, Eric. You would absolutely love it. I can promise you that.
Eric: I can guess that the Exhibition is for the people who can’t go to the Studio Tour, and that sounds terrible. The Exhibition was first, I feel a loyalty to it, in a way, because it opened in Chicago, and there was a big press event for it and everything. But ultimately, I think it really just depends on what you’re looking for. But there are excellent props and excellent costumes in the Exhibition. But I guess I can see – they originally said they weren’t coming back. The New York stop was supposed to be – or was it the Toronto stop? It was the last North American date. They said when they came up with the Exhibition, it was going to do ten stops, an initial five-year run of ten stops. And people were complaining because it went from Chicago, to New York, to LA, to Toronto, and it wasn’t going anywhere overseas. Australians were like, “Well, where’s our Exhibition?” And Singapore was like, “Where’s our Exhibition?” So, they did it there next, but they had said, finally, when they left North America, they weren’t going to do any more. And sure enough, hang on, now they’re going back to New York City. Oh, get this, it’s for Christmas!
Eric: So, I don’t know exactly what’s going on here. I guess – if I had a guess, I would say maybe the Exhibition is hurting from…
Micah: Well, did the Exhibition actually go to LA? Because I don’t think that it did. Didn’t it go to Seattle?
Eric: Oh, it went to Seattle! That was my mistake.
Micah: It was in Boston too. I think that’s where it started.
Micah: It went to Chicago to – whatever it was, it made plenty of stops in the United States, that’s the point we’re trying to make.
Micah: And now they’re coming back here. And it’s interesting, because how do fans respond to that? It’s not like you can just bring this huge, massive exhibition from Singapore to the United States and drop it there for a couple of weeks. [laughs] I mean, it’s probably going to stay here for a little bit of time before it moves on, if it moves on. Is Singapore the end of the international run for right now? Is it going to go back to touring domestically here in the United States?
Eric: It seems like whatever their initial plan is, it changed, obviously, because they’re coming back. And maybe that has something to do with the Studio Tour [laughs] because the Exhibition isn’t going to London next.
Eric: So, very interesting. And I’m sure we could poke around a little bit and get a little bit more out of the people who travel, but I’m sure what they would tell you is that they’re very excited to be bringing it to New York again. And honestly – the Discovery Time Square Museum, I guess it is? Right in that area. I really had fun there. I thought that that was actually a pretty good venue for the Exhibition when I was there. Plus, the flying car hanging out of the side of the building when you’re just walking around New York is pretty cool to see.
Selina: [laughs] That’s cool.
Micah: That’s cool. It’s not unusual in New York, that’s the only thing. I mean, there’s so much going on. It’s just like, “Oh, there’s a flying car.”
Selina: Flying cars everywhere.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Eric: Micah sees this kind of thing every day.
News: Deathly Hallows Ultimate Editions
Micah: Every day, every day. But moving on, another bit of news that we got was in relation to the Deathly Hallows DVD. Both films are going to be released as a double feature Blu-ray on October 16th. Coincidentally, the same day JK Rowling is going to be in New York City.
Micah: And actually, the Ultimate Editions for both Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2 finally got a release date. Guess what date?
Eric: October 16th.
Micah: October 16th, yeah. How did you know?
Eric: Oh wow! I should do this for a living.
Micah: You should. And so I think the big thing here, though, is that we finally got confirmation that there are going to be Ultimate Editions for the two parts of Deathly Hallows, because it had been speculated about for so long with the Wizard’s Collection coming out. Were there going to be Ultimate Editions released for the final two films? And we’ll talk about the Wizard’s Collection in a little bit. But now if you’re a collector of the Ultimate Editions, you can complete that set and not have to go out and purchase the five-hundred-dollar Wizard’s Collection.
Eric: Well, I’m relieved because it seemed for a while that they had given up on these Ultimate Editions. It took them a while to announce maybe the fifth and the sixth or something. There was a while there, and I was just thinking, well, what if they don’t finish it? What if they don’t complete it instead of – in lieu of doing a better, bigger set? Because the Ultimate Editions, really the reason to get those is this documentary, this eight-part documentary, which from the beginning they said, “Okay, it will be in eight parts,” for however many movies there were going to be. But we hadn’t until very much later – Warner Bros. released the last film on DVD last November, so it was an entire year before fans would actually have the Ultimate Editions of those movies.
Micah: Right. Now, do you own the Ultimate Editions, Eric?
Eric: I do not, but what I do own is the other DVD set you mentioned, the double feature on Blu-ray. I actually have ñ and this is ñ I was very happy to see this news, because last November – it was during the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Celebration. I took a trip to Walmart, I was just getting supplies because we were staying at Universal. And I went to the nearby Walmart and found these double feature Blu-ray discs for the first six Harry Potter films. And I was blown away because it’s just a great value, because I hadn’t yet owned the Harry Potter films on Blu-ray and here you could get the first and second, third and fourth, and fifth and sixth on Blu-ray. And Walmart was selling them for thirteen dollars.
Micah: That’s a good deal.
Eric: Ooh, ahhh. Yes!
Selina: Ooh! [laughs]
Eric: Chinese Firebolt!
Eric: Yes, thirteen dollars, so I stocked up on my Harry Potter Blu-rays. But of course, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 had just come out on regular Blu-ray. They’re not going to release it as a double feature that close to the thing. So, now that the double feature is coming out, it’s just a great opportunity because I already own the DVDS, and so I needed a quick pick-me-up to get the Blu-rays, to get the next quality up. And now it looks like fans who for some reason don’t own the Deathly Hallows already on Blu-ray can get this double feature, and it seems like…
Selina: I don’t. I don’t own any of them on Blu-ray. I don’t own any Blu-rays. Should I? [laughs] Is it cool?
Eric: Do you have an HDTV?
Eric: Yeah, then don’t worry about it.
Eric: You’re actually physically not going to be able to see a difference.
Selina: No? Okay, then.
Eric: But if you have a Playstation – that’s how Andrew got by for the first few years, I know, and that’s how I’m getting by now. With the Playstation 3, it is a Blu-ray player as well, so you do not need to invest in a separate player or anything to get the high-def experience. It looks good. I mean, I couldn’t say if it looks that much better than DVD because all new films these days are produced pretty well anyway.
Selina: Yeah, exactly.
Eric: But we’re meant to believe, as consumers, that it is that much better.
Micah: Well, if you don’t like Blu-rays you can always turn to books, right?
Micah: Because they’re what got us into this whole thing in the first place.
Selina: [laughs] If I have a few extra money. [laughs]
Eric: Books are slightly more expensive, aren’t they, Micah?
News: Harry Potter: Page to Screen Limited Edition
Micah: Well, they are when you package them all together. And we’ll talk about this in relation to the Wizard’s Collection a little bit later on, but Harry Potter: Page to Screen – which I thought already existed in book format – but now they’re taking it and they’re putting it into this comprehensive limited edition version.
Micah: And it features never-before-published art and text chronicling the making of the Harry Potter films. Five brand new volumes that show how the team designed locations, graphics, costumes, creatures, and special effects. It’s got a deluxe book of the paintings of Hogwarts, along with a keepsake book chronicling the lasting relationships between cast and crew. There’s a replica of the Monster Book of Monsters, there’s five frame able concept art prints. And, of course, the original Page to Screen book itself.
Selina: It seems like a portable version of the Studio Tour, to be honest with you.
Selina: Because that’s what it sounds like.
Micah: Yeah, and here’s the thing: the Wizard’s Collection is 19 pounds. Literally.
Micah: It’s heavy.
Eric: Like, cost? Only 19 – like 38 dollars?
Micah: No, no, no. It’s 20 pounds to lift up off the ground.
Selina: So, it’s not quite that portable. [laughs]
Micah: No. I’m thinking to myself, with all of these books in this Page to Screen collection, how much is that thing going to weigh?
Micah: Because Page to Screen itself weighs seven to eight pounds without question.
Eric: Yeah, let’s be honest, Page to Screen is on my lowest bookshelf because I fear for the structural integrity of my bookshelf if I store it any higher. It is that heavy, you’re right.
Micah: But let’s get to the big point here. The retail price right now is 800 dollars. What’s going on here?
Selina: Which is ridiculous!
Micah: What are they trying to do?
Selina: I don’t know, are they really short on money…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Selina: …and they’re like, “Oh well, these crazy Harry Potter fans will give us our Christmas bonuses”? What is going on?
Eric: I think Uncle Warner has some gambling debts.
Selina: I think you might be right!
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Eric: But 800 dollars. Well, have we seen any news on how the Wizard’s Collection is selling? It’s been a week since it was released – or is it just five days now? Do we know how that collection is doing? That retails at, was it, 350 after the Amazon discounts?
Selina: I have no idea.
Micah: Yeah, it’s about 350, I think.
Micah: I don’t know how sales are doing, but it went on sale here in the US on September 7th, so last Friday, and then in the UK actually on the 10th, so it hasn’t been out that long. We’ll see. I wish I had numbers, but I can’t imagine – now, remember each of them come with a certificate of authenticity, and I think there’s only a little over 60,000 that have been made, so…
Selina: See, I don’t know about you guys, but I look at stuff like this – and maybe it’s just because I travel around so much, so I’m immediately thinking how much [laughs] is it going to take up space in my suitcase, but this kind of stuff doesn’t hold that much interest to me. I really like the films, I want to own the films. I love the books, I want to own the books. But this kind of stuff, I don’t know. I wouldn’t – if someone gave it to me I’d be like, “Oh great, thanks,” and I’d skim through it, but I don’t know. This kind of – I don’t – it’s not like it comes directly from Jo, you know what I mean?
Selina: To pay 800 dollars for it just seems outrageous.
Eric: It’s going to be a massive testament to what we already really know, is that these books change lives.
Eric: It’s going to be a big chronicle, more so than the first Page to Screen. And honestly, Film Wizardry, which was the first book and then Page to Screen produced by HarperCollins…
Selina: But this is about the films! This isn’t about the books.
Eric: This is about the movies too. It’s not going to be about the books. You’re right there, Selina. But there’s just so much information, so much stuff that came from making the films, and honestly…
Eric: …I think somebody’s eyes turned a little green here. They realized they could sell it.
Eric: Perhaps what they should have done is they should have continued to release books like Page to Screen and found a way to make each book about something different, perhaps? Because this is, they said, five extra books including Page to Screen. Or, you know what? Maybe foreseeable that they’ll release a kindle version of this book which, honestly, would weigh a lot less.
Selina: Hmmm, I’d probably get that.
Selina: Because it is so interesting to learn. The studio tour as well, just going and seeing how much effort went into it is incredible.
Eric: I don’t know how many thousands of pages the Harry Potter books – the regular “by JK Rowling” Harry Potter books take up, but it’s almost like, at this point, looking at this $800 price tag for this new limited edition of Page to Screen collection, I have to start really thinking to myself, okay, you could sit down and you could read all of these books and go through the pages, or honestly, you could start living your own life.
Eric: Get on with your kind of own thing. Make your own Harry Potter movies…
Selina: Kind of music.
Eric: …that make – that change so many people. Compose your own excellent music, and keep in touch with your own…
Selina: But maybe people need inspiration like this. Maybe this inspires people.
Eric: Perhaps it does, and perhaps it makes them take out a second mortgage.
Micah: Well, one thing you can do is clearly get a workout from utilizing…
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Micah: …either the Wizards Collection…
Selina: Just reading it.
Micah: …or this new – yeah – or this new Page to Screen collection. Well, reading it or lifting it up and down…
Selina: [laughs] Exactly!
Micah: …depending on what you want to do.
Eric: Perhaps we should have a new – Micah, you’ve inspired me. We should hold a contest at MuggleNet for…
Selina: You could lift it! [laughs]
Eric: …ways to use the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection, or the book that you wouldn’t think of. Unusual ways, like a giant paperweight, or perhaps to crush down coal into diamonds.
Selina: Or you could just hold a contest to see who can lift it up the longest.
Micah: There you go.
Eric: Yeah, that works too. [laughs]
Micah: But my big question with this, before we move on, is why would you want to read what you can probably see in a lot of these special features discs, behind the scenes discs? Isn’t it the same? What is it that’s so much different about what they’re putting in Page to Screen that you’re not going to see on some of these Blu-ray and DVD collections?
Eric: A lot of these typically…
Selina: I guess it’s just for people who want to read it rather than watch it.
Eric: To read it, and also one of the things I think they shy away from on the special features is showing any kind of – if a letter was written to somebody, they’ll show it for a few seconds or whatever, but mostly it’s live action stuff. And there’s a lot of props and photos that are still life that aren’t video that I think get shuttled over to these types of publications. But it’s obviously – there’s only going to be 3,000 made, I think, of the Page to Screen limited edition. We’ll have to just gauge fan interest, or if anybody ends up purchasing this – when is it due out? I’m trying to look it up real quick.
Micah: I don’t know that it has a scheduled release date right now.
Eric: Release date yet? Let’s see here.
Micah: It’s one of those things that’s online. Maybe it’ll disappear. Never hear from them again.
Selina: December 4th, 2012.
Micah: Or maybe it’ll come out on December 4th, 2012.
Selina: Maybe it will.
Selina: Just in time for Christmas.
Eric: So, December 4th. So, if anybody gets this for Christmas – and, by the way, Santa must love you.
Eric: But if you get…
Micah: Santa is going to have a hernia.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Eric: If you get it, and it doesn’t kill you lifting it up to your room, if you have a chance to review it, [laughs] or a chance later in the hospital when you’re getting your back replaced, please let us know how you think of it. And I actually will be following the story, and I’ll be really interested in learning what those other books are all really about.
MuggleCast 257 Transcript (continued)
News: Pottermore Updates
Micah: All right. Well, we did have a little bit of Pottermore news, during the month that we’ve been off here.
Micah: The Hogwarts Library collection, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages are now available at the Pottermore shop. I feel like all we’re doing here is promoting different collections and…
Selina: I know! This is insane!
Micah: …online books and…
Eric: Yeah! Let’s get over that, then. We’ll move on.
Micah: But the other big piece of news coming out of Pottermore is that the second House Cup is set to be awarded in November, and there’s going to be a new prize. It’s not going to be the same as what Slytherin House was awarded when they got early access to the first couple of chapters of Chamber of Secrets. So, interesting to see how Pottermore is going to start to change things up now, and how long the window is going to be between House Cups moving forward.
Eric: Well, how long – when was the last House Cup recently? We’re talking maybe two MuggleCast episodes ago, right?
Micah: Yeah, so really, what, maybe a couple of months?
Eric: A couple of months between House Cups. That’s good! This is, I think, one of the first – I don’t want to say one of the first right decisions Pottermore made, but I like that it’s not annually the way that it would be in real Hogwarts, because people would forget. The House Cup is something that would – what Andrew was looking for when he first reviewed Pottermore with us. Something that will keep fans coming back to the site.
Selina: What do you think, Eric? Should we round up the Hufflepuffs and fight for this one? [laughs]
Eric: Heck yes, we should.
Selina: Hell yeah! Yeah right.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Eric: So, that’s for sure.
News: Hunger Games Passes Potter
Micah: Another big piece of news, as it relates to the series as a whole, is that The Hunger Games passed Potter as the best-selling series on Amazon. And I guess one sort of caveat to that is that the record includes both physical and e-book versions, and I have a feeling a lot more people with The Hunger Games bought e-book versions than with Harry Potter.
Micah: So, I feel like being a little bit cheaper, that probably helped it out a little bit in terms of sales.
Micah: Because I assume that we’re not talking about dollars here. We’re talking about how many were actually sold, right?
Selina: Yeah, we talked about this, actually, on Hunger Games Chat from the other perspective, [laughs] which is kind of strange for me right now.
Eric: Oh no! You traitor!
Selina: But I did say, “No!” when I heard, so don’t worry. But yeah, this is basically based on only Amazon sales and it doesn’t mean that The Hunger Games has sold more books than Harry Potter, so don’t worry. It’s only Fifty Shades of Grey. [laughs] I think.
Eric: Oh gosh. Yeah, this is an Amazon-specific result, but it’s still a big deal because Andrew likes to stir crap up all the time.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Selina: He’s not here to defend himself.
Eric: But it is a big deal. I think The Hunger Games, being a newer series, obviously the Internet opportunities are greater for everybody who’s buying them and reading them for the first time, and Kindles and everything like that. So, it makes sense that Harry Potter was going to be usurped because it spent a few years off of the e-book market, as well as being off Amazon.
Micah: Yeah. Well, Harry Potter hasn’t even had an opportunity to be on the e-book market really for very long at all, so that certainly plays a part in it. But I wonder how much the movie has contributed. And, look, I started reading the Potter books because of seeing the films, but I read The Hunger Games series – or trilogy – before any of the movies were made. I’m wondering how much of the hype surrounding the film has contributed to the sale of these books.
Eric: Oh, I would think a great deal.
Eric: Are you saying it’s backwards before, where people were reading the books long before they saw the movie?
Micah: Yeah, I think so. I think with Potter – I mean, certainly they gained a large audience with the films, but I think it was more of a cultural phenomenon, just the books themselves, before the movies were starting to be made. And I feel like more people, as a result of that, owned physical copies of the book. But…
Selina: Yeah, you’re right.
Micah: …I guess e-book wasn’t out back then really either, so it’s a little bit hard to judge.
Eric: There were other, I want to say, competitors besides Amazon selling the Harry Potter books, as opposed to now when Borders is gone.
Eric: And other local bookstores seem less attractive than ever when you’re talking about getting it on your Kindle and stuff.
Selina: Yeah, exactly. And it’s only going to keep going because there’s three more Hunger Games films to go, so…
Eric: For a second I thought you were saying more books to go [laughs] and I was like…
Selina: [laughs] Oh my God, no.
Eric: …”They’re making more books?” They’re not, are they?
Selina: No, they’re not.
Selina: Yeah, until the “Ultimate Tribute Edition”, retailing for 2,000 pounds.
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Eric: Yeah. Right.
Selina: In 2020.
Eric: Well, don’t put it past them. People will buy it. They will build it.
Selina: People will.
News: Wizarding World Orlando Expansion Updates
Micah: And it seems like there’s a bit of construction going on down at the Wizarding World in Orlando. Andrew is on top of this stuff. I think he actually flies down there in his private jet on occasion, and just kind of slips through, takes some photos…
Eric: He’s got his own hard hat now, actually. Hung on the wall.
Micah: Does he?
Eric: Lovingly. Yeah, his name is engraved on it.
Micah: So basically, things are starting to come together down there in Orlando and I’m sure as time passes we’ll see more and more. It’s going to get harder and harder to hide some of the structures that are being put together, especially with tourists down there. They like to snap photos and send them in. So, there’ll be plenty more as time goes on.
News: Harry Potter Cast Updates
Eric: There’s been a – there’s a little bit of a casting update that we have for you in the past month. I’m going to skim through this just for time-saving reasons, but I guess the most pressing one is that Emma Watson is starring in the very upcoming Perks of Being a Wallflower film. And this will be released as, I suppose, a limited release on September 21st in the United States. I would encourage everyone to check the Internet or their local theater’s show times to see if it is in fact opening near you, on the 21st…
Eric: …or if not later.
Selina: …it – the book is amazing, by the way. It’s incredible. But the film…
Eric: The book is fantastic.
Selina: There’s so many countries that it hasn’t even got a release date for, including Australia and Denmark. [laughs] Or the entirety of Scandinavia, I should say.
Micah: What about Sweden?
Selina: Sweden doesn’t have one either. Go figure.
Selina: The closest is Germany. It’s really being treated like a small art house film, and it’s very confusing because Emma Watson – you would think that her and Logan Lerman and Nina Dobrev and whoever else is in this film would be able to carry it and make it for a big release, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening at all, and I’m worried if I’m even going to get to see it in cinemas.
Eric: I’m trying to remember how many other films were like this with the Potter actors, because there are quite a few that are smaller…
Selina: Some Rupert Grint films, yeah. They didn’t…
Eric: Well, the Rupert Grint film – was it Cherrybomb or…
Eric: Was one of them…
Selina: Cherrybomb, yeah.
Eric: I remember seeing it at Azkatraz, the Harry Potter conference in San Francisco by HPEF, but in order to do that we had to – somebody rented a copy of the reel, the projection reel, and we had to go to a small art house cinema to see it. And it was one screening, one day only, very difficult to see. And then Emma Watson’s last film that I saw her in, Ballet Shoes – actually, I also saw her in My Week with Marilyn but that was an independent theater. Very difficult to see…
Selina: That was in cinemas though.
Eric: …worldwide. It ended up getting sort of a wider release, yeah, but some of these movies – you have to kind of look really hard to see these Potter actors in some of these films that they’re in. But…
Selina: This is just based on such a popular book.
Eric: …I think that has to do with them being British – they’re British films too, though. A lot of them.
Selina: Right, but this one isn’t though. That’s the thing. This is a big – it’s a really popular book by Stephen Chbosky. It’s the guy from Percy Jackson [laughs] and the girl from Harry Potter. You would think that – I don’t know.
Eric: That’s funny because now that you say that, the guy from Percy Jackson – Percy Jackson, of course, being directed by Chris Columbus who directed the…
Selina: Right. [laughs]
Eric: …first two Harry Potter films.
Selina: [laughs] It’s all connected.
Eric: So, I’m sure Emma and him had a lot to talk about, to talk about Chris. If she still remembers him. But anyway, our fearless leader, Andrew, interviewed Emma Watson on the red carpet.
Selina: He did. It was so cool!
Eric: We should include a link to that in the show notes, as well as some of this other casting info I’ll go through really quick. These – this casting info is definitely brought to you by Hypable who reported on each of these individual news items when I grabbed them this morning. Emma Watson is going to join in a remake of Beauty and the Beast. This is going to be live action, isn’t it?
Selina: Is it?
Eric: Does anybody know? I think it’s live action because I think Guillermo del Toro is directing it. I could be wrong, but I think that’s what this article is even about, is her one stipulation to being a part of it was that Guillermo del Toro direct? Yup. Absolutely.
Selina: Yeah, he is directing.
Eric: So, it’s going to be a live action version of the famous Disney classic.
Selina: Just another proof that fairy tales are in right now.
Eric: Fairy tales are definitely in. Dan Radcliffe, who we last saw in The Woman in Black, which – what did you guys think of that movie, by the way?
Selina: It was terrifying. Oh my God.
Micah: I’m still waiting on my review copy. [laughs]
Eric: You’re still waiting? Oh really?
Micah: I was supposed to get a review copy…
Selina: Oh really?
Micah: …from the company over in the U.K. and they never sent it.
Eric: They never sent it? Are you – maybe it just got lost in…
Micah: I still want to watch the movie, though. I haven’t seen it.
Selina: It is – I genuinely found it terrifying.
Micah: See, the thing I like about that though is that’s a real horror film. To me, anyway.
Micah: Not the slasher, cut them up, gore – Michael Myers, Jason around the corner.
Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Micah: I mean, those are scary but I think they’ve kind of gotten played out. Something like The Woman in Black, to me, where there’s creepy children or there’s just an environment that creates such an eerie…
Micah: …situation for whoever you’re watching. I think those are really scary movies and I’ll probably leave the lights on when I watch it, or something like that.
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Eric: Yeah. No, definitely. The Woman in Black is a very freaky movie – it’s a ghost story as well. I tend to like those. So you’re right, more than slasher films. But alongside Dan Radcliffe is Ciar·n Hinds – [laughs] we have actually casting news about him. Really quickly though, Dan Radcliffe is starring in an upcoming comedy called The F Word. “F” as in friendship, I believe is the F word they’re talking about there. And there’s some photos of him – I won’t spoil any more. There’s some photos of him that surfaced recently. And then Ciar·n Hinds, his Woman in Black co-star…
Selina: Our good friend Aberforth.
Eric: And good friend Aberforth. What’s the news, Selina? Let’s say this here.
Selina: The news that I brought to you on Hypable.com is that Ciar·n Hinds is joining a little show that [laughs] we all know…
Micah: That we know about, yeah. [laughs]
Selina: …called Game of Thrones, yeah. I feel like the three of us – we have discussed this news before. It’s kind of like a flashback right now. It’s weird. [laughs] But he is going to be owning [clears throat] Game of Thrones and he is going to be playing Mance Rayder, the leader of the Wildlings. I made the joke that he is going to herd the Wildlings but nobody got it, so… [laughs]
Eric: Oh Selina, you’re so funny.
Selina: Oh, thank you Eric!
Micah: So, he joins Nat Tena and David Bradley who are the only two I know of, as of right now, who are still…
Selina: And Hermione’s mom, Catelyn.
Micah: Oh, that’s right. Yeah.
Eric: Oh gosh! Yeah, she’s pretty big. How could you mess that up, Micah?
Selina: Yeah, Micah. [laughs]
Eric: I didn’t realize that either. Also – okay, so Evanna Lynch – there was a trailer released for her upcoming role in a small film called Apex.
Selina: Yeah, we actually…
Micah: Is that like K-PAX?
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Eric: A-PEX? What is it?
Micah: Is that like K-PAX?
Eric: K-PAX with Kevin Spacey?
Selina: We actually saw this at LeakyCon, the trailer. It aired right before the StarKid show because it also has a girl who is in the StarKid show in it. What’s her name? Devin Lytle, I believe is how you say her name.
Eric: Do you know anything about it? Like what it’s about.
Selina: Yeah. I mean, the trailer was really triply.
Selina: It basically made it seem like it was this group of young kids on drugs, but then it turned out at the very end that it’s like a supernatural thriller. I think it’s about some kind of virus that – [laughs] hold on one second, I should know this – yeah, it’s a virus that spreads across the United States, so it’s kind of like a survival story of these young – group of young people and it’s very…
Micah: It’s like the Kardashians, isn’t it?
Selina: …different – [laughs] yes. No, it’s very raw and it has very, I guess, shocking moments. Like, for Luna Lovegood fans, you will be shocked by this trailer, I think. She does some very not-Luna things. But that’s good because Evanna isn’t Luna, so she should be exploring these different things. It looks really cool.
Eric: From Google, the definition of Apex is: “A high point or a climax; also a summit, peak, pinnacle, vertex, head, or tip.” I know, I’m very exciting right now. [laughs] And our last piece of actor news is Matthew Lewis, whose trailer for his upcoming film called Wasteland premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and that you can also view on Hypable.
Micah: Very cool.
Eric: And that concludes our news. God, an hour later. [laughs]
News: J.K. Rowling Schedules NYC Event For The Casual Vacancy
Micah: Well, also in another piece of news – we’re just going to kind of go a little bit more in-depth with it, I guess, is The Casual Vacancy promotional tour that J.K. Rowling will be going on after the book is released later on this month, about two weeks from now – a little over two weeks from now. So…
Eric: The Casual what, Micah?
Eric: Casual what?
Eric: No, no, you said it right. You said it right, but I’m saying let’s give an overview. There is a new book by J.K. Rowling coming out.
Micah: Yes, there is – of course.
Eric: You said so, though, but I feel like we haven’t covered it that much on the show. These shows are a month apart, so just to remind people…
Selina: We’ve talked a lot about The Casual Vacancy.
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Eric: Okay, maybe I’m overstepping it there.
Micah: But it’s going to be released on the 27th of September, and as many people know – it’s been pretty big news, I think, over the last couple of days – J.K. Rowling will be making one of her stops in New York City at Lincoln Centre and that will be on October 16th, as we joked about before, also the same day that a number of DVDs and Blu-rays…
Micah: …also hit store shelves, so…
Eric: Synergy! Yeah!
Micah: Yeah, absolutely. And the big news was that there was a bit of an issue as it related to the tickets being sold for this event. They were scheduled to go on sale earlier this week – Monday morning, September 10th at 10 AM – but in fact, they showed up, or somebody found the link that was created, right around 10 PM on Sunday evening, and so most Potter fans who were looking forward to going to this event said to themselves, “Well, I’m not going to wait until Monday morning to purchase tickets. There’s probably not going to be many left.” So, they all hopped online and bought tickets early. The problem that seems to have arisen though is that Lincoln Center didn’t know about this at all.
Micah: They weren’t scheduling this link to go live until 10 AM the next day, and so an issue of double booking occurred when people went to purchase the following morning. Now, this doesn’t even include the poor people who were [laughs] waiting on line for many days at the box office at Lincoln Center, and suddenly they find out that the tickets were on sale Sunday night and they’re waiting to buy tickets Monday morning.
Micah: So, I think a lot of them probably scrambled…
Selina: This is insane. [laughs]
Eric: Now, we heard from one of them on MuggleNet.
Eric: We put in some of the – I guess a recap of what it was like waiting in line for three days and finding out that your tickets were actually available online. Now, the way you said it, though, it seems like people hacked the link to get to it. Like, to find…
Micah: Well, clearly somebody somewhere found the link, because Lincoln Centre did not do really any job of promoting this event on their website. It was not easy to find at all.
Eric: To be honest, I’m still a little unclear on the details, which we can talk about in another couple of minutes.
Micah: Yeah. But my guess is that somebody saw the ticket URL for another event and was able to manipulate it so that they were able to get the link for the J.K. Rowling event.
Eric: So really, the problem is that they shared. [laughs]
Selina: They just weren’t expecting…
Eric: They were nice enough to share the link.
Selina: They just weren’t expecting this kind of importance, you know? They just hadn’t taken the precautions.
Eric: Is Lincoln Center a small venue, would you say? Are they…
Micah: Lincoln Center is where the last two premieres have been for…
Micah: …Deathly Hallows here in the United States, so it’s not a small venue by any means. There are a number of different halls that can be used for different events, and I believe the main hall is Alice Tully Hall, which houses over 2,000 people, and that’s not the hall that the event has been moved to which is what Lincoln Center in the end decided to do. I think they would have had a rather large problem on their hands…
Eric: Very large.
Micah: …had they decided not to honor the tickets that were purchased on Sunday night. And look, I’ve seen all kinds of comments and e-mails and tweets and posts about this. And people who purchased Monday morning, some of them were trying to blame the people [laughs] who purchased Sunday night and say, “Look, well, if anybody is deserving of tickets, it’s the people who purchased them at the correct time of 10 AM on Monday morning.” Well, it’s not the people’s fault who purchased them on Sunday night. They were the same people that were probably going to be purchasing tickets on Monday morning, so they just said – they didn’t want to get locked out, and so I don’t think it’s fair to kind of discriminate against any one group here. In the end, it doesn’t matter. But I think that moving forward for an event like this, if you’re going to put tickets on sale online, you’re going to make tickets available on the phone, you’re going to make tickets available at the box office, but you’re not going to allot a certain amount of tickets to each group?
Micah: You’re just asking for trouble.
Eric: Because that’s what they do with major sporting events and stuff, right?
Micah: Yeah. But it’s all through one system, and I guess that’s the same thing that they were looking to do here at Lincoln Center. But the problem is, if you’re making something like this – sporting events – baseball plays 182 games. You’re probably not going to have too much difficulty getting tickets except for sort of the higher profile games. This is a high-profile single event. If you’re making tickets online available, how fast do you think those are going to sell out when you have people waiting in line at the box office? How many people are you going to be able to get through who are waiting in line?
Eric: Well, what was shocking to me was that not only did they – I think it said they sold out online the night before, but then they were re-made available that morning at the correct time. It’s as if the previous night didn’t even happen. The system must have reset, or for some reason the counter started again. It started over. So, that was really the situation, is that it was double-booked. I mean, people were able to get tickets at the normal time as well, and I just don’t know what kind of a system error causes that. It’s very shocking to me. It’s very kind of a unique situation we haven’t seen for us yet.
Micah: Well, I’ll just read you really briefly what the message from Jazz at Lincoln Center, which is the group that is putting on this event, said. It says:
“Due to a security breach…”
So they’re already putting it on somebody other than themselves.
“…tickets for the J.K. Rowling event on 10/16/12 were made available prematurely at 10 PM on September 9th. Tickets then went on sale at the previously announced time of 10 AM on September 10th.”
To your point, Eric, I don’t know how they didn’t already know…
Eric: Realize that they were already sold out.
Eric: Which, if that had happened, wouldn’t have been fair to everybody waiting in line. I understand that, I respect that. But everybody, I think, speaking on behalf of somebody who was online at the time, was – Twitter started lighting up and everybody was like, “Wait, they’re selling early, something happened,” and we just weren’t all clear on what was happening. And I think many people weren’t aware of the fact that they were – that there were people waiting in line who wouldn’t get tickets and that kind of thing, if something like early registration had happened.
Selina: Is there any danger of double booking? That they aren’t going to be able to give everybody who got their tickets a space?
Eric: Well – so that’s what happened until they resolved it by doing what Micah is about to tell us.
Micah: Yeah. So, that message goes on and basically absolves Little, Brown and J.K. Rowling of any association with this issue. But – actually, Hypable reported today at around 5:00 that they just got off the phone with Lincoln Center and had answers that they were read an internal e-mail stating that “the event will move to the David H. Koch Theater,” which is also part of Lincoln Center. “All tickets purchased on September 9th and 10th will be honored. The move to the larger theater is to accommodate the larger-than-planned audience.” Obviously, people are not going to have the same seats that they currently have. I guess maybe what you’ll have to do is maybe they’ll send you a voucher in the mail, or you can print out your receipt, bring it, and I would think they’re probably going to give tickets out there. That would be my guess, but…
Selina: This is great, because they get more money and everybody wins.
Micah: [laughs] Yeah, exactly.
Selina: And more people get to see her.
Eric: Well, no – well, think of J.K. Rowling because if this event is also a signing, that’s extra books she’s going to have to…
Selina: She’s not going to be signing for every single person. They’re going to set aside a certain amount of time for her, and whoever she has time to sign, she will sign. You know what I mean?
Eric: Well, because the Jazz at Lincoln Center Theater used to hold or currently holds 1,100 people, is it? So, we’re thinking that – I mean, how much does the David H. Koch Theater hold now? Do you know, Micah? Or can we look for…
Micah: [slowly] David H. Koch Theater holds…
Selina: [laughs] Googling, Googling.
Eric: Did I get that name right?
Micah: The David H. Koch Theater holds 2,500 people.
Selina: Right. Well, she’s not going to do 2,500 signatures. I mean, she…
Eric: No, no, no.
Selina: …won’t be able to.
Micah: Well, here’s the thing though: she signed every book for people who were at – was it Radio City?
Eric: Carnegie Hall.
Micah: Carnegie Hall. She signed all of those books.
Selina: Did she really? Wow.
Micah: And she’s done that for pretty much every event that she’s been to, that she’s held…
Selina: I just remember her coming to my country of “Swenmark”…
Selina: …and there were about 200 people there and she signed maybe 100 and then she left.
Selina: And then the rest of us didn’t get our books signed, so I’m a bit ñ excuse me for my skepticism. I have been burned by her personally. [laughs]
Eric: Oh no.
Micah: Uh oh.
Selina: Yes, I hold a grudge, J.K. [laughs]
MuggleCast 257 Transcript (continued)
News: J.K. Rowling’s Other Upcoming Appearances
Micah: Speaking of other places, where else is J.K. Rowling going to be venturing for this Casual Vacancy book tour?
Selina: She has a number of different appearances. She’s only doing the one public event in the U.S., I believe, though she is going to appear in several television shows. She has one interview in Australia and she will be appearing – on the release date, she will be appearing for a Q&A at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. And then she will be appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Lennoxlove Book Festival, and that is in Scotland, that last one.
Micah: And, also…
Selina: So, some interesting stuff.
Selina: Some different kind of events.
Micah: And also when J.K. Rowling is going to be here in New York City, she’s going to appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Eric: Oh cool. Jon Stewart and Jo have a little bit of history. I remember he introduced her the first evening of Harry, Carrie and Garp at Radio City, and he was hilarious. He mentioned then how his young children really enjoy the Harry Potter books. I think both of them will play off each other very well on this TV appearance.
Anticipation of The Casual Vacancy
Eric: Before we move on, this is sixteen days before the next J.K. Rowling book.
Eric: I mean, it’s been five years and two months or something since the last J.K. Rowling book. Thoughts? How do you guys feel about that?
Selina: I feel ready. I say bring it on and then we can talk about Casual Vacancy the next episode.
Micah: It’s true, the next episode that we do is probably going to have us talking about Casual Vacancy. I guess it depends on how quickly all of us get the book…
Selina: CaVaCast, it’s coming – I know, I haven’t even got my – I haven’t even pre-ordered mine yet because [laughs] in my country…
Micah: Tisk, tisk.
Selina: …they haven’t ñ I don’t know if they’re actually going to have them.
Micah: [laughs] Do they have books there?
Selina: No, we all write on those big stones. [laughs] It takes a while to transcribe.
Eric: To wait?
Selina: Yeah, exactly.
Micah: Like the Flintstones?
Selina: Yeah, like the Flintstones, that’s me. In my hut. But no, I don’t know if I’m going to – if I get it on Amazon, it’s not going to arrive on the day and then I’ll have to wait and stay off the Internet and I’m like, “Oh no!” It’s like Order of the Phoenix all over again.
Eric: Micah, how do you feel?
Micah: I’m looking forward to it. I think that it’s going to be – I want to watch the response from everybody else. I’m obviously going to get the book, read it, find out what happened. But what standard is she going to be held to here? She created the Harry Potter series and I have a feeling – I think Ben said this on the show that we did. They’re looking for her to fail in some capacity. They’re waiting for that one thing that they can jump on and criticize her for, because Potter was such an enormous success, and it’s going to be a hard act to follow, there’s no question about it.
Selina: Yeah, I know. I worry.
Eric: Me, personally, I can’t wait too, and I believe I said this last episode as well. I can’t wait to see what tools she’s developed, and I can’t wait to read more stuff from her, even if it’s not necessarily Harry Potter-wise. I feel like there will be a lot of similarities, simply – not necessarily in the text, but because it’s coming from the same author. We’re going to get to know Jo a little better.
Micah: Yup. I’m interested to see her write outside of fantasy and see – because she seems like that kind of author that can be a really good mystery, political thriller type author because of the way that she crafted so many different story lines in Potter.
Eric: That and those few Muggle chapters, like with the Minister of Magic – or the Prime Minister. You know, the Muggle Prime Minister and stuff.
Eric: Those chapters were talking about Muggles, essentially. And Muggles and politics, even. So, maybe that will be the similarity.
Review: Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection
Micah: All right. Well, before we wrap things up with some e-mails, I know we wanted to talk briefly about the Wizard’s Collection. And I did a review of the collection, as did Rosie, she did the U.K. version. I don’t know if it’s any different [laughs] than the U.S. version, but both of those reviews are up on MuggleNet and I actually wanted to read an e-mail that we have here. Emily, 29, from Colorado – she sent in a couple of questions and I was hoping I might be able to answer the questions that she has relating to the Wizard’s Collection.
Eric: Emily, 29, from Colorado writes:
“I need some help. You are the only folks I can think of to give a straight answer. It’s this ‘Wizard’s Collection’ set. In addition to being a rabid ‘Harry Potter’ fan, I am also extremely cheap (frugal, I like to think of it). I purchased every ‘Harry Potter’ film on DVD instead of Blu-ray at the time it was released because it’s cheaper, and I do not own any of the Ultimate Editions because there are no extended cuts after Movie 2. I have been holding out on spending more money on ‘Harry Potter’ movies until the ‘hoped for but now seems like it will probably never happen’ extended versions of all eight films were released. But now there is this ‘Wizard’s Collection’ which I’ll admit looks very cool, and Micah gave it a reasonably warm review on MuggleNet. So, here’s the 350 dollar question.”
“Is it worth the price tag? All the best, Emily.”
Micah: It’s difficult because I don’t want to tell somebody to go out there and spend 350 dollars. I think that if you’re somebody who doesn’t own a complete set of all the films, if you’re somebody who is looking for that behind the scenes and maybe you don’t have the Ultimate Editions, if you’re looking for that complete set that comes in this cool box with a bunch of other different props and little pieces that are considered to be collectables, I think that it’s something that you should consider. In and of itself, you’re getting 31 discs with 37 hours of special features. Again, if you don’t have that stuff already, then I think this comprehensive set, if you’re a die-hard fan, it might be something that you want to look into. And as far as new content, you’re only getting that five hour bonus disc. But if you don’t have the Ultimate Editions, if you don’t have the special features that come on the other DVD and Blu-ray packages, it’s 37 hours. So, you have to ask yourself: if you’re a die-hard fan, do you want all of that in one consolidated set?
Selina: Yeah, and just to really briefly play devil’s advocate, some of the best stuff out of those 37 hours is going to be on YouTube. I feel bad…
Selina: …even saying that, but it’s true.
Eric: Well, is it? Is it, Micah? Can you confirm that – have you seen anything already that’s on YouTube? Because they were doing previews on…
Micah: Well, I’m assuming Selina is not referring to the videos provided by Warner Bros. [laughs] She’s referring…
Selina: No. [laughs]
Micah: …to the videos that some people might rip off of the Blu-ray and DVDs that are in this set.
Selina: I know, and I’m not saying that I would condone that in any way. I’m just saying if Emily really is worried about spending this money, but she wants – I don’t – I feel bad saying that, but it is so true though. You do get a lot of this stuff…
Eric: Well, being…
Selina: If you want the package, if you want the originality, if you want the good quality that you don’t get on those YouTube rip offs, then yes, get it.
Eric: Well, also, this writer wrote in and Emily said that she didn’t – she only had the DVDs, so if she doesn’t already have the Blu-rays – there were features, especially on the last two films, that only were available on the Blu-ray.
Micah: Yeah. So…
Eric: So, that might tip the scales in favor of this collection.
Micah: Right. If I’m able to break it down a little bit here, what you have is each film is in its own case, and they have all these different drawers, and Movie 1 is in its own drawer but then as you move on they kind of consolidate them a little bit. Each film comes with four discs, so you have the DVD version, the Blu-ray version, you have a special features disc for every film up to Goblet of Fire, and I believe it stops after that, and you have the – what’s it called? “The Making of Harry Potter”?
Micah: The documentary, yeah. So…
Eric: On the fourth disc?
Micah: On the fourth disc. So, for Sorcerer’s Stone you’ll have part one, and then as you move down, I think only Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince give you three discs: DVD, Blu-ray, and the “Making of” documentary. And then with Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2, you get DVD, Blu-ray, 3D version of the films, and “The Making of Harry Potter”, the documentary. And then of course, the bonus disc has a lot of cool stuff on it as well. But all of that – it’s just so much. You could literally spend days watching all of this stuff, and then – I don’t know how much added value is there for the people that liked the collectibles. Does that make it automatically worth you going out there and purchasing this? Do you want a replica of the Slytherin Locket? Do you want a blueprint map of Hogwarts? Do you want a felt map of the Hogwarts grounds, and these special sketches and prints that come from Stuart Craig? So, I guess it all comes down to do you want that stuff? Because I feel like if you just want the films, you can obviously just go out there and, like you said, go to Walmart, go to some other place, go to Amazon and buy the films, the single versions if you just want the movies. But I do feel like this is a pretty comprehension set, and it will probably decline in terms of price over time, so if you wait a little while. I don’t think they are going to sell out these 63,000 sets within weeks. I’d be shocked if they do that.
Eric: I just wish – what I want to really talk about is this five-hour extra features, unique single bonus disc that’s not tied to any one film. I wish there was a way to just purchase that disc. That seems – being somebody who owns now all of the films on DVD, and on Blu-ray in fact, with the exception of the documentaries, the eight-part documentaries, the only new feature – and I don’t have enough room for another damn locket or map in my room or wherever I live. I want to know about this bonus disc.
Micah: Yeah, I think there is really great content on this bonus disc, but I feel like, to Selina’s point, you’re probably going to get some of it showing up at other places.
Micah: This extended version of “When Harry Left Hogwarts” I thought was really awesome because you’re seeing the last days of filming this series, and really it’s taking you back to the entire filming of Deathly Hallows. And they call it the last days, but it’s really more of a documentary on this entire process for the last two films. And you see them doing a – what’s it called? – a read-through of the scene when Voldemort confronts Neville and Harry comes back to life, and Ralph Fiennes is standing there in a sweatshirt and a pair of jeans.
Micah: And it’s weird to see Voldemort standing there, speaking like Voldemort obviously, but just like any regular person.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: And I feel like it’s those things that are going to draw people to this, but I do feel like there needed to be a little bit more. I mean, there are more segments on this disc, aside from that. I like the “Fifty Greatest Moments in Harry Potter”. I thought it’s cool watching them count down. You kind of get a – you reflect a little bit on…
Eric: Who hosts this?
Micah: It’s – I couldn’t put the voice – I couldn’t nail down the voice.
Eric: Oh wow.
Micah: But they – it is a voiceover, but they do get input from different cast and crew.
Eric: Oh cool.
Micah: So, you get analysis essentially on these moments from Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, J.K. Rowling, David Heyman…
Micah: …and the list goes on and on. So, it is a really cool disc, but again, if you don’t care about the collectibles and you own all the other movies, is this five-hour disc worth 350 dollars? That’s really what you’re getting at, at the end of the day.
Micah: But just to run through it real quick, they do have another part called “Designing the World of Harry Potter”, where Stuart Craig and his team discuss how he brought the books to life and how the design that he implemented evolved over eight films. That was really cool. “Secrets Revealed: Quidditch”, where they go behind the scenes of Quidditch. And “Secrets Revealed: Hagrid”, where they talk about creating everyone’s favorite gamekeeper.
Micah: And then “The Harry Potters You’ve Never Met”, where you really see from the stunt doubles’ perspective…
Micah: … for Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, and get the whole story of what happened to Dan Radcliffe’s stunt double who, of course…
Selina: Oh yeah.
Micah: …was seriously injured. There is a moment in that first documentary that I talked about where he comes back to the set for the first time and is meeting with everybody. So, it’s a really unique perspective to have.
Selina: That does sound awesome.
Eric: Now, I guess the one thing I was looking most forward to when I heard about this outtake and when David Yates first hinted at to me in the Wizarding World about this upcoming Wizard’s Collection before it was even titled, he said that there were going to be outtakes. There was going to be a bloopers reel. He said in fact there was going to be one on the Deathly Hallows Blu-ray home video that didn’t end up happening. My question is, did they actually make it to the Wizard’s Collection – this blooper reel, these outtakes?
Micah: I didn’t see any outtakes. I have heard mentions of them here and there. Maybe there were parts I didn’t get a chance to look at just yet, but there’s no specific section in this set that’s dedicated to – or no specific disc in this set that’s dedicated to outtakes. So…
Eric: Especially not one from earlier films, right?
Micah: Yeah. Well, see, I thought you might get a bit of that in the “50 Greatest Moments”.
Micah: Not necessarily from the film, but more behind-the-scenes “50 Greatest Moments”.
Eric: Oh. Cool.
Micah: But again, I didn’t see any of that. I think people are kind of waiting for that. And here’s the other thing: when you’re doing “Secrets Revealed: Quidditch”, “Secrets Revealed: Hagrid”, think of all the different things you can do “Secrets Revealed” on. How many more discs [laughs] could you actually create if you wanted to? So, that kind of scares me for what lies in the future.
Eric: [laughs] Well, they need to release – I think they need to separate themselves from the films a little bit and stop reselling films with added content, and start just selling the added content. Maybe that’s a completely revolutionary idea, maybe it’s a dumb idea, but I know for a fact that I would buy that. And I would look forward to more of these unique documentaries, because ultimately – look, the only people who can produce these kinds of documentaries are the people with that behind-the-scenes footage. A blooper reel – I would pay for a blooper reel, and I would pay for a disc that just had a blooper reel on it. So, cater to me. Let me be a consumer. Let me consume this blooper reel whenever you want to publish it on a disc. And it doesn’t have to also include the film on it to make it more marketable. In fact, it makes it less marketable because I already have the film. So, that’s my theory on that.
Would You Rather
Micah: Yup. So, before we wrap up here, the e-mail that Emily sent into us also had a new idea for a game that I think we should try out here real quick.
Selina: Yay! A game!
Micah: It’s called Would You Rather.
Eric: [laughs] Oh God!
Micah: I’ll go through the questions here.
Micah: Some interesting questions, I have to say. The first one she asked: Provided he never goes to Azkaban, would you rather live with Sirius in Grimmauld Place or with the Weasleys at The Burrow?
Selina: Hmm. See, initially I would – no, I’m going to say the Weasleys. I was going to say it might get too annoying, but I would want to live with Ron.
Eric: That was what I was going to say. I was like, eventually, living with seven people would be as annoying…
Eric: …to you as it is to them when Ron complains about having such a big family.
Selina: Right. And if Sirius never goes to Azkaban he’s probably going to be less broody. He’s not going to be as depressed as he was in the fifth book. [laughs]
Eric: Right. I have to, because of my love for the Prisoner of Azkaban book and the storyline that never could be with Harry, really living with his uncle.
Selina: I know.
Eric: I have to say – have to, have to say – that I would rather live with Sirius at Grimmauld Place.
Selina: What would you say, Micah?
Micah: I’m going with the home cooking. [laughs]
Eric: Oh right.
Micah: So, I’m living with the Weasleys.
Selina: I think I’ll join you.
Eric: It beats living with somebody who could eat rats for a year.
Micah: And it’s a cool place to live. Grimmauld Place is not very appealing.
Selina: No. Yeah, I would go for The Burrow.
Eric: Well, the paints are peeling, Micah.
Micah: Yeah, yeah. Got to get Uncle Ray over there.
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Micah: Next question: Would you rather be able to Apparate – so it’s one or the other – or cast charms with a wand?
Selina: Oh God.
Eric: Do you think it should be “without a wand”?
Selina: No, I think with a wand because it’s like, would you rather be able to cast charms or Apparate? Seeing as I’m right now trying to stay awake to catch a bus to catch a plane to catch a train to get back to Denmark, [laughs] I would probably choose Apparition right now.
Micah: Yeah, I like Apparate too.
Eric: Me three.
Micah: All right. And then last one: Would you rather be born a Muggle and never know about the wizarding world…
Micah: …or be born a Squib and know about the wizarding world but be unable to participate fully in it? That’s a good question.
Selina: I would say Squib because you’ve still got all the magical items.
Selina: You can still get stuff like – I don’t know, people can give you enchanted things.
Selina: I don’t know. I just – I love the idea that magic exists. I would rather live in a world where I knew magic existed than this one.
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Selina: I’m crying. No. [laughs]
Eric: Micah, what do you think?
Micah: It’s tough. I kind of agree with Selina.
Micah: I’d rather know that it exists than go through Muggle life and not knowing…
Selina: Like you do right now.
Selina: Yeah, that’s why we’re fans. It’s because we want to believe in this kind of stuff.
Eric: There’s always Kwikspell courses, right?
Eric: Yeah. I agree.
Selina: And we could have magical pets.
Eric: Yes! Well, this was fun. In fact, Emily’s e-mail – in her e-mail she writes that she and her husband play this periodically around the dinner table, so that must be fun for them. Well, that wraps up this week’s episode. We had a little bit of an unexpected fun segment there at the end. Thank you, Emily. And now, this concludes MuggleCast Episode 257. Glad to get all that news out of the way, and it was great discussing The Casual Vacancy, which comes out in sixteen days.
Selina: Oh my God! Next MuggleCast is going to be all about it. CaVaCast!
Eric: And I think we’ll probably be able to talk about The Perks of Being a Wallflower if it comes out in your country, Selina.
Selina: Yeah, which it probably won’t. But I’ve read the book so I can still… [laughs]
Selina: …bring something to the discussion.
Eric: I should re-read the book. It’s a short enough book and I’ve had it ever since I read it for the first time in ninth grade.
Selina: “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” [sighs]
Selina: So amazing.
Eric: I didn’t – that line in particular didn’t do much for me…
Selina: I loved it.
Eric: …but I guess I have other lines in that book. [laughs]
Micah: So, for all the information on this show as well as to be able to download past episodes and read transcripts of each show, you can visit MuggleCast.com. We know we were having a problem for a little while with the more recent episodes, but that should all be fixed now. All the transcripts should be up-to-date, including our most latest episode which took place in Chicago for LeakyCon 2012. And of course, you can follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/MuggleCast, like us on Facebook, Facebook.com/MuggleCast, and we have our MuggleCast Tumblr, which is MuggleCast.Tumblr.com. I think. I hope I got that right.
Eric: Yeah, you did. That’s our MuggleCast fan Tumblr.
Micah: And of course, you can rate and review us on iTunes.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Micah: We certainly appreciate all your reviews. If you listen to another one of our shows…
Selina: You know why we’re laughing.
Micah: …there’s usually a little bit more that follows you rating and reviewing us on iTunes. Selina, why don’t you tell them about that?
Selina: [laughs] Rating and reviewing on iTunes?
Micah: No, no, our other podcast.
Selina: Oh right, okay. [laughs] I was going to say.
Selina: I’m not going to do that on this show. That other show – you guys know you’re all intrigued. You have to go listen now. It is the Game of Owns podcast that the three of us do with our friend, Zack. So, if he was on here, that would pretty much be what this was. [laughs] Which is kind of strange.
Eric: Game of Owns?
Selina: It’s all about Game of Thrones, and we are currently doing a spoiler-free – [clears throat] Micah – re-read of the first book, Game of Thrones. It is very exciting.
Micah: And of course, we do cover the TV series as well.
Micah: We’re on a little bit of a break right now, though, between seasons, so we decided that whole chapter-by-chapter thing works pretty well. And speaking of chapter-by-chapter, we do have another podcast over on MuggleNet called Alohomora!, and they are doing a global re-read of the Harry Potter series. They just put out their eleventh episode, where they’re looking at Chamber of Secrets, Chapters 3 to 4. It’s run by all MuggleNet staff, and it’s a good listen. So, if you’re getting back in that flow – I know around the fall time, people start re-reading the Harry Potter series, they get into the spirit of things. So, be sure to give that a listen, as well as our Academia podcast which just put out its ninth episode, which compares Tolkien to J.K. Rowling.
Selina: Ooh, very exciting.
Micah: We’ve compared Tolkien to other authors on different shows as well, so…
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Micah: Won’t get into that, but two great podcasts about Potter for you guys to give a listen to.
Eric: Hypable has a few podcasts as well, Selina, don’t they?
Selina: Oh my gosh, yes. Do you have an hour?
Micah: We don’t have time for all those.
Selina: Let me just plug a few of my own, shall I?
Eric: Sorry, Andrew, we had to not mention them because of time.
Selina: Actually, speaking of Andrew, Twilight fans might know his show, Imprint. Well, we have a show on Hypable called Vampire Hype, which talks about The Vampire Diaries and Twilight, as well as True Blood, Buffy, that kind of stuff. And Andrew actually guest-hosted on that one as well. We seem to keep missing each other because we were both on this episode but in different segments. And we have a Once Upon a Time show called Onceable as well, which is so exciting, and Hunger Games Chat and Glee Chat – there’s so much. Just go listen to them all.
Eric: So, that concludes 257 – MuggleCast 257. We’ll see you probably – I will say as soon as possible after…
[Show music begins]
Eric: …The Casual Vacancy release to see – to hear and see our thoughts. Perhaps we’ll do a live stream, but perhaps not. And we’ll see where the winds take us. So, thank you for listening to this week’s episode of MuggleCast. I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Selina: And I’m Selina Wilken.
Eric: See you next time! Bye!
Selina: Goodbye! Happy Vacancy times!
[Show music continues]