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Comic Con: Mike Newell Interview, More

GoFFilm
Posted by: sue
June 18, 2005, 01:48 PM

Comic Con International will be taking place again this year in San Diego, and Warner Brothers will be promoting the upcoming Goblet of Fire film at this convention in July. There is a magazine the convention sends out, and it contains a new interview with Goblet film director Mike Newell. A young fourteen year old attendee of Comic Con was given the opportunity to interview the newest director, who talks about various things such as the filming of the underwater sequences for the second task, filming the dragons, and the characters for the fourth Potter film.

BC: In all the other movies, Hermione is not as plain, big toothed or bushy haired as she is in the books. In the book, nobody recognizes Hermione at the Yule Ball because she is so dressed up and beautiful. Is there going to be alot of time spent on that?

MN: "I think Emma Watson is a pretty girl, but I don't think she is super model beautiful. She's just like a real ordinary person. When she goes to the ball, we've made her look as beautiful and stylish as we knew how but still recognisably herself. We don't spend a huge amount of time on it, but the way she looks does very much surprise Harry and Ron. And she's very excited to be invited by the Quidditch hero, Viktor Krum. He takes a real shine to her, and it's a very sweet relationship even though Ron is tortured with jealousy.


BC: The Dursleys are not a big part of this book, but I really like the letter with all the stamps and Mr Weasley blowing up the living room after he gets trapped in the fireplace. Are they in the movie at all? And secondly, I initially heard that this book was going to be two movies(Yay :)), but that they decided to make just one Boo :( ). What's good about it being one movie and what's bad about it being one movie.

MN: "I'm very sorry the Durselys are not in the movie at all. I, too, found the little scene very funny, but it's not neccessary for the telling of the story of Book 4, as it was in Books 1,2, and 3. So because were were making one, not two films, and something had to be let go, we decided the Dursleys were one of those things. We were sad about it. What's good about it being one movie is that the Tri-Wizard Tournament and Voldemort's plot to get Harry become very taut and very exciting because a lot of the purely descriptive stuff in the novel must be let go. That means the main story becomes a very tight, exciting, fast-paced thriller. Of course, what you miss are the fascinating little details, which in some cases, there just isn't room for. So it's swings and roundabouts what can I tell you?"

We hope to have the scans up soon, but in the mean time you can read the entire interview below.


Also, Action-Figure.com let us know that a special edition of the "Wanted: Sirius Black" bust from Gentle Giant will be available for purchase at Comic Con (July 14-17) this year. Only one statue available per person for $45.00 (USD) They also report that Gentle Giant "has tentatively arranged for a special Harry Potter-related guest to be present at its booth (#3513) on Saturday, July 16. " We will update you with more on this when we can.

Thanks very much to Adrian, and to the reader who sent in the article!


During the 2005 comic Con International, two related magical events will occur. On July 16, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be released, while during the convention weekend Warner Bros is promoting its new feature film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Because Sundays during CCI are all about young attendees, we called in junior reporter Brianne Cisneros, a fourteen-year old from Austin, Texas who has attended two comic-cons and is a huge Harry Potter fan. She interviewed Mike Newell, the film's director for some inside scoop.


BRIANNE CISNEROS: You have to make sure some stuff is used in this movie because it is important in the future movies. How much does J.K. Rowling actually tell you about the other stories?

MIKE NEWELL: "J.K. Rowling keeps each story absolutely insulated from all the other stories so that nobody but J.K. Rowling knows about Book 6, which is to be published in three months time. So, other than what I read in Book 5, I have no special knowledge of the future needs of the story. I simply do what seems to be sensible for setting up the next film."


BC: How do you film the underwater parts of the Triwizard Tournament? Is it really underwater or is it computer?

MN: "The underwater sequence is both filmed naturally underwater and also heavily computerized. We built a huge tank, the biggest in Europe,specially to make this sequence. We made very careful drawings/illustrations of every movement of the sequence and then we shot the human being action exactly to those illustrations, but against a underwater bluescreen with which the tank was lined. So Harry's in the tank, doing all the movements he has to do but not against real underwater scenery. Just against the blue. Then the computer people come along and put in all the backgrounds- the rocks, the weeds, the fish, and of course the Mermaids, and the Grindylows."

BC: Are the dragons in the first task of the Tri-wizard Tournament computer generated graphics or machines? If they are computer generated, how do you direct something like that?

MN: "The dragons in the First Task are cg entirely. The process is: First, imagine your dragon, take your imaginings to an illustrator called an concept artist and get him to draw and draw, making constant changes at my direction until I feel the dragon is convincing. Then those drawings are made into models. They are modeled in clay, and changes are made to make them even more real, then they are painted. So that, at the end, you have a full size inanimate sculpture of the dragon. This is then photographed from every angles and the photos[are] scanned into a computer which works out every tiny measurement of the sculpture. Then the sequence of action is again drawn out with an illustrator and the computer takes those drawings and turns them into the real picture, adding the dragon as it goes."


BC: Who decides what to leave out of the movie and what to change from the book so that it works in the movie.

MN: "This is a very difficult matter and is worked out in huge discussions between representatives of Warner Bros, the scriptwriter, the producer, the director, and sometimes J.K. Rowling. It takes a long time, and while it's happening you constantly seesaw back and forth on certain things- Dobby should be in, Dobby should be out, Dobby should be in, Dobby should be out-and so forth. After a while, everybody gets a feel for what would work in a movie as opposed to what works in a novel."

BC: In all the other movies, Hermione is not as plain, big toothed or bushy haired as she is in the books. In the book, nobody recognizes Hermione at the Yule Ball because she is so dressed up and beautiful. Is there going to be alot of time spent on that?

MN: "I think Emma Watson is a pretty girl, but I don't think she is super model beautiful. She's just like a real ordinary person. When she goes to the ball, we've made her look as beautiful and stylish as we knew how but still recognisably herself. We don't spend a huge amount of time on it, but the way she looks does very much surprise Harry and Ron. And she's very excited to be invited by the Quidditch hero, Viktor Krum. He takes a real shine to her, and it's a very sweet relationship even though Ron is tortured with jealousy."


BC: The Dursleys are not a big part of this book, but I really like the letter with all the stamps and Mr Weasley blowing up the living room after he gets trapped in the fireplace. Are they in the movie at all? And secondly, I initially heard that this book was going to be two movies(Yay :)), but that they decided to make just one Boo :( ). What's good about it being one movie and what's bad about it being one movie.

MN: "I'm very sorry the Durselys are not in the movie at all. I, too, found the little scene very funny, but it's not neccessary for the telling of the story of Book 4, as it was in Books 1,2, and 3. So because were were making one, not two films, and something had to be let go, we decided the Dursleys were one of those things. We were sad about it. What's good about it being one movie is that the Tri-Wizard Tournament and Voldemort's plot to get Harry become very taut and very exciting because a lot of the purely descriptive stuff in the novel must be let go. That means the main story becomes a very tight, exciting, fast-paced thriller. Of course, what you miss are the fascinating little details, which in some cases, there just isn't room for. So it's swings and roundabouts what can I tell you?"

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