Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone [Revisited]
Harry Potter 1 & 2 are respectively out of date and non-consistent with the rest of the series.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.
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!
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!
Videos and Pictures
https://vimeo.com/104131912 | https://vimeo.com/104514869
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).
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.
“The Hut in the Ocean” has been heavily altered, scene by scene, with a new color palette. New SFX at slow or bad parts as well.
A subtle, but emotionally powerful soundtrack is playing when Harry is given his birthday cake from Hagrid. This is the beginning of a great friendship, and the first time ever that Harry gets a gift given to him. It’s actually a strong scene.
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 leaving his old world behind and deciding to go with Hagrid has been altered with a new and beautiful soundtrack. This scene should’nt just be a gamechanger, it should feel like it. Also new background SFX due to audio alterations.
Harry & Hagrid on train to London was reincorporated into the movie from Deleted Scenes. Removed it again due to pacing, and the fact that the dragon subplot is completely removed from this fanedit.
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 introduction sequence altered with completely new music and sound effects, including a minor part of the old for nostalgia.
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 reveal of Harry’s vault now has an overwhelming, exploding kinda feel to it. New SFX. We should all be ‘Holy shee-’ at this reveal. Now we feel it in our guts.
The Sorcerer’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. It’s also much tighter edited for pacing.
Harry touching his wand (we are all thinking it…) for the first time is now accompanied by a bass.
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 clichè 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. These sequences are simply too long and we are on overdue. No candyeating!
Hermione introduction altered. A slight comedic soundtrack added. Harry & Ron are literally thinking “this girl is crazily high on herself”, and she is, so let’s play with the audiences feelings a little more. It gives her introduction more power.
Hogwarts reveal altered.
First “Inside the Castle” is altered with new music at one part.
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.
Draco Malfoy being chosen to Slytherin house is altered, so is the introduction to Snape, and Harry’s burning scar. Much more impactful scenes now.
Impact SFX added when the Sorting Hat is placed on Harry.
“John Cleese” and Ghosts floating around The Great Hall is all removed. Bad CGI, unecessary drag and it’s time to get this movie’s plot started already. I had it in for some time with certain alterations to the ghosts to make them look more natural, but in the end It felt right to remove this sequence.
Harry looking at the nightsky in the Common Room with Hedwig by his side, beautiful as this scene is from beforehand, now also has “A window to the past” playing before transitioning over to the original Harry’s theme. Two big soundtracks that in many ways define Harry’s growth, and what he feels deep inside.
Potion sequence deleted. Reasons are stated on Page 11 (on fanedit.org thread).
Voldemort’s theme added when the 3 friends read the Daily Prophet about the Gringotts robbery.
New transition shot added.
Courtyard Broomstick Practice with Madam Hooch is heavily altered.
Harry meeting Oliver Wood, accompanied by McGonagall, is better paced and altered with a soundtrack.
Sinister music (“Dumbledore’s Speech”) added when the 3 friends are traveling through Hogwarts at night, before visiting the third floor.
The Third floor heavily altered. The reveal of the Three-Headed-Dog much more impactful. The animal looks more natural now than CGI-heavy. Keyframed and edited.
New Transition shot between previous sequence and next one;
The 3 friends discussing the dog and what just transpired, is altered. New sfx, new music and overall much of a more menacing and worrying scene.
New transition shot when “The Troll” is revealed to be lurking in the dungeons and the Prefects take the students to their Common Room.
SFX added when Harry & Ron see the Troll.
Some new SFX added for the troll.
Removed some of the dumb and unecessary “hammer-dodging” from Harry while grabbed by the troll.
Hermione doesn’t dumb up and yell “Swish and Flick!”.
New soundtrack added for when the teachers arrive.
Suspicious music for when Harry sees Snape’s leg.
A subtle Voldemort’s Theme added at “Last night, I’m guessing Snape let the dog in as a diversion”.
Quidditch Match heavily color corrected.
Some musical bits have been altered and replaced with the Quidditch Match soundtrack from the third movie.
Quidditch Match much better paced.
New Christmas Theme and SFX in the transition shot.
The Invisibility Cloak :: new soundtrack to create a connection with the Deathly Hallows.
The Forbidden Section in the Library :: altered.
SFX added to Door being opened and closed when Harry enters the room to the Mirror of Erised.
New soundtrack added to that sequence.
Removed Ron’s introduction to the mirror. Destroyed the emotional pace I wanted for these sequences.
Deleted Scene re-incorporated.
New SFX and soundtrack added to the second time Harry visits the mirror.
New SFX and soundtrack for the transition shot to Spring. Strictly beautiful.
“Visiting Hagrid’s hut”. Dragon and it’s subplot is removed.
When the three friends see Malfoy, they panic and go back to the castle. It’s all better paced.
Next scene, in the castle, prolonged with one second as we need a slower transition between these two scenes. The bird now beeps twice before camera pans, though the background is keyframed to behave as if no change was made.
Completely new SFX and soundtrack added to Filtch escorting the kids to Hagrid’s hut for their punishment. It’s pretty darn scary now.
The Forbidden Forest heavily altered.
The Unicorn now groans in pain as Harry and Draco see Voldemort drinking blood from it.
The encounter with Voldemort altered. Very scary now. Parseltoungue can also be heard as Harry touches his scar.
Voldemort’s sharkteeth are removed. He doesn’t have those later on in the movie or series, so let’s friggin remove it. Looked ridiciolous.
Voldemort doesn’t growl like a beast because he isn’t one.
Voldemort can be heard saying “Kill him!” to Quirell as Harry looks away. Creates a more realistic dynamic between Quirell and Voldemort, and also builds meaning to the fact that there are actually two persons there underneath the dark hood, not just one. Gives the Two-Headed reveal more meaning at the end.
The Unicorn saving Harry (“Florence”) is altered. He comes faster into the frame and out of it, to show Voldemort’s escape as quicker and more realistic to the audience. It looked very staged in the original.
The 3 Friends discussing Voldemort’s apperance in the Forbidden Forest is altered.
Removed the 3 Friends visiting Hagrid and Hagrid being dumbed-down for like the fifth time throughout the original movie and tell them everything they need to know. This subplot isn’t even really needed for the movie to work.
Asking for Dumbledore-sequence is altered. They ask McGonagall, get told to retreat but instead the three friends decide to go down the trapped door immediately after. This also leads to my next change;
Removed scene with Snape (this is saddening, but the scene was pretty bad and it completely destroyed the pace I was looking for).
Neville confronts the friends. Music altered.
The 3 Friends walk down to the Third floor. Music altered.
Harp is already playing. We didn’t need the dumbed-down Hagrid flute subplot for this to have an affect.
Devil’s Snare sequence heavily altered. Much, much more intense.
New music to the Flying Keys-challenge.
Not a new change, but worth noting; No changes were made, except for color and some minor SFX changes, to the Key-and Chesschallenges. They worked pretty good as they were made for the original, and held up well with the tone and suspense built throughout this edit.
Harry & Hermione’s theme from Half-Blood Prince added when they talk together before Harry’s last task.
Voldemort’s Theme added throughout Voldemort Confrontation.
Some of Quirell’s overly explanatory dialogue is removed. We’re not idiots, and some of it isn’t even needed to be told.
SFX added when Voldemort speak for the first time from underneath the turban.
A gut-wrenching flashback sequence is added to when Voldemort’s face is revealed.
SFX added to when Harry says ‘Voldemort’. Now we know. Our fears have come true.
Lily’s theme sublty added to when Harry sees his parents in the mirrory flames.
Ending completely re-arranged. It’s heartwrenching. Flashback sequences added. This is my definite favourite peak of this fanedit! Have a tissue nearby!
… Many, many more minor changes - hundreds - some forgotten, some not worth mentioning but rather experiencing.