Tag: actors

THE UNSUNG HERO OF THE HARRY POTTER FRANCHISE: A SHORT PROFILE ON DAVID HEYMAN

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Jk Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson. These are all names who you will likely recognise due to their major contribution to the Harry Potter film Franchise. JK Rowling wrote and created it, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson starred in it. But who produced? Who actually put the film together and kicked of the franchise. This is going to be a profile on the man behind the magic, David Heyman.

David Heyman is one of the UK’s most successful film producer. Starting off as a production assistant on the period drama film A Passage to India (1984), David Heyman quickly rose through the ranks of Warner Bros to become a Creative Executive. His meteoric rise led him to become vice president of the entertainment studio, United Artists. However, in 1997, he decided to break away from the major film chains and embark on his own independent producing career. That is when Heyday Films was formed.

He produced a number of small independent productions, but they were nothing compared to the major film franchise which he would bring to life. In the earlier days of his film company, he wasn’t having a lot of luck. Warner Bros, who he signed a deal with to produce productions for were becoming more demanding and expecting David Heyman to perform his role better. Whilst the odds seemed against him, luck fell on his side when a Development Executive at his company read a small news print talking about the rising success of the Harry Potter book series.

The first book of the Harry Potter series was purchased, but was a low priority to be produced by the company. David Heyman’s secretary eventually read it and gave him a positive review about the book. This persuaded the Producer even further to get this book on the big screen.

Eventually David Heyman and Jk Rowling both met and negotiated a secure deal where she sold the film rights of the first four Harry Potter books to Warner Bros. After planning and developing the production, the hunt for a director began. Steven Spielberg firstly negotiated the role of Director. Due to differences in how the film was going to be executed, Spielberg decided to step down from being nominated as director. Apparently he wanted to make the series an animation. This could possibly be why he didn’t get the job.

After numerous job interviews, Chris Columbus was assigned as the Director of the film. After he was assigned the rest is history. It wasn’t until the end of the 3rd film however, before David Heyman was generating a massive fortune for himself. He was living in his sisters box room at the time he was producing the first three films.

In total, the Harry Potter franchise has generated a box office of $6.5 billion. That doesn’t even include the merchandise and studio tour profits. The Harry Potter franchise isn’t the only successful film which David Heyman has produced. Gravity (2013), which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, tells the story of an astronaut lost in space, netted a very large box office and was nominated for many accolades. He is also producing the new Fantastic Beasts series as well.

Whilst Jk Rowling wrote and created the books, perhaps we may never have had a film franchise, if it wasn’t for the man behind the magic, David Heyman.

ARE AWARD SHOWS REALLY ABOUT FILMS?

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Award Season, the few months between November and February could be one of the most glamorous times of the year. When all the star studded celebrities and backstage aficionados come out to strike gold. Many famous award ceremonies like the Oscars, the BAFTA’s, even The Razzies all take place in these four months! All of these film ceremonies are here to celebrate one thing, film.

Now if I’m being honest, I’m not really an avid watcher of Award shows. Firstly, the Oscars is way past my bed time due to the UK and US time difference and I always just find it gets a bit dull in most parts. However, I always do like to hear who has won best actor or actress, or who won best director. After watching highlights of these ceremonies however, I have noticed a common trend in some of these award shows.

Due to a certain someone getting into the Oval Office and becoming one of the most powerful people in the world, many award ceremonies were politically charged in light of recent events. I’m sure you can remember Meryl Streep criticising the newly elected President Donald Trump, or Ashton Kutcher criticising the new president as well at the SAG Awards. Thinking about it nearly every single well known acceptance speech was to do with Donald Trump at the SAG awards.

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Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech.

Not all acceptance speeches are about Trump. Take a look in 2016 when Leonardo Di Caprio won the award for Best Actor for the film ‘The Revenant’ (he should’ve won that award for Wolf of Wall Street), his speech became about climate change and protecting the planet. Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone should speak their minds and have a healthy discussion about topical events. Freedom of speech should apply to everyone.

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Leonardo Di Caprio winning the Oscar for Best Actor for ‘The Revenant.’

However, during a film award show, which is about films, celebrating films, giving awards for people starring or working in films, because they’ve made or contributed towards a good film, should we really make it a platform to make political statement. Don’t we get that enough. Don’t we hear bad news all the time on TV or social media. Aren’t award shows meant to act as a bit of an escapism, so that people can watch and enjoy it.

Think of it this way, if you paid a large a large amount of money to go and see a famous band in concert, there was a great vibe and then suddenly the band started making a political speech, would that not annoy you a little bit. Would it not ruin the vibe and your enjoyment.

Thats how I feel to some Film Award shows recently, I feel that when you take the award, you should talk about the film and thank the cast and crew. If your films narrative is political then by all means the winners should talk about the political subject which their film may revolve around. However, if your film has nothing to do with politics, then maybe you should stick to the actual film, instead of having a rant about Donald Trump.

In conclusion, whilst it is good to discuss and debate, maybe award ceremonies aren’t the best place to do that. Maybe film awards should stick to what is really meant for, celebrating films.