‘Harry Potter’ countdown: Making magic at the Apple store and on iTunes

July 11, 2009 | 5:43 a.m.

The countdown continues! “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is just five days away…

Apple store flyer

Think back over the last 10 years and consider this question: “What was the best decision made by anyone, anywhere in show biz?” You won’t need a Sorting Hat to divine the answer, in my opinion, if you consider the risks and eventual rewards of one colossal decision: picking the star wizards of Hollywood’s Hogwarts.

Go back a decade and consider the final casting decision on the three youngsters who would star in the “Harry Potter” franchise. If you consider how many options the producers had — thousands, literally — and the profound possibilities of failure that came with a misstep. Then consider the staggering box-office success that followed and the grace exhibited by these actors who have grown up in front of us all.

They are the faces of the most intense single-decade franchise in Hollywood history. Not only have they grown as actors, they have been steady as young adults, proving themselves to be centered, charming and smart in the face of glaring fame and blaring success.

In other words, there wasn’t a Britney in the bunch.

This Monday night, that’s going to be the first topic I bring up with David Heyman, the “Harry Potter” producer who will join me at the Apple Store (1248 Third Street Promenade) in Santa Monica for an event that promises to be fun and revealing. We’ll have a conversation and then take questions from the audience. I did a very similar event at the same site with McG before the release of “Terminator Salvation” and it was a great success and, I’m told, very satisfying for the people who joined us. It’s completely free and the Apple Store staff sets up chairs and a microphone and do the thing up right.

I met Heyman during my visit to the “Half-Blood Prince” set in England and he is as engaging as he is successful, and if you join us you can expect to hear some memorable behind-the-scenes tales from the Hogwarts set.

Apple has some fun stuff for “Potter” fans far and wide, as well. On iTunes, you can find never-before-seen footage from the new film, available as a free download, and a new “Half-Blood Prince” app with videos, posters, character information and other goodies. Here’s the description from Warner Bros and Apple:

“Fans can interact with an authentic recreation of Dumbledore’s Pensieve – a device that allows them to view memories by unlocking  Memory Vials to explore the vast assortment of official film content that appears in the Pensieve including: videos, posters, character information; and much more. They can insert themselves and their friends into a Wanted Poster or the Daily Prophet by using the iPhone camera or uploading a photo from their album on to an iPod touch.”

Fans will also be looking for hints about the film in the exclusive podcast titled “Being Me Has Its Privileges,” from the upcoming theatrical release, hosted by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger).

See you Monday and, please, do come up and introduce yourself afterward. I love meeting the Hero Complex faithful.

— Geoff Boucher

RECENT AND RELATED                              

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Dan Radcliffe on the art of acting

Emma Watson talks about her e-mail pal, J.K. Rowling

Meet Neville! Matthew Lewis on being Mr. Longbottom

Getting to know the real-life Weasley boys

Arthur Weasley speaks! “Rowling has a musical brain”  

David Yates reveals where he will split ‘Deathly Hallows’

On the ‘Half-Blood’ set: A chat with Jim Broadbent


2 Responses to ‘Harry Potter’ countdown: Making magic at the Apple store and on iTunes

  1. Al says:

    Sorry, as exemplary as the three actors' off screen behavior has been, I can only agree two thirds with the casting decision. Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are admirably capable actors but Daniel Radcliffe is glaringly one dimensional. The only emotion he portrays is that of the cranky, brooding, adolescent. Pouting intensely then angrily yelling at, take your pick, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Snape, Voldemort, etc. How much more enjoyable this franchise would have been if the lead actor carried more arrows in his emotional quiver.

  2. Wizarding hat says:

    Should be great! Ask him if John Williams will return as composer for the final two films (Williams has expressed interest in returning).

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