I walked into the family room the other night and discovered my family watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth movie in the Harry Potter series. There were only 15 minutes left in the movie by then, but I was still reminded of just how much that movie affected me when I saw it the first time. Without that movie, I’m probably not attempting to write a story based on Hogwarts.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the books immensely, but until that movie came along, the world of Harry Potter seemed like an imaginary place – a place which would no doubt be fun to visit, but one in which I didn’t really picture myself visiting. That all changed with the fourth movie.
In the Goblet of Fire, the director (or perhaps the producer) decided to steer the movie away from some of the earlier fantasy elements, probably in an attempt to prepare us for the darker scenes to come. (At least that’s my guess.) Many of the scenes were now shot inside or around old stone buildings and it suddenly seemed much more real to me. (I absolutely love old stone buildings – the older the better – especially castles, and especially in Britain.)
The director also spent more time having the characters talk about non-magical things, more in line with what Muggle students might talk about, and these conversations reminded me of my college days, so much so that I felt a bit depressed for weeks after the movie, wishing I had been able to attend Hogwarts instead of the University of Missouri. Not that there’s anything wrong with the University of Missouri – it’s a great school – but a chance to study magic… in a castle… in Scotland? Come on…
Anyway, when I write my next book – assuming I’m not working on the second book of this Hogwarts series – it’s going to be based around another castle.