Monday, November 21, 2005

Quidditch anyone ?

We interrupt this blog for breaking news:
So, I took my daughter to see Harry Potter yesterday, or she took me, rather. I was, as usual, of the best intentions and I actually had a good time, enjoyed the movie and still...
There's always something about the Potter-movies, that I'm not happy with. First of all it was much, much too long for my taste, size for size's sake, just too many scenes, that didn't drive the story or rather: you could see the point of those scenes coming for miles and miles. Less would have been more.
Still, some questions are bothering me :
If the prologue is Harry's nightmare,why is it told from the POV of the janitor ? ( My 10 year old daughter came up with that question). Is that good storytelling? Have to ask Bob McKee about this one....not!
Why spend time and money on introducing the quidditch-worldcup, a storymoment that competes with the trimagical tournement first of all, then destroy it ( offscreen ) in 3 minutes, kill thousands of people, just to never mention it again. Was it to provide Harry with knowledge, that he had from his dream, anyway? Don't we trust in dreams, anymore ? Bad wizards we are then, if only fact counts. Whatever, the storyteller inside of me just wants to get rid of it.Start with the nightmare, then go to Hogwarth- or start with the worldcup and quit the dreamthing.
God, how I hate this annoying girl spooking in the toilet.
Why are the teachers having a tournement that puts the life of their pupils in danger, after all ? Pretty sarcastic, isn't it ? Using their best friends and little sisters as live bait ? What are they ? Neurotics ? I hate Dumbledor for that, really. That's worse than Voldemor or am I totally wrong ? But nice of Dumbledor to apologize for it in the last scene, 3 hours later.
Why, for Merlin's sake, is "it" always the new teacher ?
Why introduce 4 dragons and then show only one fight. On the other hand, that fight with the dragon is one of my facvorite scenes in the movie.
And I am so, so tired of that scene in the end, when Dumbledore has to explain everything to tie up the loose ends, can't this Potter-kid come up with an original idea by himself just for once ? And since we're on the subject : Why is there always a third person that provides him with a magical something that solves his problems. Isn't he supposed to be the greatest wizard of all time ?
Finally : I don't want to see that gorey, onscreen-shapeshifting-morphing moment anymore, at least not in every movie.

Anyway, otherwise a nice movie, great specialeffects etc, wouldn't say the time and the money was totally wasted.
You think I'm nagging too much and I should be happy that movies like this are done after all, well, you should hear my remarks about Corpse Bride, ( Not the Art-Work, mind you, that was brilliant, but the story, the story, as usual with Mr. Burton, always sacrificing story over visuals, otherwise known as morbus gilliam.)

A couple of years ago I was doing some designs for EA for the Quidditch-Worldcup-Playstation-Game.It all came to my mind again yesterday, 'cause I was working on the different teams from the movie, Durmstrang, Beauxbaton and the American team, whose name I've forgotten.
It was a strange assignment for me, I had a hard time getting used the fact, that it was much more costume-design, rather than character-design. No conflict between inner and outer design, more like dressing up premanufactured mannequins. That's why I'm not showing you the final designs here, they are just uninteresting and boring, no details and no character, just uniforms. ...And not very well drawn either, I'm afraid. Maybe that's why I never heard from EA again.

Beauxbaton, the team of the French girls. My original brief was "Madame Pompadour", it later changed to "The Three Musketeers".

When I came to the project, they wanted to put the German team into lederhosen, I think of the fact that we changed it to Prussian uniforms as partially my merit.

Above : The German beater, colored by guest artist Christian Schellewald, now art-director at "Over The Hedge". We went to school together, later also to art-school. I was never very good with color, I asked him to show me how to put lights on leather.

More french girls...

Above : The American Seeker, Baseball meets Halloween.

Still, yesterday's night at the movies had it's highlights, too:
The Kong-trailer: boy, does it look good on the big screen !!!!


blabla said...

I saw Harry Potter on friday and I was kind of disappointed. Since I didn't read the books I was completly lost. I had the feeling that Mike Newell tried to put in as many information as he could in the 3 hours without finishing any of the subplots...I mostly agree with your points. But I think that he went though the story way too fast jumping from scene to scene and I couldn't follow at all. The other competitors of the tournament had no chance to show their characteristics and special abilities. Nothing was shown exept Harry...Another thing that bothered me is that Dumbledore should be very wise and calm. But in this movie he was kind of nervous and weak. hmm as I said I didn't read the books but I think this was the worst Harry Potter out of the 4 Movies. But the effects where pretty good ;)
And Kong will rock the house! ^^

HaraldSiepermann said...

My point exactly !

Perry Linton Joseph Osuna said...

I love your drawings your are an amazing artist you blow my mind.

HaraldSiepermann said...

Thanks, honestly, H

Greg Manwaring said...

Harald, those are gorgeous!!

Bonnie Branson said...

I saw it recently as well. I was sooooo disappointed about the World Champ Quiddich match!! They do such a big job introducing the thing! All this razzle dazzle only to cut to the next scene. I guess they figured they needed it to introduce the scene directly afterwards-when we see the dark mark for the first time and realize the death eaters are on the prowl again, but whatever that was rotten. I wanted to see some game!!!
I thought that they should have at least had some sound effects of the others competing against the dragons in the first Tri-wizard round. Then, if we couldn't watch them, we could have at least hear them struggling and watch Harry's reaction as he waits in the tent. (it could be a short little thing just to really show Harry's nerves, since it appears they were short on time!)
I agree with goro's comment about Dumbledore. I miss Richard Harris playing this role :-( This new actor seems to have no...umph!!!...No spirit! (Now that I think of it, R. Harris wasn't as goofy and warm as the written Dumbledore, but he sounded and looked like a strong wizard to me.)
I am sorry that Alfonso CuarĂ³n did not direct this latest film. (It would have been impossible because 3 and 4's film schedules overlapped.) The third movie, in my opinion has been the strongest so far.
Naja. We always have book 5 (which is even bigger than 4...please no 4 hour moive this time ok!!!!)

HaraldSiepermann said...

You're absolutly right, Bonnie, do you know that scene in Spartacus, when Kirk is chosen to "perfom" for Laurence Olivier's wife, and you hear the other gladiator's fighting in before him, and then they carry the dead one away and how it raises the suspense and the tension, forshadowing whats going to happen to Spartacus now, Wow!!! That's somethig that I would have loved to see.
Great to have you on my blog , by the way, ***H

Ross Dearsley said...

Hi Harald, great blog!

Interesting to see designs from the Quidditch World Cup game again! It was a shame that you could only work remotely on that project, as it would've been great to work alongside you in the studio!

As for the numerous team design changes, I suffered from that also with a lot of my designs being scrapped. The early design direction seemed to be led by marketing [trying to predict the most valuable consumer territories to be represented!], which I'm not convinced was the best approach.

Compared to the Harry Potter adventure games though, it was a great opportunity to create some original designs within the HP universe! And I'd still love to see a sequel of the game.

Best wishes!

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