Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [Revisited]
This project is almlost finished after a two years old long process, though I am still open for suggestions and cover arts! It's not scripted in stone just yet!
Project started: October, 2012
The magic returns 11th of November 2014!
Harry Potter 1 & 2 are respectively out of date and non-consistent with the rest of the series. When Alfonso Quaron took over the helmet in the Prisoner of Azkaban he gave the series what they so desperately needed: a gritty, realistic atmosphere in an elsewhere magical fantasyworld. He grounded the series! I am literally here to take Alfonson's approach to PS and CoS as well as to touch upon the two movies with new sfx, music, effects and colors.
[1: Problems] The biggest problems with the two movies are useless scenes adapted from the book that just doesn't work in a movie perspective with its poor execution of storytelling (here, mostly referring to Chamber of Secrets) and the complete lack of pacing.
The movies need a more cohesive tone to both of them to follow along with the rest, as the tone of the first two movies are quite, quite different from the rest of the series. They resemble innocent fun and a bright, bright world with no worries but pure joy, yet the story is very dark. This is for many reasons very wrong. When you take into account that there is a dark story laying underneath it all that should be told as it is; dark, I find it a crucial step to develop a more gritty and realistic atmosphere to the Sorcerer's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets, as well as to clean and pace both of them up in terms of picture, sound and storytelling. With these problems away, the movies should deliver some great and gritty, well-paced adventure!
Let's remaster this magic!
[1.1] The Goal
My goal is to revisit these two movies, starting with the Sorcerer's Stone. I have six years of editing and effect experience to improve upon every single scene, until it is pitch perfect and fit with my needy needs, and add up with a continuity that is required for a series.
I will continuously update this post and thread with videos, pictures and information about the editing process. I will also ask for feedback, and I am always open for ideas and input. You are truly welcome to take part in this process with me!
[1.2] Videos and Pictures
The New Opening (V5 - 22.08.14):
A trip to the Leaky Cauldron & Diagon Alley
Entire movie is color corrected to fit the visual tone of the rest of the series. All bright and golden colors are now absent and color palette replaced with a slight blue/green-darker one resembling that of Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire.
- Much of the movie is re-scored and integrated with new sound effects.
- Private Drive & the arrival of the three Wizards and Baby Harry is removed, leading to;
- The entire opening is re-imagined and re-made to set a new tone and develop a more engaging story. Why start the movie with magic if the magic is not yet explored? We follow the eyes of Harry here.
- A flashback-sequence to Grimmold's Place is incorporated as a nightmare to which Harry wakes up to (can be seen in the opening sequence up above, tho' this sequence is not yet finished).
- Trimmed Dudley & Harry "going to the zoo" sequence in the stairs simply for pacing; Dudley doesn't run down the stairs and then back up again before starting to jump.
- Soundtrack added to Harry & Vernon "Any funny business, any at all.." outside the car. This sets the tone for how Harry really feel in the company of the Dursleys and also how the audience should feel. He has been, and is being, treated poorly and this never comes across like i feel it should. Now I've changed that. It comes across through an emotional, yet very subtle soundtrack from Half-Blood Prince during one of Harry & Dumbledore's last conversations ("I can still see the small boy from the cupboard.."). This is also to strengthen that scene when it shows up five movies from now.
- New soundtrack and sfx added to Zoo-Snake sequence, as well as a new glasswindow effect. This is the first time we see Harry use magic and to me it felt like it should be a gamechanger. Now it comes across like that in a very thematic way.
- "There's no such thing as magic"-sequence is altered with music, tone and sfx.
- SFX added when Owls gather outside Private Drive.
- Hutscene altered with sfx, music, effects and toneset. As Harry's past is slowly revealed to him by Hagrid the tone develops properly with it. This scene is strictly beautiful now and very emotional.
- Harry & Hagrid on train to London is reincorporated into the movie from Deleted Scenes. Scene develops both anticipation for Diagon Alley, a theatrical downplayed plot-thread ("I'd like a dragon") and comic relief (lady on the train listening in). Scene is golden. I might remove it due to pacing tho' but I'll first have to see the final product in its entirety.
- The Leaky Cauldron/The Inn is better paced and much more amusing and thematic. One of the many problems of the theatrical was it's poor cinematography and tone in all the quiet places.
- All overlong shots of both the Inn, Diagon Alley, Ollivander's Wandshop,Gryffindor Common room, The Great Hall etc have been altered and trimmed. There are some many weird, long shots in this movie. This is finally fixed upon now and helps give the movie a better-paced feel as we explore the world of Harry Potter.
- Gringotts underworld scenes have been altered with sinister music. The theatrical score is too much on an upbeat opposite the color and tone set in this re-visitation, and therefore many such changes are necessary.
- The Philosopher's Stone is now glooming slightly red from underneath the paper to make the object more significant and also give Harry's assumptions about "the object Hagrid took from vault 713" more meaning.
- Olivander's wandshop is altered. This sequence, as Diagon Alley, has been re-colored throughly. A very important scene, maybe the most important and impactful scene of the series.
- Olivander's Wandshop sequence has been changed. Harry now tries one more extra wand (3 in total) instead of 2 (theatrical). There is also traces of upcoming thematic themes, such as Voldemort's theme (from both GoF and DH) and Secrets of the Castle. All very subtle, but enough to help create the series thematic narrative.
- Hagrid telling about Lord Voldemort is altered. Flashback-sequence heavily altered with a complete, new sfx and soundtrack as well as much new footage. And, of course, stars Harry's father which I deem crucial!
- Harry & Hagrid "What happened to Voldemort?" - "I reckon he's still out there..," is removed. It is a big cliché and a big mistake to let the audience know the antagonist's fate this early on. It is ment to build suspense, but what it does is always to diminish it. The audience knowing nothing about Lord Voldemort's whereabouts, mostly assuming he's dead or gone for the movie, will give the reveal of his existence so much more impact and be so much more sinister.
- Professor Quirell and Harry's handshake moment is removed. They meet, they say goodbye. The whole "not that you need it, eh, P-p-otter," was poorly executed and therefore very awkward. Also, a soundtrack is slighty added and altered to the scene to make the entire Inn (and subconsciously Quirell both) feel suspicious to the audience. Not anything obvious of course that would diminish the entire plot twist of the movie, just give it more sense.
- Diagon Alley entrance re-scored with both music and sound effects. The brickwall opening a gateway to something Harry did not yet know of should be as intimidating as exciting, therefore the change. I still want the audience to feel what Harry feels as well as to keep track with the overall thematic tone of the movie now set, which is now grittier, yet still exploratory and wonderful.
- Diagon Alley completely re-colored, almost scene by scene. The original had so many colors and awkward blooms I had to pick them off one by one.
- Apparition-sound added a few seconds after Hagrid leaves screen at King's Cross "hold on to ya'r ticket, 'arry".
- Entrance to Platform 9 3/4 sequence is altered.
- Trainsequence is altered and trimmed. This scene is simply too long and we are on overdue. I might remove Hermione train-introduction as it is really not needed, but on the other hand some of the nostalgia will be removed. I feel like it's removing an organ from the movie. I am unsure about this scene still.
- Neville losing his toad and interrupting McGonagall is removed.
- Draco Malfoy introduction removed. It felt forced. These boys should not be rivals by some straight-forward dialog literally saying "chose the dark or light side, harry, and if light, we're not friends," but rather by showing it. The good ol' show, do not tell approach always wins as it does not take the audience for a fool.
- ... Much more, but my hands are tiering. More will be added soon!