Tag Archives: movies

Harry Potter Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley

Next up for review is a book I think my Harry Potter friends would enjoy!

From goodreads.com

Harry Potter Film Wizardry Book Cover by Brian SibleyImmerse yourself in the world of the spectacular Harry Potter film series, and learn why Yule Ball ice sculptures never melt, where Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts are really “minted,” how to get a Hippogriff to work with actors, the inspiration behind Hogwarts castle, and why Dementors move the way they do. Written and designed in collation with the cast and crew that brought J. K. Rowling’s celebrated novels to the silver screen, Harry Potter: Film Wizardry delivers an enchanting interactive experience, transporting readers to the wizarding world by sharing film-making secrets, unpublished photography and artwork, and exclusive stories from the stars. Full of removable facsimile reproductions of props and paper ephemera from the movies, this collectible volume offers a privileged look at the Harry Potter films and the talented group of Muggles that has made true movie magic.

I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I have read each book numerous times. I own all of the movies, and have watched them several times each. I check my favorite Harry Potter news site–The Leaky Cauldron–daily for all the latest stories on the fandom. This led me to believe that I knew a good deal about the behind-the-scenes going on in the movies. Harry Potter Film Wizardry quickly made me realize I was wrong.

A page from Harry Potter Film Wizardry

The first thing I noticed when opening the book was the amazing graphics. Flipping through the pages leads to many beautiful eye-catching pictures, text, and maps. Upon opening the book, I immediately flipped through it and soaked in all the images. This allowed me to check out the book’s layout. Each section represents a different Harry Potter movie. In each chapter you will find “A Production Designer’s Notebook and Producer’s Diary,” with sections that describe various characters, locations, or creatures from that movie.

A page from Harry Potter Film Wizardry

A page from Harry Potter Film Wizardry

A great example of the layout can be see when looking at the chapter which discuses Goblet of Fire. This section contains information on the Quidditch World Cup (QWC), Miranda Richardson’s portrayal of Rita Skeeter, and the Dark Mark. The pages containing information about the QWC contain an extra pull-out section; something that can be found throughout the book. In this case the bonus material is a program from the Quibbler. Other extras include a Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes product catalog and Marauder’s Map.

Review: I found this book to be a readable version of the DVD extras. The format allowed me to take in the images and text at a leisurely pace. The text held details that even I–a rabid Harry Potter fan–didn’t know. I thought this book was very informative and entertaining. I recommend it as a must-read for fans of the Harry Potter books and movies.

Books vs Movies

If forced to choose between reading a book or watching its movie adaptation, I will always choose the book for many reasons. The first has to do with the fact that a novel can be read at any pace. It can be savored leisurely, a few pages at a time, or devoured all at once. This is not true of films, which are usually best enjoyed all at once in two hour time blocks. The fact that you can re-read a passage in a paperback several times is another thing that appeals to me. Sometimes I do this to better understand what the author is trying to convey. Again, this is not something that can be done easily with motion pictures. A final thing I enjoy about books over movies is the fact I can use the authors words to develop the characters in my head. I do not have to accept the choices of a casting director to decide what someone looks or acts like.

In the past I have watched films based on a story I had previously read. I almost always end up enjoying the book version more. It is possible that this is a result of the extra time and budget constraints placed on films. Time constraints dictate that a movie be around 90 minutes long. In order for filmmakers to make this limit, they must cut out the smaller details found in a book. I often enjoy these little tidbits that we learn about the characters or story and miss them when they are cut. Budget restrictions placed on those in the film industry may dictate casting choices. In order to meet his budget, a director may decide not to include some smaller characters who don’t have a large impact on the plot of the story. If they don’t have to hire an actor, they don’t have to pay them. While these characters are not crucial to the plot development, I often enjoy their presence and miss them when they are cut.

My least favorite thing is when a movie ends in a completely different way than the story from which it is based. There have been many times that I have read a book that did not have the typical “happy” ending. Sometimes the girl wouldn’t get the guy. Imagine my surprise when I watch the movie and it ends with the girl and guy happily together. To me this is something that does not make a faithful movie adaptation. A change like this significantly alters the story.

Book Cover of Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin With all of that being said, I find it very odd that I am eagerly anticipating the movie release of Something Borrowed next year. This movie is based on the book of the same name by Emily Giffin. I adore this book. It is one of the books that I find myself absentmindedly picking up and not being able to put down. I have talked previously about her skill at depicting relationships, and this book is an excellent display of that ability. Even though you know the relationship between the characters of Dex and Rachel is a bad idea, you just can’t help that they work it out.

If anything, I would think my extreme love for this novel would make me less likely to want to see it. I usually hate seeing books I love ruined by movie adaptions. Some early images from the set have confirmed they have majorly altered the storyline of one of the characters. This would normally drive me insane, but has yet to bother me too much.

I think my lack of cynicism towards the screenplay is due to the author’s enthusiasm for the movie. Throughout the filming processes, she has posted frequent updates on her Facebook page. To me this demonstrates that she is excited about the movie and any changes to her original story. Personally I feel if the author is OK with changes made to his or her own words, I should also be OK with it. Hopefully this is the case and I enjoy the movie!