David Yates Discusses Directing “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

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Jun 20, 2007

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

In an extensive new article on FilmJournal.com, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix director David Yates discusses taking the lead in a production as massive as OotP and gives his thoughts on the process, actors and result. Stepping into the directorial shoes after Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón and Mike Newell, Mr. Yates first worked very closely with also first time Harry Potter crew member, Michael Goldenerg, to work on the screenplay.

Goldenberg stepped up to the plate when series scripter Steve Kloves decided to take an installment off. “I’m not absolutely sure how that all worked out, because Michael was contracted before I started,” says Yates. “But I certainly had a great time working with him because he’s a hugely collaborative and sensitive writer. He was a good choice for this assignment. He’d written a version of Peter Pan. He’d worked on Contact. He’s a very emotional writer, and I think, because this is quite an emotional story, that’s why David and the studio invited him along. Some have compared this to the earlier Potters.”

Mr. Yates also discusses the difficult task of cutting certain parts of the story in order to create a “streamlined narrative…” for the film. He goes on to say on this subject:

“It was heartbreaking,” the director-in-the-driver’s-seat concedes. “When you adapt these stories, you realize that they can tend toward the episodic simply because you have all these lovely chapters that are very character-driven and you end up serving a lot of different stories. Michael wanted to feel we had one complete, unified, emotional story. That was our ambition.”

Having worked on “Order of the Phoenix” for more than two and a half years, Mr. Yates is not quite ready to give up the directors chair yet. Currently working on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, he draws a parallel between himself and Chris Columbus saying:

“I’m doing a Chris Columbus. He did the first two films back-to-back, and he had this crazy schedule where he was dubbing One while he was prepping Two. I’ve been doing the same with Five and Six. We start shooting in September.”

You can read the entirety of this excellent new interview here.





27 Responses to David Yates Discusses Directing “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

Avatar Image says:

Wow. Very interesting.

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Sounds good to me I think we getting deeper into the “potter world” we have harry’s growing pains to consider as well as the new places people and things, I think it will be awesome.

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I can’t tell you how impatient I am for this film!

There’s another interview with David Yates in Time Out New York Kids, http://www.tonykids.com/Details.do?page=1&xyurl=xyl://KIDSWebArticles1/07jul/film/wild_about_harry.xml

Avatar Image says:

I still think thaht the lenght of the movie is too short. But according to this interview it’s Yates’ choice to do the shortest HP movie.

I don’t understand because several months ago I read that he has shot a 3 hour long movie.

Did anyone read that too ?

Avatar Image says:

These comments give me so much more hope than “We needed to remove anything that wasn’t related to getting to those three drops of blood” attitude of the last film. I’m really looking forward to this installment as i think it is being made by someone who actually has an understanding that the audience matters!

Avatar Image says:

Is there really any chance at all this will be good? Movie 4 was like watching Book 4’s greatest hits, and I can’t imagine that’s going to get any better at all with a shortened film. But maybe Yates knows how to make a film without it being choppy.

Avatar Image says:

good god theyre starting HBP in september???

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im so excited!!!!!

Avatar Image says:

Why do I get the feeling they’re cutting out Neville’s parents?

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I really love Yates as a director. I did not like the previous director. I hope Yates stays for DH as well but that would be pushing it. He must be exhausted. I really hope that if OOTP turns out great he does Deathly Hallows as well.

Avatar Image says:

I’m kinda bummed that it seems intentional that he kept it so short. Most of the people that will see this movie are probably going to be Harry Potter fans so they want MORE not LESS. At least for me..

Avatar Image says:

MichaelD, I am a huge HP fan, but I don’t necessarily want MORE movie I want a BETTER movie and if a concise shorter movie that has a tight plot and a compelling story makes for a better movie then I am all for it. I don’t need to see all of Harry’s dreams or all of the detentions or all of the Occlumency lessons to have a great OotP movie. As much as I love the Weasley is our King story line… it is an easy cut that would have detracted from the main point of the story which is that the ministry of magic and Harry/Dumbledore are at odds with each other reguarding the fact that Voldie has returned. That allong with the Sirius/Harry thread. Will make for a GREAT movie. I will always be a fan of the books first and foremost, but I am completely ok with a shorter movie that captures the heart of the book.

Avatar Image says:

I dunno…that awful, small kitchen isn’t encouraging me…

Avatar Image says:

I agree that its easy to cut some of the subplots from this book. The decision as to which ones are cut should be carefully thought through. For example many would think Grawp could be easily cut from the book and Hagrids story compressed to a few lines so why keep it in the film? Could Grawp be key to the Deathy Hallows thus making his appearance here required? Furthermore if you look at Prisoner Of Azakaban Cuaron kept many of the subplots as backgroud scenes. For example Ron’s rat on the front of the daily profit and Crookshanks chasing Scabbers. There is so much happening that you can watch the movie often and find something new each time. So far the previews for this OOTP look excellent so I’m not worried much about the run time. I’m sure any scenes/plots cut that are in the book were checked on with Rowling for series continuity. This being my favorite book in the series so far I think they will do well by it. I hoped for the confrontation between Harry and Draco at the end but I guess adding 3 minutes to the film for one witty remark would have been too much. – Cheers

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I’m so glad he’s staying for a second film! How exciting!

Avatar Image says:

sometimes less is more. personally, i think his attitude sounds good. if you want the level of detail and substance from the books, well, READ THE BOOKS. too much detail and extraneous stuff in a movie just bogs it down.

Avatar Image says:

We’re five movies in and some people still don’t seem to understand the difference between a book and movie? They cannot possibly adapt everything from a book into a movie. That would be a really boring movie. Instead, they take what is essential to the story, and then adapt THAT into a film. If you want the entire story, then read the book… No matter how many times it’s said, people still get upset that their favorite part is missing…

Avatar Image says:

I think that he is going to do a very good job with The Half-Blood Prince…I Can’t wait to see the order of the phoenix!!!!

Avatar Image says:

THe NY article about David Yates is so informative. The kids love him and he loves them back by giving them great praise indeed. Typically, Dan got the most praise while Rupert is just mentioned for his comic timing, whatever that means. BTW, do you think they’ll get Yates for the last movie? We’ll have an ala Jackson trilogy cause he directed all the LOTR films.

Avatar Image says:

Do you think they left in the part where Umbridge inspects McGonagall or where Harry has his career advice date… ‘cause those where really funny parts.

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I could sit for hours in a cramped movie theater just to get the proper plot line Jo wrote. They did it for LotR, why not Potter?

Avatar Image says:

Great, can’t wait to see OOTP and HBP.

Avatar Image says:

“I don’t understand because several months ago I read that he has shot a 3 hour long movie.”

Yates also said, in the very same article that you quote, that he knew he would have to lose 45 mins in the edit.

It’s entirely possible that a decision was made very early on that they were going to go for a shorter theatrical cut and save the additional scenes for an extended edition for the fans.

Avatar Image says:

Wow, they’re shooting HBP in September already?

Avatar Image says:

i’ll feel a lot better as soon as he stops saying the words “chris columbus.” the guy’s a hack.

Avatar Image says:

“Some have compared this to the earlier Potters.”

and

“I’m doing a Chris Columbus.”

Ruh-roh. Also? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Bring Alfonso Cuaron back. Please?

Avatar Image says:

“Ruh-roh. Also? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Bring Alfonso Cuaron back. Please?”

Oh calm down, he doesn’t mean the film is going to be like a Columbus film just that he is doing back to back films.

Believe me, Yates is a thousands times a better director than Columbus.

Avatar Image says:

I’m doing a “Chris Columbus” means he’s doing two in a row. And as for the LOTR stuff, my husband says the movies, while great, are not exactly faithful to the books – they’re one filmmaker’s vision of them. I can’t comment because I’ve never read the books.

I agree with Lance, though. Can we not get past the fact that some things have to go when putting a book on the screen?

The director seems interesting, and I hope that the movie will be visually exciting and that the performances are great. Just a few more weeks….

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