Thread: The cinematography and colour grading of the first 3 Harry Potter film

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  1. #1 The cinematography and colour grading of the first 3 Harry Potter film 
    I made a video essay on the cinematography and colour grading of the first 3 Harry Potter movies.

    I try to cover what I see as a crucial part of one of the reasons why the narrative of the Harry Potter movies is bad.. or possibly non-existent...

    Hope you like it!

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  2. #2  
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    Thanks for this overview.
    The Lord of the Rings did this Grading/Continuity in an extraordinary way, but it was the same team and one big production of all tree movies.
    The biggest cut when it comes to the harry potter movies happens after part 2 imho. Those first movies I´d call a kids-adventures but with part 3 and cuarons direction, it went into the teen-movie and towards the last two movies more into the young-adult. So the movies change accordingly to the main characters age.
    being very interested in the process of grading and the DOPs work I would have liked another level for those (expensive) movies, but they decided against it. though it would be interesting how they would feel, when given the LOTR-Color-Quality-Treatment.
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  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light&Color View Post
    Thanks for this overview.
    The Lord of the Rings did this Grading/Continuity in an extraordinary way, but it was the same team and one big production of all tree movies.
    The biggest cut when it comes to the harry potter movies happens after part 2 imho. Those first movies I´d call a kids-adventures but with part 3 and cuarons direction, it went into the teen-movie and towards the last two movies more into the young-adult. So the movies change accordingly to the main characters age.
    being very interested in the process of grading and the DOPs work I would have liked another level for those (expensive) movies, but they decided against it. though it would be interesting how they would feel, when given the LOTR-Color-Quality-Treatment.
    Yes, of course. The first two had the benefit of having pretty much the same production crew. However, I think the following directors could have done a better job in preserving "some" of the same look. Perhaps we'll get a remake in some years where they will try to do just that...
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  4. #4  
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    You´re totally right. There should have been at least a smoother transition of the individual looks.
    Let´s see, maybe in 10 years. Although the Fantastic Beast Series is set in the same universe, so we probably have to wait much longer.
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    Interesting but you might want to refine your essay it seems to meander needlessly. While I see your point, I think the narrative of the books becomes much darker as the story progresses so the choice in cinematography is justified and appropriate. You also completely ignore production design which has far more impact on the overall look than lens or camera selection. Further you're being incredibly naive if you think that the first 2 movies were simply color timed. There's a massive amount of VFX in these films. While the LOTR series was more consistent it's not like the Shire looked like Mordor, nor should it. An interesting proposal, which I watched about 9 minutes, but overall I disagree.
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  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Howie Roll View Post
    Interesting but you might want to refine your essay it seems to meander needlessly. While I see your point, I think the narrative of the books becomes much darker as the story progresses so the choice in cinematography is justified and appropriate. You also completely ignore production design which has far more impact on the overall look than lens or camera selection. Further you're being incredibly naive if you think that the first 2 movies were simply color timed. There's a massive amount of VFX in these films. While the LOTR series was more consistent it's not like the Shire looked like Mordor, nor should it. An interesting proposal, which I watched about 9 minutes, but overall I disagree.
    First of all, thanks for watching it and taking the time to comment. I do, however, disagree a bit here. The target audience is not people on this forum, but more a general movie lover audience. So the «meandering», if I understand you correctly, is there to explain to the layperson what this is about, and then to conclude, now knowing what we know. This is also the reason why I don’t take into account the digital work that was done in the first two movies. The point being: they were processed, but not in the same way that Azkaban was, not by a long shot. Digital colour grading of entire films was not an industry standard at that point in time. This is the shift that was taking place.

    I’m also not ignoring the production design at all. There’s plenty of reviews and articles on that topic. The whole reason for me making this video was exactly that, that I had rarely heard anyone talking about the cinematography and more specifically, the colour-tone, of the movies. I don’t think I ever say that this is the only reason as to why the narrative is incoherent.
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Light&Color View Post
    You´re totally right. There should have been at least a smoother transition of the individual looks.
    Let´s see, maybe in 10 years. Although the Fantastic Beast Series is set in the same universe, so we probably have to wait much longer.
    True.. I really don’t understand the reason for them sticking with David Yates though....
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  8. #8  
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    I have to agree with Howie. I feel as though you spend more time explaining basics than you do arguing for the points of the essay.
    In the end it comes across more like a subjective rant. Well edited video though!
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Tolin View Post
    I have to agree with Howie. I feel as though you spend more time explaining basics than you do arguing for the points of the essay.
    In the end it comes across more like a subjective rant. Well edited video though!
    I can agree that I spent perhaps a bit too much time on it, but I think that to a lot of people, this isn't common knowledge.

    As far as I can see, I spend around 7.5 minutes on the introduction, explaining cinematography and colour-grading, and on comparing the first three films, and then from there on I spend 6 minutes on my opinions and conclusions. Though I do have some opinions in the first 7.5 minutes...

    EDIT: oh.. and this isn't really meant to be objective truth... It's purely subjective
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommetass View Post
    I can agree that I spent perhaps a bit too much time on it, but I think that to a lot of people, this isn't common knowledge.

    As far as I can see, I spend around 7.5 minutes on the introduction, explaining cinematography and colour-grading, and on comparing the first three films, and then from there on I spend 6 minutes on my opinions and conclusions. Though I do have some opinions in the first 7.5 minutes...

    EDIT: oh.. and this isn't really meant to be objective truth... It's purely subjective
    7.5 minutes out of a 13 minute video essay. And it was the "rant" part of "subjective rant" I was hoping you'd take to heart When making statements like "I believe one has to stay true to the already established world by evolving the look gradually as you go and not make distinct divides between the movies", I would have expected you to follow that with an explanation as to why you believe that. Instead, you explain what you liked about the original HP look and what you disliked about Cuaron's.
    In the end I'm left feeling confused as to why you think any of the things you've spent 13 minutes stating. I liked the comparison with the LOTR series though. It gives some foundation to your argument and I wish you would have explored those differences more.
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