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David Yates Talks Burrow Scene, Deathly Hallows Film, and Life after Harry Potter

Yates Interviews
Posted by: sue
July 24, 2009, 09:09 AM

Director David Yates has given a new interview to Vanity Fair, where he discusses again the decision to add the attack on the Burrow scene to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as weigh in with some thoughts on the look of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two and his career plans after the series has concluded. Notable quotes are as follows:



Can you give me an example of a particularly difficult choice you had to make in this last film? "One of the things we did was we added a sequence in the middle of the movie—the sequence in the reeds when death eaters try and attack Harry—and that sequence never existed in the book. In one sense it seems mad to add something to Jo’s [read: J.K. Rowling’s] world and Jo’s book. It’s already full of pretty rich, fantastic stuff—why on earth would you add anything? But in the sort of two-and-a-half hour structure of a screenplay there was a lack of a sense of jeopardy from the outside. We were in all these romantic entanglements and I needed to audience to be reminded of what the threat was from the outside world. Jo talks about those things in the background in the book but halfway through our book we needed our audience in the theater to be aware of them and to experience them. So we added a sequence that didn’t existed in the book but was there, I guess, in spirit because it was happening beyond Hogwarts."

Did you run it by J.K. Rowling? I’m sorry: by “Jo”? "Yeah, Jo was totally cool about it. She recognized the challenge of it and the need for it."

On Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "It’s just edgier. It’s a little rawer. It’s more contemporary. It feels more modern. Shooting in the way we’ve been shooting, doing a lot of hand-held camera work, all that stuff, I’ve never got a call from the studio. They just phone up or email and say we love the dailies even though I am doing things that feel very not Harry Potter. So I feel I have a freedom and the elbowroom to do what I feel the story requires.

So you’re hearkening back to your gritty days of State of Play? "Yeah, indeed. In Harry Potter Seven, part One, very much so. But, of course, Hallows part Two brings that fantasy world back in full cinemascope. It’s full of dragons, and big wizard battles, and magic. To keep the thing interesting for me as a filmmaker, I want to serve the wonderful stories Jo has given us but I need to move it around a bit. I can’t feel that I am making the same film. Tonally, I need to shake it up a bit. Like Half-Blood Prince had a lot more humor in it than Order of the Phoenix and that was important for me, and I think it was important for the audience to not get the same journey. And Hallows part One will feel very different than Half-Blood Prince."

What’s the first thing you are going to do next? "I’ve got a couple of things. I want to do a war picture. I’m developing a war picture called Saint Nazaire that’s about a reckless commander raid in the Second World War. I want to make a movie version of the TV thing I did called Sex Traffic, about trafficking. There’s a whole pile of stuff coming out. I am reading stuff all the time."

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140 Comments

Bookworm_thumb
1623 Points

I wasn’t too crazy about the added Burrow scene (although I agree, AHPfan, it was shot very well) because it actually seemed somewhat anti-climatic – there’s this big chase…and then Bellatrix and Fenrir just leave.

However, after reading (or hearing) something in a previous interview, about how they wanted to show that this is how the DEs operate – instilling fear in people – I am better able to accept it. Now I look at it like the DEs were just toying with Harry and the others, not necessarily wanting to harm them right at that moment (or to capture Harry), but just keeping them on their toes, so they’ll constantly be looking over their shoulders, anxious about when the next attack might come.

Posted by Bookworm Jen on July 24, 2009, 10:16 AM report to moderator
Groucho2_thumb

While I do agree that HBP was far better than OotP, I remain skeptical about Yates as director. HIs comments in this interview, about having more ‘room to move and change things’, worry me. And he has his self-imposed time limit on how long films can be…what rubbish! Has the man never seen Lawrence of Arabia? Fiddler on the Roof? Dr. Zhivago? among countless other films that last more the 2 1/2 hours?

As others have noted, and as I seem to constantly repeat, there still remain far too many plot holes (less than in OotP thankfully, and mostly surrounding the Horcruxes) that somehow need to be plugged if the overall series of films will hold together and make sense. The quick reference to Regulus is sufficient to closing that gap…now, what about all the other ones, most of which are from OotP?

While the Burrow scene was ‘nicely shot’, it really made no sense other than to demonstrate that Ginny would run through fire to be with Harry….plus now the Burrow needs to be ‘resurrected’ for the wedding scene (presumably).

I often wonder if Yates read the same books I have. The emphasis on romance was his choice, along with Kloves I assume. This adaption is the first one where I feel Kloves did not do his best, more for what was left out than for what was put in. (naturally, we have no idea what discussions took place between director, writer and editor). And what was the point behind the waitress in the station? Simply to tell us that Harry is an adolescent with hormones, and that girls find him attractive? Sticking to the novel, beyond one quick shot of Romilda Vane, would have made that point. There is plenty of material in the HBP book to provide the sense of danger in the outside world..and romance….without adding the Burrow scene, which, as well as it was done, sorry, didn’t quite do it.

Still, I think that Yates finally is paying attention to fan criticism, since he feels the need to justify his choices.

Please give Evanna Lynch full power over plot changes and omissions.

Incidentally, no one has mentioned the physical changes in the vanishing cabinet and the locket (from the deleted scene in CoS)…drives me a bit nuts when there are minor changes like that which break the continuity between films. Other examples, Sirius in the fire in GoF and OotP, change the dementers’ appearance between PoA and OotP. Gee, all these breaks in visual references happen after Yates took the helm…hm, now ain’t that curious! Either the 7 8 films are consistent and seamless, or they are simply separate bits and pieces that may not in the end hold together.

I want the films to be as brilliant as the books. Not perfect, not identical, just brilliant.

Posted by budb on July 24, 2009, 10:32 AM report to moderator
Weasly_thumb
57 Points

so i guess they’re splitting the films before gringotts then? if pt. 2 has dragons in it

Posted by WannabeWeasly on July 24, 2009, 10:41 AM report to moderator
Icon_thumb
147 Points

I was thrilled to see that Yates mentiones “dragons” for part 2! I hope that means we will be seeing the trio escaping Gringott’s on the back of the dragon!!

Posted by realspace on July 24, 2009, 10:44 AM report to moderator
Baby_harry_thumb
135 Points

Yeah, I had no problem with the burrow scene. I thought that every added/changed scene worked really well, and that the whole film felt very consistent with the tone and feel of the book.

I’m really looking forward to DH part 1. It should feel VERY non-Harry Potter, as he says, but that’s actually a good thing. That part of the book feels very raw and non-Harry Potter. It will be fun to have a more gritty real-world harry potter film.

Posted by savingharry on July 24, 2009, 10:46 AM report to moderator
Baby_harry_thumb
135 Points

Yeah, I had no problem with the burrow scene. I thought that every added/changed scene worked really well, and that the whole film felt very consistent with the tone and feel of the book.

I’m really looking forward to DH part 1. It should feel VERY non-Harry Potter, as he says, but that’s actually a good thing. That part of the book feels very raw and non-Harry Potter. It will be fun to have a more gritty real-world harry potter film.

Posted by savingharry on July 24, 2009, 10:49 AM report to moderator
250px-youre-a-wizard
484 Points

@ AHPfan You’ve got the same observations with me… There’s NO Safety Measures issued by the Ministry has been discussed in the entire movie. And Dumbledore’s simply leaving Harry miles outside the Burrow is really a big stupidity, and what about the Purpose of the Vanishing Cabinet? Draco waste his time on that just to allowed Death Eaters to simply burnt Hagrid’s hut…

Posted by EnricoDc on July 24, 2009, 11:04 AM report to moderator
P1010630_thumb
2417 Points

I just don’t get the feeling he really gets it – he keeps talking about shaking it up and making a differnet film from one to the other – I understand that concept as far as a director not wanting his next film looking & feeling like his last film but in that case you’re not talking the same story usually, not doing the same author – this is Harry’s & Jo’s world – and that is what we’ve all bought into and want to see – he doesn’t have to put Harry in the “modern” gritty world so that he can then go back to the magical world and no tworry we’ll be bored – for instance that was my beef with HBP – that scene where Harry is in the cafeteria making “plans” with the waitress – ok we get that his hormones are bubbling – just stick with what Jo wrote and show it at Hogwarts! Sheesh

Posted by Hagrid 713 (ROAR) on July 24, 2009, 11:07 AM report to moderator
P1010630_thumb
2417 Points

I just don’t get the feeling he really gets it – he keeps talking about shaking it up and making a differnet film from one to the other – I understand that concept as far as a director not wanting his next film looking & feeling like his last film but in that case you’re not talking the same story usually, not doing the same author – this is Harry’s & Jo’s world – and that is what we’ve all bought into and want to see – he doesn’t have to put Harry in the “modern” gritty world so that he can then go back to the magical world and no tworry we’ll be bored – for instance that was my beef with HBP – that scene where Harry is in the cafeteria making “plans” with the waitress – ok we get that his hormones are bubbling – just stick with what Jo wrote and show it at Hogwarts! Sheesh

Posted by Hagrid 713 (ROAR) on July 24, 2009, 11:07 AM report to moderator
Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

i really wanted the battle at the end and was disappointed when it wasnt put in. but i luved the attack of the burrow! it was good!!

Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

i really wanted the battle at the end and was disappointed when it wasnt put in. but i luved the attack of the burrow! it was good!!

Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

i really wanted the battle at the end and was disappointed when it wasnt put in. but i luved the attack of the burrow! it was good!!

Ronhermione_thumb
4452 Points

i really wanted the battle at the end and was disappointed when it wasnt put in. but i luved the attack of the burrow! it was good!!

250px-youre-a-wizard
484 Points

@ budb You forgot to mention James Cameron’s Titanic and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy… Those are more than 3 hours each film but i love to watch them again and again… It is because there’s something wonderful (i can’t explain really) but i think 90% of the population of the world agreed with us…

For a Best Director, He/She didn’t care about a time length of his film, His big concern is How about the audience will love his movie.
I remember Peter Jackson once said,
Pain is Temporary But Film is Forever…

Well, The Damages has been done in the Harry Potter films, Reason why i dissapointed but still looking forward to the Last two remaining HP films…

Posted by EnricoDc on July 24, 2009, 11:16 AM report to moderator
250px-youre-a-wizard
484 Points

@ budb You forgot to mention James Cameron’s Titanic and Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy… Those are more than 3 hours each film but i love to watch them again and again… It is because there’s something wonderful (i can’t explain really) but i think 90% of the population of the world agreed with us…

For a Best Director, He/She didn’t care about a time length of his film, His big concern is How about the audience will love his movie.
I remember Peter Jackson once said,
Pain is Temporary But Film is Forever…

Well, The Damages has been done in the Harry Potter films, Reason why i dissapointed but still looking forward to the Last two remaining HP films…

Posted by EnricoDc on July 24, 2009, 11:16 AM report to moderator
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