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Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?



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  #41  
Old April 4th, 2008, 3:26 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Originally Posted by mrfutterman View Post
It may have been "cool" but it would also have been illegal.

These are child actors we are talking about. The number of hours they are allowed to work by law is severely - and properly - restricted. During the breaks between one film and the next, the kids needed to get on with their education, have holidays, etc.

There is no realistic comparison with the LOTR films which were made concurrently with cast and crew often working 12 hours per day.

It may have been "cool" but it would also have been utterly ridiculous.

How can an eleven year old child portray a sixteen year old with an interesting romantic life, etc.?

Finally, why would the adult actors sign up for years of back-to-back filming of kids' stories? They have other, more challenging, projects they want to do between the HP films.

You have not thought this through.

Aside from those points - what Wimsey said.
I think that you took the point too seriously. I think Lillbet just meant that making the movies within the seven year period that the movies take place in would be better. That is perfectly possible. I think that the adult actors would have no problem adapting to this change. They can work as many hours as they want.



Last edited by tombo125; April 4th, 2008 at 5:52 am.
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  #42  
Old April 4th, 2008, 12:37 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

I don't think it would have been beneficial to wait till the books were over before making the movies. As Wimsey said, the stories for each book were clear from the start. What I think would have improved the movies very slightly, is if JKR had been more honest with the fimmakers. Her cryptic clues to them about how stuck they'd be if they cut stuff like Knockturn Alley, Kreacher and Grawp, show that she really does not understand what is important when it comes to adapting her movies for the screen. If she had been completely open, and explained exactly the future roles of these things she was insisting on, perhaps the filmmakers would have had a clearer idea of what to cut and what not to cut, rather than having to defer to a 'kitchen sink' strategy and include everything as they did with movies 1, 2 and 5. Though having said, that they seem to be making that mistake again with these last 3 movies, even though we all know what's important now!


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  #43  
Old April 4th, 2008, 8:54 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

I honestly think that it would have been a lot better had the movies been made after the series was finished...it drives me nuts how they've cut some things that, IMO, are very important to the stories.
But I'm a book purist, I hate it when they change things around, and I think that they would've had to change less things if they'd waited until after DH was done.


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  #44  
Old April 4th, 2008, 11:14 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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I honestly think that it would have been a lot better had the movies been made after the series was finished...it drives me nuts how they've cut some things that, IMO, are very important to the stories.
Actually, most of the cuts (especially in the last three) have focused the story, as the cut material was not really relevant to the story.

Moreover, given that we knew what the story in each book was after we read that book, what happened in future books never was relevant to any given story. For example, who made the Marauder's Map or how Fred & George figured out how to work the Marauder's Map was not relevant to the Prisoner story, and it did not somehow become retroactively important later: neither has much to do with Harry realizing that "easy" "truths" often are incorrect and that uncovering the truth involves as much intestinal fortitude as standing up to a dragon or dark lord. The goal of that movie (just to use one example) was to communicate that story.

Instead, what we got was a bunch of situations where the motivations of particular events (e.g., a lot of what Snape and Dumbledore do) in early books is made clear in later books. However, the big "reveals" were important given just the material in those books: we could figure out that Snape was in love with Lily based on the the material from prior books, but that is particularly relevant only in Hallows, and the "reveal" explains incongruities in Snape's Hallows behaviors just as it does incongruities in his actions in the first six stories. The main point is that knowing that Snape loved Lily adds further meaning to how Snape acted in the Shack in Prisoner: but it is the later event that is necessary to understand the early event, not the other way around.

(Keep in mind also that some of the big "reveals" of Hallows, such as Harrycrux and SnapeLily were hotly disputed by some Harry Potter fans, who would claim that the reveals do not explain past events but instead create plot/theme holes with those events: these forums were well populated by such individuals 9 months ago!)
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But I'm a book purist, I hate it when they change things around, and I think that they would've had to change less things if they'd waited until after DH was done.
Well, look at how drastically the cinematic presentation Lord of the Rings differed from the literary presentation the books: yet that movie presented the Rings story (or one interpretation thereof) better than has any of the Potter films save perhaps Prisoner! Books and movies are two different ways of telling stories: and being "pure" to the story requires doing things differently in both mediums. Look at it this way: flapping your arms does one thing for a bird, another thing for a fish, and a different thing for you: so if the goal is flight, then just repeating the original motion is going to get you nowhere.

(Rowling has expressed the most satisfaction with Prisoner and Order, which probably did the two best jobs of communicating her stories: this suggests that story is what really is important to her.)


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  #45  
Old April 8th, 2008, 6:50 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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..... making the movies within the seven year period that the movies take place in would be better. That is perfectly possible. I think that the adult actors would have no problem adapting to this change. They can work as many hours as they want.
I don't see how it is possible. It is the child actors who matter. Harry is in almost every scene. One longish gap between films partly resulted because Dan's parents wanted him to take some time out. We are talking about eleven and twelve year olds when they started out!

As for the adults, surely you realize that actors of the quality of Maggie Smith and Rickman want to do work other than Harry Potter? Coltrane almost threw in the towel at one point. These are not challenging characters, although I'm sure that everyone has fun playing them. We are lucky that they have all stayed on board for the series.


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Old April 8th, 2008, 6:54 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Originally Posted by mrfutterman View Post
I don't see how it is possible. It is the child actors who matter. Harry is in almost every scene. One longish gap between films partly resulted because Dan's parents wanted him to take some time out. We are talking about eleven and twelve year olds when they started out!

As for the adults, surely you realize that actors of the quality of Maggie Smith and Rickman want to do work other than Harry Potter? Coltrane almost threw in the towel at one point. These are not challenging characters, although I'm sure that everyone has fun playing them. We are lucky that they have all stayed on board for the series.

Amen mrfutterman. Thank goodness for the willingness of the actors to stay on board as long as they have. Geez, what would we do without Rickman? Gary? I shudder to think. I truly wish (the name escapes me at the moment) that the original Dumbledore was still around. RIP. Not that I don't like DD#2 but I think the original actor truly captured Dumbledore.


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  #47  
Old April 9th, 2008, 8:33 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Originally Posted by mrfutterman View Post
I don't see how it is possible. It is the child actors who matter. Harry is in almost every scene. One longish gap between films partly resulted because Dan's parents wanted him to take some time out. We are talking about eleven and twelve year olds when they started out!

As for the adults, surely you realize that actors of the quality of Maggie Smith and Rickman want to do work other than Harry Potter? Coltrane almost threw in the towel at one point. These are not challenging characters, although I'm sure that everyone has fun playing them. We are lucky that they have all stayed on board for the series.
Saying that filming the movies within a seven year period is not possible is stretching it a bit, I think. It may have been harder, more time consuming, and possibly a big comittment from all the actors, but I think it would be possible. Maybe filming a movie takes several months more than I realize, but I dont think the actors need to be there for the non acting parts. shrug:


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  #48  
Old April 9th, 2008, 9:12 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

The problem is perhaps not the shooting, but the pre-productiona nd the post-production. When they started especially, all those special effects took ages to render. This has got faster, but at the same time, the SFX have become more complex.

Let's just look at LotR in compariosn. The post-production (a whole YEAR per movie!!) really wasn't enough, and they could only stick to the scheduled time table because of superhuman efforts and extra funding - for example, they kept adding to their computing power (IIRC, WETA had the third largest accumulation of computing power in the world at some stage before RotK came out, and they still barely made it, with some frames still taking hours to render)!

In addition, they only had to deal with three movies, so when they seriously started postproduction of FotR, at least principal photography was done. Withs even movioes, this wouldn't be the case. I can only say that some of those extras on the LotR special edition DVD really are a good lesson in what's (barely) possible in film making.....

Anyway - doing the same thing for seven movies in a row just doesn't work logistically. You could perhaps pace the actors' times to make it just work out for the main characters (with the others doing their few days at pleasant intervals). But the production team, especially the director, would not eb able to deal with it.

With pre- and postproduction as it is, you'd have the director signing off on designs ofr at least two movies, shooting another one, and supervising post-production of a fourth. This would also mean that your teams in SFX, production design and so forth would have to be at least twice as big (to work on at least two films at once at any given time), and you'd possible need more, especially for SFX. I'd say it is logistically impossible, or at least prohibitively expensive to do this with such a SFX-heavy franchise.


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  #49  
Old April 10th, 2008, 9:01 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Actually, most of the cuts (especially in the last three) have focused the story, as the cut material was not really relevant to the story.

Moreover, given that we knew what the story in each book was after we read that book, what happened in future books never was relevant to any given story. For example, who made the Marauder's Map or how Fred & George figured out how to work the Marauder's Map was not relevant to the Prisoner story, and it did not somehow become retroactively important later: neither has much to do with Harry realizing that "easy" "truths" often are incorrect and that uncovering the truth involves as much intestinal fortitude as standing up to a dragon or dark lord. The goal of that movie (just to use one example) was to communicate that story.

Instead, what we got was a bunch of situations where the motivations of particular events (e.g., a lot of what Snape and Dumbledore do) in early books is made clear in later books. However, the big "reveals" were important given just the material in those books: we could figure out that Snape was in love with Lily based on the the material from prior books, but that is particularly relevant only in Hallows, and the "reveal" explains incongruities in Snape's Hallows behaviors just as it does incongruities in his actions in the first six stories. The main point is that knowing that Snape loved Lily adds further meaning to how Snape acted in the Shack in Prisoner: but it is the later event that is necessary to understand the early event, not the other way around.

(Keep in mind also that some of the big "reveals" of Hallows, such as Harrycrux and SnapeLily were hotly disputed by some Harry Potter fans, who would claim that the reveals do not explain past events but instead create plot/theme holes with those events: these forums were well populated by such individuals 9 months ago!)


(Rowling has expressed the most satisfaction with Prisoner and Order, which probably did the two best jobs of communicating her stories: this suggests that story is what really is important to her.)
Why couldn't the Marauder's Map be explained? It takes two minutes and it was one of the big reveals in the book that gave us our first real view in Harry's parents lives.

As for Rowling, she's expressed nothing but satisfaction. I mean I don't expect her to spew bile but honestly she never seems to have a problem with anything. Aside from Snape has she really been hands on? Leaving Kreacher in when he did nothing? Not giving Dumbledore a girl? Thats it? She honestly can't find a real bone to pick? I understand she has a life but nothing about the adaptions seem to get her goat.

Some of the cuts are understandable but some makes no sense. Look at Seamus' apology. There's no explanation to his sudden change of heart but the viewer is supposed to sit there and go OK. That book was cut down to nothing and yet they leave that in? Whats the point? It's a major plot point, Harry's isolation in the wizarding world, and yet the only example of his finally being believed is not explained?

A quick allusion to the Quibbler interview would have sufficed and still nothing. These are the kinds of things that drive me insane because when Rowling sits there talking about how great the movie is and then you get a cut up version with many things missing and something like that it makes it, I wonder me wonder if she's really looking.


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  #50  
Old April 10th, 2008, 11:17 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

Rowling is diplomatic in her comments about the films. A film adaptor's job is different from that of an author's, so I am not convinced how 'hands on' an author is able to be when it comes to adapting their work for screen. She is fortunate to have had as much creative control as she has been able to exercise: it appears that the film people actually take some of her suggestions on board. Rowling was able to sell the rights to Warner Brothers because she thought highly of Alfonso Cuaron's film adaptation of A Little Princess (produced by WB) and believed this would bode well for the film treatment of her own books. She ensured that there would be no Americanisation of her beloved Hogwarts.


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  #51  
Old April 10th, 2008, 1:48 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

Let us ask the same question in reverse: Should the book have been written after all of the movies were made?
Would we buy a book inspired by a movie, à la star wars?

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Why couldn't the Marauder's Map be explained? It takes two minutes and it was one of the big reveals in the book that gave us our first real view in Harry's parents lives.
The big reveal is that Black is innocent and Scabbers is an Animagus.
It daesn't take two minute to explain the Maurader's Map the same way it couldn't take two minutes to explain how Crouch Junior fleed from Azkaban.
The audience just wouldn't catch it, it would be a throw away line.
And since the Marauder's Map will not strangle Voldemort to death with its papers in DH, it's just an item, a trivia.
Even if fandom loves it unexplicably.


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  #52  
Old April 10th, 2008, 3:10 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Originally Posted by KlausBaudelaire View Post
The big reveal is that Black is innocent and Scabbers is an Animagus.
It daesn't take two minute to explain the Maurader's Map the same way it couldn't take two minutes to explain how Crouch Junior fleed from Azkaban.
The audience just wouldn't catch it, it would be a throw away line.
I pretty much agree with you, Klaus, but it might have been nice if the film had included the reasons behind the nicknames. A non-Potterite would not have got why Moody calls Sirius 'Padfoot' in the OotP movie.

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And since the Marauder's Map will not strangle Voldemort to death with its papers in DH, it's just an item, a trivia.


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  #53  
Old April 14th, 2008, 1:11 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Saying that filming the movies within a seven year period is not possible is stretching it a bit, I think. It may have been harder, more time consuming, and possibly a big comittment from all the actors, but I think it would be possible. Maybe filming a movie takes several months more than I realize, but I dont think the actors need to be there for the non acting parts. shrug:
There are several steps to all of this, yes. However, the point that mr_futterman and others have been trying to make is that when they are using child actors, then they have very strict laws regarding the number of hours a day that they can film, and the time that must be made available for education. Remember, education is compulsory and "making a Harry Potter film" does not absolve truancy in the British courts!


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Why couldn't the Marauder's Map be explained? It takes two minutes and it was one of the big reveals in the book that gave us our first real view in Harry's parents lives.
Two minutes is a long time on film, and a very long time to devote to something that is not relevant to the story. As Klaus and Pearl note, the authorship of the Map is not a big reveal. To further that, this "reveal" is not germane to the story. Prisoner is a story about Harry learning that comprehending the truth often involves the hard choice of not accepting the obvious or what one wants to believe. Boggart-inspired fear, the guardian-angel Grim, the artificial depression induced by Dementors, Black-being-to-blame-but-not-to-blame, the not-a-rat-but-a-Rat, and it's-not-my-father-it's-me all tie into that. The "what" of the Map is never any sort of misleading truth: Harry does not think that it is one thing and come to realize that it is something else through some hard mental effort. A glimpse into James' past is candy for some of the fans, but Joe and Jane Public (as well as many fans such as myself!) could not care less.

Now, people claim that it creates a plot-hole because we do not know how Lupin knows what the Map is: but that is a double standard because if that is true, then the fact that how Fred & George know is also a plot-hole. However, once it is revealed that Lupin, too, knows that it is a Map, then the important plot-point is set up: Lupin can use this Map to see Pettigrew and the plot goes from there. This is ultimately important to the story, too, because it helps lead Harry to the hard choice to recognize that Pettigrew is the one who killed his parents, not Black.
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As for Rowling, she's expressed nothing but satisfaction. I mean I don't expect her to spew bile but honestly she never seems to have a problem with anything. Aside from Snape has she really been hands on? Leaving Kreacher in when he did nothing? Not giving Dumbledore a girl? Thats it? She honestly can't find a real bone to pick? I understand she has a life but nothing about the adaptions seem to get her goat.
Rowling has been very specific in her praises about Prisoner and Order; in particular, she praised both for getting to the hearts of the story.

In contrast, her praise of the first two films was "it's very nice" with not real substance. (She did not say much about Goblet because her husband was very ill at the time and she was not talking to the press.
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Some of the cuts are understandable but some makes no sense. Look at Seamus' apology. There's no explanation to his sudden change of heart but the viewer is supposed to sit there and go OK. That book was cut down to nothing and yet they leave that in? Whats the point? It's a major plot point, Harry's isolation in the wizarding world, and yet the only example of his finally being believed is not explained?
This is not a plot point, but a story point, and the movie communicated it just as well as did the book: Lord Voldemort's supporters were being freed, and people began to doubt the Ministry's insistence that Voldemort was not back. It really was very simple.

In contrast, the Quibbler interview would have taken multiple minutes: the Quibbler would have had to been established, the interview would have to be established, and then reaction to that interview needs to be established. However, whereas freeing Bellatrix had further plot implications and could be used for the same thing (and is in the book: Rowling uses the Quibbler and the breakout to further doubt of the ministry in two doses), the Quibbler interview had no further explanations. Remember, taking 10 minutes to make a point is much worse than taking 3 minutes to do it!
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These are the kinds of things that drive me insane because when Rowling sits there talking about how great the movie is and then you get a cut up version with many things missing and something like that it makes it, I wonder me wonder if she's really looking.
At the risk of sounding quite harsh, I think that what it should make you wonder is if you have the same priorities as she does! Rowling knows what is important to her story and what is not; Rowling also is savvy enough to know that the movie is supposed to show her story, and not re-enact her book: as a story-teller, Rowling knows that the story and the telling are two very different beasts.

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Rowling was able to sell the rights to Warner Brothers because she thought highly of Alfonso Cuaron's film adaptation of A Little Princess (produced by WB) and believed this would bode well for the film treatment of her own books. She ensured that there would be no Americanisation of her beloved Hogwarts.
True! Rowling was hoping that directors like Cuarón or Terry Gilliam would direct the film versions of her story; I have to think that Columbus did not thrill her! It is quite notable that whereas Rowling sings the praises of Cuarón and Yates, she never mentions Columbus..... (The 10 million viewers in North America alone who have not been back to the theater since the first film probably reflects the same thing!)

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I pretty much agree with you, Klaus, but it might have been nice if the film had included the reasons behind the nicknames. A non-Potterite would not have got why Moody calls Sirius 'Padfoot' in the OotP movie.
That was a problem with and for Order: audiences were not going to remember nicknames from a film 3 years earlier! That being said, "Padfoot" actually was used in three different places for Sirius. I would have thought that tying names close to faces would be fairly important for films, but Lord of the Rings managed to get away with half a dozen names for several of its characters and nobody seemed to mind!


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  #54  
Old April 14th, 2008, 5:48 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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At the risk of sounding quite harsh, I think that what it should make you wonder is if you have the same priorities as she does! Rowling knows what is important to her story and what is not; Rowling also is savvy enough to know that the movie is supposed to show her story, and not re-enact her book: as a story-teller, Rowling knows that the story and the telling are two very different beasts.
I never said that they should reenact the books, I've never heard anyone actually seriously ask for that so I don't get why thats always brought up. It's tough with the first three books, all but impossible with book four and unthinkable with five through seven but some of the decisions make me wonder.

Changing around the first task in GoF is understandable, they want a little more action and the scene in the book is not filled with enough to really make it worthwhile, I can even understand the smokey apparition to add to the visuals (though not the fighting through mid-air, which annoyed me) but Seamus' apology, changing that curse used on Sirius, the rather annoying habit of having just about every spell perform the same action, portraying Moody as half Mad-Eye, half comedic buffoon?

Are those not things to point out as bad work on the part of the film makers? There are a bunch of there examples that work either way but it seems to me that whenever someone complains about the bad ones they get jumped on for not understanding that it's a different medium or being unreasonable in what they want to see.

The question here is whether or not the movies should've been held until the series was over and I feel, seeing what the series is becoming, that they should have but that doesn't really matter since they'll be remade. Or do you disagree?


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  #55  
Old April 14th, 2008, 5:27 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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.... but Seamus' apology, changing that curse used on Sirius, the rather annoying habit of having just about every spell perform the same action, portraying Moody as half Mad-Eye, half comedic buffoon?
I can remember/care about none of these things, and I have watched the film 3 or 4 times. 96% of the audience will have watched the film once, and also will remember/care about none of these things.

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Originally Posted by deansboy View Post
....
Are those not things to point out as bad work on the part of the film makers?
Why are they bad work? Clearly you don't like them, but that does not make them "bad work".

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.... There are a bunch of there examples that work either way but it seems to me that whenever someone complains about the bad ones they get jumped on for not understanding that it's a different medium or being unreasonable in what they want to see.
See above.

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....
The question here is whether or not the movies should've been held until the series was over and I feel, seeing what the series is becoming, that they should have ...
Maybe, but it was not your, or our decision. Rowling wrote the books and sold the film rights when the franchise was flavour of the month. The people who bought the film rights made the films while the franchise was flavour of the month. In ten years time, or even less, something else will be flavour of the month and Harry Potter might be forgotten.


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  #56  
Old April 14th, 2008, 5:42 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Originally Posted by deansboy View Post
Changing around the first task in GoF is understandable, they want a little more action and the scene in the book is not filled with enough to really make it worthwhile, I can even understand the smokey apparition to add to the visuals (though not the fighting through mid-air, which annoyed me) but Seamus' apology, changing that curse used on Sirius, the rather annoying habit of having just about every spell perform the same action, portraying Moody as half Mad-Eye, half comedic buffoon?
I absolutely love Mad-Eye in the films.

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Are those not things to point out as bad work on the part of the film makers? There are a bunch of there examples that work either way but it seems to me that whenever someone complains about the bad ones they get jumped on for not understanding that it's a different medium or being unreasonable in what they want to see.
I think we have every right to say what we don't like in a particular adaptation, Deansboy. But that does not make the film makers' work 'bad'. I mean, what exactly makes these things 'bad'? Do you think they are poorly executed? -- from a cinematic perspective, I would say not. I hadn't read OotP since 2003 when I saw the film last summer and the film pretty much worked well for me on every level.

I had some criticisms of Peter Jackson's adaptational choices for LotR, for example, but I never doubted his professionalism and skill. And it's just the same with the HP people.

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The question here is whether or not the movies should've been held until the series was over and I feel, seeing what the series is becoming, that they should have but that doesn't really matter since they'll be remade. Or do you disagree?
I would be surprised if the films were remade. I mean, seven books ... that really is not very likely.

And I echo what mrfutterman said ... the film companies struck while the iron was hot. Harry may not be the flavour of the month forever, although I certainly hope the books are just as popular in 50 years' time.


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Old April 14th, 2008, 11:46 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Maybe, but it was not your, or our decision. Rowling wrote the books and sold the film rights when the franchise was flavour of the month.
The question was to the members, not Rowling, for our opinions so it doesn't matter that it's not our decision.


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Last edited by deansboy; April 15th, 2008 at 12:10 am. Reason: Grammatical error.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 12:42 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

Nope they shouldn't have waited....I probably would have been in a nursing home by then...


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  #59  
Old April 15th, 2008, 3:15 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

Oh, ten years. You would've only been a decade away from Social Security.


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Old April 15th, 2008, 7:48 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

I think they probably should have waited...not so that they could stuff more "important" things in, but so they could accurately weed out all the things that JKR claimed were "important" but really weren't.

JKR probably knows quite a bit about her books, but she is woefully ignorant of how to make those books into movies. It's just not her area of expertise. She's proven that time and time again. I'm really a little surprised they give her so much input into the movies, to be honest. I can't think of any other author that got a say in how a movie was made (except for maybe Arthur C. Clarke, but 2001: A Space Odyssey was an entirely different situation). Authors stick to pen and paper, and for good reason: this mode of storytelling called the "movie" is very alien to them.

I also think that if the books had enough time to "cool off," so to speak, the fanbase would be less nitpicky about little details, since most of them turned out to be not important at all. Harry's eyes, for example, which people complain about to no end because they aren't green in the movies, turned out to only be significant at all because they were Lily's almond-shaped eyes.

If the movies are remade, it seems unlikely that they'd redo all seven. Probably a mish-mash of the entire series, likely spread across three movies at most. I just can't see any studio of the future taking on so great an undertaking as redoing a series of seven movies about a boy wizard from decades ago.


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