Profile on Harry Potter Producer David Heyman

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Sep 12, 2008

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

There is a new in depth profile online tonight with Harry Potter film producer David Heyman. In this lengthy article, David reflects on how he became interested in the Harry Potter books and how he became involved with producing the film series as noted below:

“Heyman set up a modest office above a music shop in London, where a colleague chanced to read a review about a not-yet-published novel, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (its British title) and asked for a free copy in 1997. It was summarily tossed on the “low priority” shelf at the bottom of a bookcase.

“Then my secretary, who was fed up with the rubbish she had to read, remembered the good review, took the book home, and brought it up at a staff meeting. I said, ‘Bad title. What’s it about?’ And she said, ‘It’s about an 11-year-old who goes to wizard school.’ I thought that was a great idea, so I read it and fell in love.”

“I hadn’t a clue that the Potter books would become an international phenomenon,” Heyman continued, “but I loved the author’s voice, that the book didn’t talk down to kids and that it made me laugh. I also liked it because I had gone to a school that reminded me of Hogwarts. We’ve all had friends like Harry’s [hyper-studious] friend, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley, the good-time pal. The book talked about loyalty and friendship and courage and trust, which I most certainly related to. And it was the story of an outsider, an orphan, Harry, who must overcome adversity.”

Appearing in the JewishJournal.com website, the piece also goes into the personal background of David, his Jewish roots, and the parallels found in “Order of the Phoenix” to life in Nazi Germany. David notes, “The echoes of World War II occur throughout the film,” he said. “Voldemort and his followers are obsessed with the preservation of blood purity; they’re not Nazis but they recall the politics and attitudes of Nazi Germany. And aesthetically - although it’s a cliché - the [Death Eater] Lucius Malfoy and his family are blond, like Hitler’s ideal of the quintessential Aryan.” (Lucius Malfoy is played by Jewish actor Jason Isaacs.)

As we told you last week, David Heyman is also the producer of the new film “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” which stars actor David Thewlis (Remus Lupin.) You can see some new clips of this film which is now opening in the UK below. Thanks much Krzys!

Clip “PARTY TO CELEBRATE THE PROMOTION”-featuring David Thewlis
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Clip ‘ARRIVING AT THE NEW HOUSE
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Clip ‘DISCUSSING WHY THE FARMERS WEAR PYJAMAS
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Direct Trailer Links
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17 Responses to Profile on Harry Potter Producer David Heyman

Avatar Image says:

Nice article. It provided some interesting insight..

Avatar Image says:

What a fascinating interview. I had no idea he had such an interesting family background and history, and that his parents were also film producers. I’ve liked his choice in directors, particularly Cuaron and Yates.

Avatar Image says:

I love that they’re all called “Harry Potter and the . . .” I don’t think the titles actually are unsophisticated in themselves; but they are simple- not dull, just not flowery- and then you read the book and its a fantastic bit of literary genius.

Avatar Image says:

Interesting interview…I actually never know about some of the stuff he talked about!

Avatar Image says:

If he loved the books so much then why has he done a horrible job with the movies he has directed?? I know it’s not all his fault but as the director he does have say in how scenes would be portrayed

Avatar Image says:

Unknown: He was the producer, not the director :)

For anyone who’s not sick of me saying this: everyone needs to go and see the boy in striped pyjamas! :D Hahha.

Avatar Image says:

He’s not the director, he’s the producer. He organizes financing and makes the big decisions, like postponing the HBP till next summer… GRRRRR!! He is only concerned with making a profit on the film.

Avatar Image says:

“He’s not the director, he’s the producer. He organizes financing and makes the big decisions, like postponing the HBP till next summer… GRRRRR!! He is only concerned with making a profit on the film.”

Wrong Tim. David Heyman is the producer of the films who overseas day to day production, he was not involved in the decision to delay the film, that is made by the people at WB in Hollywood, like Alan Horn and the like.

He got told of the decision after it had been made, even though Alan Horn would have advised him of the decision before anyone else involved in the day to day production.

As for those complaining he hasn’t been faithful, well that’s you’re intrepretation not mine. They may not included every little scene from the book ,but compared to most book to film adaptations I have seen in my over 30 years of movie watching the people involved with bringing these films have been remarkable faithful to the overall spirit and story of the books.

You cannot include everything from a book in a movie and it’s about time some fans learned the meaning of the term “adaptation”.

Have they been perfect films? No, but I think overall they’ve done a pretty good darn job and David Heyman deserves some credit for that.

Avatar Image says:

”’Ear, ‘ear”, gilyweed! Well said. My sentiments too.

Avatar Image says:

“Have they been perfect films? No, but I think overall they’ve done a pretty good darn job and David Heyman deserves some credit for that.”

Actually, I think David Heyman deserves a LOT of credit for the positive way these films have turned out. In every interview I’ve ever seen with him, whether in print or on video, his passion and care for these stories comes through. Although we can all quibble with specific things, It think he has done a remarkable job of keeping them on the right course, staying fresh, and not letting them descend into typical Hollywood fare.

And if nothing else, he deserves enormous credit for keeping these young actors grounded and sane.  That in and of itself is a remarkable achievement.
Avatar Image says:

I just got done reading the book, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and I coud’nt put it down.

Avatar Image says:

You want a bad day? Read the spoiler-filled ‘review’ of HBP from the Chicago preview screening: it sounds like the changed a lot of stuff needlessly, for the worse… we shall see.

Avatar Image says:

p.s. I don’t mean to insult the person who wrote up the synopsis… nor the fact that there are spoilers in it… it was great to read, just depressing that they seem to have changed so much, especially the way it went in The Cave and thereafter.

Avatar Image says:

I echo gilyweed and Professor Lily’s comments. David Heyman has been the heart and soul of these productions. He has assembled a crew that truly truly cares about their product and delivery to entertain the movie going audience (HP fans, and non fans alike). All five films have been wonderful so far and in each one they mature and give a fresh spin on their delivery which may largely be down to the change of directors. Jo Rowling has been blessed to have the most caring crew to translate her stories onto the big screen. Not many authors have had that luck or privilege. Even Pullman’s Dark Materials was messed up with the disastrous but beautiful looking Golden Compass. Narnia Chronicles are ok but nothing special (please give us magician’s nephew! sorry I digress). Only Lord of the Rings beats Potter for superior fantasy film adaptation. Yeah, I agree, David Heyman is the man that we should be thanking most (at least those of us who enjoy the movies) for bringing to the screen an unprecedented 7/8 movie chronicle spanning a decade maintaining the same cast and core crew who love what they do and being paid handsomely for it means we get their best efforts. There are no other franchise with a story that has a beginning and end who can boast such a feat. Star Trek and James Bond may spring to some people’s minds but these movies were all stand alone stories, there are no continuity involved (well a little with Star trek). So for those HP fans who dislike the movies, I find it such a pity. Because I think these film makers have brought to life more from the books than what other film crews would have done.

Avatar Image says:

Great interview! I never actually knew much about David Heyman. And those clips… Wow. I wasn’t planning on seeing The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but I am now.

Avatar Image says:

i think the review from the preview screening made the film sound great, personally speaking. if you ignore the reviewers personal comments and opinions (which colour the article far too havily for my liking and made me rather dislike the reviewer) and just take into account what is stated as ‘fact’, i think it sounds like possibly the best film yet. dwell on what they missed out if you must, but as a huge fan of the books (potter was my first literary love, after alice and adrian mole) i think that if you made a film adaptation of half-blood prince and kept in every scene and every strand it would be an absolutely terrible film, awkward and entirely uncinematic. i think the films are all very good indeed, with the possible exception of the second one (and even that is healthily 50% good), and heyman and co really seem to walk the line between loyality to the source material and understanding what makes a good, cinematic piece of film-making that will entertain and keep fans and non-fans alike happy and involved for two and a half hours very welll indeed. these films aren’t made just for die-hard fans – if they were, they probably would have made far less money than they have and the whole project may well have been scrapped before they even got to the third film because of it. but as it stands, 5 films in, the highest grossing film series of all time and highly enjoyable to boot. well done, mr heyman.

Avatar Image says: Friday night, November 14, 2008 9:54 p.m. Fellow H. P. People, I just watched the latest trailer for movie VI, Half-Blood Prince. That Gambom person is the worst actor -- he portrays Dumbledore as some sort of snert. Is it possible to ask David Heyman to replace Gambom with a better actor for H.P VII? Help, this is an awful situation. Marguritte

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