Tag: sequels

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.

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REBOOTS, REMAKES AND SEQUELS: IS HOLLYWOOD RUNNING OUT OF IDEAS?

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Originality is a key aspect in the Film Industry. It keeps films fresh and new. Films like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ or ‘Hell or High Water’ are brilliant examples of old and new original films. There are also many more as well. However, I have noticed recently that many major studios are investing in remaking classic film series or producing sequels to these film franchises. Could this be a damaging effect on the film industry or could it be the next best thing?

Firstly, before we begin I am certainly a fan of many film series which have been remade or have had sequels produced. I pretty much worship the new Star Wars film and I loved the new Magnificent Seven. However, could this new wave of films be damaging to originality.

FORCE AWAKENS
The sequel to the Star Wars franchise.

Movie remakes were actually more popular in 2005, where 17% of top grossing films were remakes. However, by 2014 this scale dropped to 5%. Whilst this percentage has dropped massively, there are still a great number of remakes being made. Disney has announced that they will be remaking 19 of their classic animations into live action films. Personally, I won’t be watching these films, as I feel that many Disney films are very iconic due to their pioneering animation. I prefer to watch the classic animations instead of a live action version. However, just because Disney is remaking these famous films, doesn’t mean that they won’t be incredibly successful and appeal to wide audiences.

JUNGLE BOOK
Disney has already produced successful remakes, like the new ‘Jungle Book.’

Is this new business model of production hindering original ideas though? Original ideas provide opportunity for many independent filmmakers to express their own ideas. Original ideas also pave the way for new filmmaking techniques and stories which can be explored for audiences to enjoy.

However, we cannot forget that the Hollywood industry is a big business. Major studios like Disney need to be making a major profit after all. Remakes may possibly guarantee a steady revenue as it may already have a loyal following from it’s audience. This can help massively in putting bums on seats at the cinema.

Maybe the problem isn’t in remakes or sequels actually being produced. Maybe it is how they are produced. Take a look at Star Wars The Force Awakens for example.

The Force Awakens was incredibly popular among a mainstream audience and it also received critical acclaim from critics as well. This was mainly due to the entertaining storyline, the thrilling action and the brilliant characters. It can be argued that it is very much like ‘A New Hope’ however, I feel that this does not affect the entertainment of this brilliant film. This sequel to a classic franchise proved very successful.

However, if you take a look at a film like ‘Terminator Genisys,’ which did not do as well with reviewers or audiences responses. This may have been due to the film relying on action too much and not reinforcing a strong and complex story line, which the first Terminator was based around, (and of course watching Arnie in action).

In conclusion, I feel that whilst it’s always good to produce original films which can help inspire creativity, sequels or remakes can be just as entertaining. However, perhaps original films deserve just as much attention as major remake or sequel films do.

SOURCE

Stephen Folllows. [2015], The scale of Hollywood remakes and reboots [Internet]. Available from https://stephenfollows.com/hollywood-remakes-and-reboots/ [Accessed 08 June 2016].