The Economist on Economy of Harry Potter; Deathly Hallows Filming Ends in May


Dec 19, 2009

Posted by EdwardTLC

Business and world finance magazine The Economist has published a lengthy profile on the varied ways in which the Harry Potter series by author J. K. Rowing as impacted on the financial and business markets over the past twelve years. In this article, the successes of the series are examined, along with many of their particular economic effects. Of interest are comments made by Harry Potter film producer David Heyman, who relates that filming for the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will wrap up in May. Comparing job losses in traditional industry to the those which will be felt once the final installments of Harry Potter wraps filming, Mr. Heyman is quoted as saying, “People talk about the effect of factories closing… when we stop filming next May, at least 800 people will be looking for work.” Readers will recall earlier in the month an MTV article, in which actor Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) was interviewed, reported that filming for the final films had been extended until June of 2010.

The Economist piece goes on to detail the multifaceted growth of the Harry Potter franchise as the popularity of the books expanded, films were produced, and plans made for theme parks. Discussion of the Harry Potter films continues with an examination of the processes by which the films were made. Quoteage:

Instead of A-listers the films feature hitherto obscure child actors and British theatrical talent. Perhaps the biggest star is Alan Rickman, previously known to American cinema-goers (if at all) as the villain in “Die Hard”. Over time they have faded neither commercially nor artistically. If anything the reverse is true. After the first two films the Harry Potter franchise was handed to non-American directors more associated with independent film and television. Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates have been given a good deal of autonomy by Warner Bros.

In Harry Potter’s case, creative experimentation is possible because of the rigorous control exerted over many aspects of the production. The team that has worked on the Harry Potter films is unusually stable. Mr Heyman and the lead designers have stayed put throughout. All but one of the screenplays have been written by Steve Kloves. Stimulated by a steady supply of complex work, local outfits like Double Negative and the Moving Picture Company have grown in competence and can now handle just about all the films’ special-effects needs. Even more unusually, some sets have been allowed to remain in Leavesden Studios for almost ten years. As Mr Heyman puts it, directors may shoot the action from different angles but they are filming the same Hogwarts. It is as though the auteur tradition has been fused with the industrial approach to film-making that was common practice in Hollywood before the war.

The publishing side of the Harry Potter economic story is also profiled in this article, with Publisher Nigel Newton speaking towards Bloomsbury’s acquisition of the novels, and eventual successes. The creation of a Harry Potter industry is further examined with looks at the upcoming Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park at Universal Studios, Orlando; series of toys, games, and collectible merchandise; and fan communities that have formed around the novels.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One is set for a November 2010 release, while Part Two will arrive in theaters in July 2011.

Many thanks Amanda!

50 Responses to The Economist on Economy of Harry Potter; Deathly Hallows Filming Ends in May

Avatar Imagealpaca-girl says: i don't want it to end :o(... Avatar Imagejenbabe705 says: I don't think it's over yet. I think someday they'll remake the movies.Avatar Imagetaraa says: i agree harry potters timeless it will never be old Avatar Imagelilyluna says: HP is forever. Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: Great article! It blows my mind that the filming will soon end... and there will be no more films. But the series will live on so HP is timeless! :)Avatar ImageZephyrFool says: Wow, 800 people out of job. And most of them probably not high-earning actors that have managed to put a lot of their salary to the side. At least they knew way in advance that it would be coming to this, so I'm willing to believe that there won't be 800 people on the dole all of a sudden.Avatar ImageTheHeirOfSlytherin2 says: The wait between Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 will be torture!Avatar Imagealicia00 says: wow 800 people with put a job wow i feel bad and i cant belevel that filmimg is going to end in may i cant belevle it that is heart braking but i am not going to cry i dont cry oftenAvatar Imagenox avis says: thats really interesting, all the behind the scenes stuff. i love the fact even though the books are over and the movies are at a close the whole harry potter world is continuing in a themepark. there so much hp stuff to keep you busy lolAvatar ImageGiant Squid says: interesting!!!!!Avatar Imageamonetq says: Harry Potter is timeless.Avatar ImageCatherine says: it may end with books and movie, but the idea of harry potter is going to last for years, decades, maybe even centruies! the books are a phenomanon, timeless, our grandchildre and great grandchildren will be reading them! they will also be watching the movies in future formats, which have already gone from being onVHS to DVD to Blue-ray in my life time and im only 15! so it will technically end, but Jo and HP will effect generations to come!Avatar Imagetinagin says: Very insightfull article. Good point Phoenix1946. I too have tons of Disney toys from when I was a kid, which I got even before Star Wars came out. That said my Star Wars action figures are with me, as they are now collectors items just like my Disney toys:-)Avatar ImageFifi says: 800 people out of jobs! Harry, please don't end.Avatar ImageFresca says: I feel sorry for the talented people who will have lost their jobs at the end of the filming and editing, but what resumes they will have1 The best thing about these movies is that they stayed away from the A-list actors and went with the awesome talent of an Alan Rickman or a Maggie Smith.Avatar ImageHorcruxNoctus says: I don't want it to end either, but at the same time it will probably be after it's all over before we see anything else from J.K.. As excited as I am about the 2 DH films, I would be 100x more excited if I found out Rowling was writing again, and I doubt that will happen when we are still waste deep in potter mania. So bring on DH. I for one am extremely interested to see how they end this on the big screen. The sill director they are using doesa fantastic job but tends to throw in the most random things, so for all we know the ending could be completely different.Avatar ImageKennedyJames says: IT SHALL NEVER DIE! ;D <3333Avatar Imagemaimiaa says: whoa. remake the movies? that's pretty interesting. but. yeah HP is timeless! :D Avatar Imageicystormz says: Absolutely fascinating article. I've always been interested with the behind-the-scenes impact of the films; it really puts the whole "franchise" concept into perspective.Avatar ImagetheREALGinnyWeasley says: HP is timeless. People will love it for years on end. But I don't want it to end!!!! :)Avatar Imageamonetq says: ah were talking about remaking them when they havent even be finsihed!? ahh well i know harry potter will never be gone as long as those who have a yern for adventure and know that love is the ultimate power harry potter will be forever!! -harry potter nerd always!Avatar Imagesunlitdays says: interesting thought, how harry helped the economy. jo should consder all the good she could do to the american economy if she wrote another hp p=book ;pAvatar ImageJTEL99 says: I'll bet all of these HP actors will have a good cry when the filming ends. They probably feel like family to one another by now. :'(Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: Harry Potter will always live!!!!!!!!!Avatar ImageMacedonian says: When we Become parent we should advice our children to read hp books they re timeless!Avatar Imageinzainiac says: Wow, filming is going to end so soon o_o Hard to believe...Avatar Imageazna70 says: Long live Harry Potter.Avatar ImageMatea says: I feel sorry for all these people,but it's about time to finish HP,after 10 long years. Avatar Imagehermionenluna TZS ROAR! says: awesome. harry will live on Avatar ImagePhoenix1946 says: I just finished reading the article in "The Economist" and found it most interesting and informative. I do, however, take exception to one statement "“Star Wars” showed studios there was money in toys." WRONG! Walt Disney showed there is money in toys. First with Mickey Mouse and friends. Then with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Followed by all the classic Disney movies. All this before George Lucas was born. "Star Wars" reminded the studios that there was Big Money in toy tie-ins to blockbuster movies. How do I know all this? When I was very young, my folks took me to the Disney movies and I had many of the Disney and WB toys(Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and many more).Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Alas, all good things must come to an end...Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: What an interesting article! They certainly delved in depth into the structure and organization of this franchise. The fact that the end of the films will represent unemployment for so many people who have been attached to this franchise for years is a rather tragic reality.Avatar ImageTheWizard says: Harry Potter is timeless, it will last forever!Avatar ImageElderwand103 says: I can't believe it's going to come to an end soon. I'm gonna miss it so much!Avatar Imagemuggle118 says: it will be so sad and weird when it is all overAvatar ImagePotter_Puella says: I still can't believe it is going to be over soon! :( And wow, 800 jobs is alot of people, the end is bad for everyone. Avatar Image1 Griffindor Fan 134 says: it IS sad that hp is almost done...800 people out of work... woah! Won_Two has a point... as do the rest..... remaking hp?!?!?! odd idea but, not impossible idea... HP WILL LIVE ON!!!!Avatar Imagemolly43 says: It's terrible that so many people will be out of a job. I believe that many will be able to use the fact that they worked on the set as something positive on their resume and it will help a great deal in getting jobs elsewhere. I don't see an end to HP just as there is no end to Spiderman, The Hulk or Superman. Interesting characters are redone. I hope that whoever redoes HP will have more color, light and use more of the funny scenes that JKR has in the books. Optimistically I hope they will leave in everything - that would really be amazing! Avatar ImageAngelasCrochetingCorner says: Interesting!Avatar Imageleigia says: It's amazing that JKR started a trend that created jobs and money for people involved. It go to prove that things can happen with the right opportunity and moment.Avatar ImageInfiniteBoggarts says: I'll cry when DH Part 2 comes out. Because there will be no more books or movies to get over-excited about :(Avatar ImageWant to be a Weasley says: As much talent and experience as those people have, other companies and or businesses would be crazy to not hire them. I wish them all the best of luck. Now isn't it time for a Deathly Hallows part one countdown!!Avatar ImageNot Slytherin says: Cool article. HP made The Economist! Excellent ...Avatar Imagephoenixes are in ravenclaw says: *gasp* Already?!? This is going to be sad when they come to theaters and I will cry...Avatar Imagehousemusicbori says: im so sorry about that the harry pottering will end soon:( harry potter is timeless:)Avatar ImageSpellWraith says: Must be a first for the Economist's comments entries to be flamed to cinders by rabid HP fans! Interesting that noone here seems to have commented on the Economist's observation that the HP books are "not great literature" - one of the other well-known fansites is going insane over this. Personally (i.e. as a 55-year-old non-fanatic) I can see what the Economist writer is getting at - JKR is an undoubted master of plot design, but I'm sure there is room for her to grow as a writer and I hope we will get the chance to see whether she does. Fans much younger than me will have the opportunity to see for themselves how the HP thing is viewed in, say, fifty years time, and whether the books are then seen as "great literature" - whereas in recent years it's been difficult to see past the commercially-driven hype - but, hey, if we enjoyed them, who cares? Corn Flakes are not generally seen as great food, but they do seem to sell an awful lot....Avatar Imageharrypotter1991 says: That's unfortunate that so many people would lose their jobs after HP filming ends. I'm glad that filming is back on schedule to finish in May 2010. Can't wait for DH part 1 and 2!Avatar ImagePollytomat says: very interesting! thanx! :)Avatar Imageprincesspeach says: its crazy that this is ending! i never want these movies to stop :(Avatar Imagehprocks2700 says: Why does it have to end?

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