Half-Blood Prince has been a pain in my buttocks. The color grading has been difficult beyond belief, but I am now pretty satisfied with it. It’s taken a long time, but we’re getting there. Also, the editing process in itself has been a little hurdle because of all the different and incoherent emotions the movie is playing with. We jump all over the place with teen drama, to sinister death drama, to Voldemort backstory, and then comedy antics with Slughorn and Ron’s girlfriend; speaking of which, the all-sudden introduction of completely new and irrelevant characters (Ron’s girlfriend and Hermione’s stalker), Malfoy’s sudden introduction as a main character again after being invisible for the last three movies, and more. The movie is just everywhere.
To be honest, the original film - after having now spent a lot of time with it - is the worst out of all of them. So incoherent. And one thing I can never forgive in a film/TV franchise is when they are introducting characters to further the plot and the plot only. This film does exactly that. And I am including Ginny on this list, because we haven’t ever gotten to know her or side with her before this movie.
- Ron and Hermione’s relationship will be tested. So we introduce two characters we’ve never seen or heard of before, and give them about 20-30 minutes of runtime alongside the main cast to:
* Give Hermione a reason to become jealous, and grow closer to Harry (just as friends, for some reason)
* Give Ron a taste of love, but later realize that Hermione is the one he really want
* Create drama and tension between the three main characters
* Create comedy in what is a pretty dark movie
We also need Harry to find a love partner, so we - without barely any hints or chemistry:
- Introduce Ginny as a sort of main character.
- Make her do weird, sexual stuff like tieing Harry’s shoelaces on all fours before trying to make out with him
- Make her make choices for Harry, which somewhat means that he suddenly trusts her judgement after spending five years treating her like a child and a sister.
The film fails, miserably. And it cost us about 30-40 minutes of runtime, in the very last chapter before the end. So unforgiveable. I mean, after having spent five films with these guys - and at this one six - starting to introduce unimportant characters to serve a sideplot is the last thing I would want. I want to know more about Voldemort. I want to see Harry, Ron and Hermione starting to grow into their more adult selfs. I want to see them come to gripes with fear and insecurities. I want to see them stand up for one another. I want to see them try to make the world better. To talk with the other students we’ve come to know and love, and hear what they are feeling - and fearing - and loving - and protecting. Not spending forty minutes with sideplots, followed by comedic Liquid Luck sequences and a random dead spider encounter (Aragogg) and then some DARK, dark drama out of the very blue that kills the main freakin’ good guy, Albus Dumbledore himself. I mean, we simply went from a drama film - to a teen drama comedy - to a damn horror movie, in the span of two hours.
Either way, I’m done ranting. At least now you can guess what I’ve (tried) to change!
CHANGELIST, ONLY MAJOR PARTS:
Film is color graded to look like a film. Gone is the diarrhea-colored filter. Every single scene has been personally touched upon.
The opening bridge attack has been tied together with the reveal of Snape as a bad guy and his scenes with Bellatrix and her sister. This flows better in my opinion as we now start with the bad guys and then move on to Harry, rather than jump in-between; twice.
Removed random new character with the purpose of flirting with Harry, in the Train Staton opening. Also did a lot of thematic changes (with the help of the beautiful John Williams OST) to this opening, to make it feel more like a Harry Potter movie. Dumbledore/Hogwart’s soundtrack, Harry’s Theme/Hedwig’s Theme etc.
Shortened the scene where Dumbledore and Harry are looking for Slughorn. Removed the stupid, non-sensical “Dragion’s blood” sequence.
Removed some silly faces and expressions from Slughorn as he first sees Harry.
Removed Dumbledore’s mention of Dragon’s blood, and his “Ah, yes, but first, introductions!” - and get us to the point.
Changed the atmosphere of Diagon Alley, soundtrack and color grading. Also some happy SFX.
Removed Harry’s broken nose and Luna fixing it. It’s a cute scene, but it completely stops the movie at (another) hault.
The Great Hall sequence, that in the original is presented with a green/brown diarrhea palette and washed out lights, now actually looks like a Great Hall sequence. This required layer upon layer with different sorts of color grading, including a bunch of masking. I should’ve been paid doing this, hahaha.
Re-shuffled a lot of scenes. Make it feel more Harry Potter’y. We start with some Quidditch, then move onto potions class, from there to Malfoy’s mission and thereafter Dumbledore’s office, and then Malfoy again. Things flow better this way, as we start out cute and innocent and then slowly move a little bit into the darker aspects of the film.
and a bunch more, but I won’t bother to write nor reveal anything else. I think your viewing experience will be better off of it!
Color grading. A little tease of the re-edited opening (although without the middle and end of it).
New Great Hall color grading. Includes before/after near the end.