*The Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort, Florida, the home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, commemorated the entire film franchise with special events the week of the “Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ DVD and Blu-ray release that include an UltraViolent Digital Copy that allows consumers to download the film to a PC or Mac plus that instantly stream it from a digital cloud to computers, tablets or smartphones.
The events began with press conferences at Navigators in Universal’s Island of Adventure and ended with a party at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, after the stars walked the red carpet. David Heyman, David Yates, Rupert Grint, Jason Isaacs, Mark Williams, Nick Moran, Domhnall Glesson, David Bradley, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Warwick Davis, Devon Murray, Evanna Lynch, Stanislav Ianevski, and last but not least, George Harris, who plays the majestic Kingsley Shacklebolt, attended the press conferences. Having attended all Harry Potter junkets, except one and last year’s DVD release press conference, this was the first time we all had the privilege to talk to Harris.
Harris mentioned how great it was working with the cast and the filmmakers. He noted that with fame comes responsibility because people do recognize him and approach him. On the red carpet the next day he said to me, “I’m just excited to be in the business in general and part of this is incredible, it is just like icing on the cake.” When asked what would he say to Kingsley if he was there, he beamed and said, “Stay with me, stay with me. He’s a good guardian, you know.” After the party, Harris was back to Malta to film “Sinbad.”
Also on the red carpet was Alfie Enoch. He had grown so much that he was almost unrecognizable. Even with “Potter” under his belt, Enoch was modest.
“I still have a lot to learn, but I’m sure I’ll still find quality work.”
He even reminisced about the early years.
“The first time I went to the premiere I was about 11-years-old. I knew that I had been lucky enough to be selected for something really special. I was aware of that already because I was a fan of the books and I’ve loved them. I knew it was big, but realized how amazing the whole phenomenon was when I got out of the car. I remember people were shouting my name and I just remembered being very shocked. I mean, I was 11-years-old and there was nothing I could’ve expected because clearly Dean Thomas is a small part in the films and I don’t think at all he’s an important character; he’s just part of that whole world. But to hear people saying my name and the film hadn’t even come out yet, that was the other thing, shocked me. So I was just totally taken aback and I think looking back on it, although I didn’t realize quite what it meant at the time, I knew that I felt it. I felt that this is something big, something quite extraordinary.”
When asked how has appearing in “Harry Potter” impacted on his life, he expressed extreme gratitude.
“I mean I don’t think I’m ever going to play another role for another ten years. Just in the very simplest of terms, it has had an enormous impact. But I mean, you can’t over state its importance-it’s going to be something that will live on forever and this is a perfect indication, this wonderful theme park. It’s [Harry Potter] such a huge thing. To be part of it at all is a gift, and to get to work with the people I got to work with was wonderful. I’m becoming a bit inarticulate, you know, because it’s very hard to explain.”
The day before at the press conference cast and filmmakers were asked if the excitement being there for the DVD, Blu-ray release was just as exciting as when the film was released? Heyman, Yates and cast all agreed it was, and in some instances, more.
“I think so, yes, especially getting the chance to come here and promote it, Oliver Phelps offered. “Plus, there’s a whole bunch of stuff on the DVD that wasn’t available when the movie was released. There’s always something new with Potter.” It was also a less stressful time Lynch added. “Often you’re so busy you don’t even get to say, ‘Hi.’ But we actually get to have fun this time [Laughs].”
Looking back over the years they were asked to comment on the success of “Harry Potter.”
David Heyman: We were working with incredibly talented people who are incredibly ambitious with their craft. As Jason said everybody working in the film is a fan and we never viewed it as a franchise. That’s just a label you and Warner Bros. give it [laughs]; we don’t. It’s not a franchise for us, it’s a film and what we try to do each time is make the very best film that we can and we’re very proud everybody at this table, is hugely proud. As I said, it’s an environment without ego and one that encourages people and that allows people to do their best work because if they trip up, there’s a huge support team to pick them up. People didn’t really fall down much but it really was a place where everybody pushed each other to do better than last time and I think the films grew up. We learned from our mistakes. We got better at what we did because we were doing it. We were like a good team, a team who has worked together and the longer you work together [the better we got]. We never got bored. We never got tired. We knew how to jell together. The technology improved as David said. The young actors got better just from experience and our cast crew. Directors never ever settled; and give the studio their credit. They gave us the independence and the support to make the films we wanted to make.
One of the things I love in the books is that the books are very much about outsiders and it’s a celebration of people who are different. We all feel different in our own way and I think that’s one of the wonderful things about what J.K. Rowling has done. Everybody in the book, all the characters are in some way an outsider and there’s a celebration in that.”