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Lauren: Dot com. Andrew: Today's MuggleNet podcast is brought to you by Borders. In May, thousands of Harry Potter fans descended upon New Orleans for the Phoenix Rising Conference. Borders was there to take in the sites and share a lively discussion of the series that has bewitched the world with some of Harry's most dedicated fans. Listen in and watch the action yourself. Check our The Phoenix Rising, Borders Book Club discussion at BordersMedia.com/HarryPotter, or click on the Borders banner at the top of the MuggleNet page.
[Different intro music starts]
Micah: Because Laura has a million questions that only Jo can answer, this is MuggleCast Episode 115 for October 1st, 2007.
[Intro music starts]
Laura: So, Micah.
Micah: So, Laura.
Laura: After Jamie and I, we railed on you a little bit last week for not seeing Order of the Phoenix.
Micah: Yeah, you did.
Laura: Yeah, we gave you a pretty hard time, but I have to say that after last weeks show, you did the responsible thing that any MuggleCaster would do and you went and saw the movie. So, just in a nutshell, what did you think of it?
Micah: Overall, I thought that it was done pretty well. I didn't really like the pace of it too much. I thought it went a little too quickly, and not that these movies don't have to go quickly because obviously they have to cover a lot, but I thought that it lacked a lot of explanation. There was a lack of dialogue between the scenes and it really didn't help you explain what was going one scene to the next.
Laura: Okay. I'm just curious, how'd you manage to find it?
Micah: Find what?
Laura: The movie.
Micah: It's still playing, actually, here in a place about 45 minutes from my house.
Laura: Oh really?
Micah: Yeah, so movie theaters do that, sometimes.
Micah: They hang on to movies for awhile.
Kevin: You drove 45 minutes to see it.
Micah: I did, yeah. Come on!
Eric: That's how dedicated he was. Man, Micah's just...
Micah: Well, I knew what the reaction was going to be if the following week I came back...
Eric: Yeah, of course...
Micah: ...and I hadn't seen it.
Laura: Yeah, I had an intro all prepared just to be like, "So, Micah. How do you feel still not being the only one MuggleCaster who hasn't seen 'Order of the Phoenix'?"
[Kevin and Eric laugh]
Micah: Yeah, and probably the only MuggleCast listener who hasn't seen Order of the Phoenix, either.
Laura: Probably the only Harry Potter fan in the world...
[Intro music plays louder]
Laura: So, why don't you give us the scoop in the past week's top Harry Potter news stories.
Micah: All right, thanks Laura. Two new audio interviews with Harry Potter movie producer David Heyman and set designer Stuart Craig have emerged online. In the first interview, with Heyman, the producer discusses, among many things, why David Yates was given the director's helm for Movies 5 and 6. He says that Alfonso Cuaron was given the option to do Movie 4, after Prisoner of Azkaban, but was too tired and Mike Newell the option for Movie 5, after directing Goblet of Fire, but he was exhausted as well. David Yates when approached for Half-Blood Prince, after directing Order of the Phoenix was not.
The second interview, with Craig, he discusses the challenges he encountered while working on Order of the Phoenix and briefly mentions the sixth film.
A trailer for the upcoming release of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD has appeared online. You can watch it over at MuggleNet.com The DVD will be released on December 11th in the US and November 12th in the UK.
And the fifth Harry Potter film dominated the National Movie Awards, winning three of the six prizes. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix won the award for best family movie. Emma Watson picked up best female performance for her role as "Hermione," while Daniel Radcliffe who plays the lead won for best male performance, beating Daniel Craig from the Bond movie, Johnny Depp, and co-star Rupert Grint. Rupert has this to say about losing to Dan: "Obviously I didn't expect to win, because I think Dan deserves it more than me." The winners were picked solely on public votes.
Finally, we previously told you that JK Rowling had agreed donate and auction a signed set of her beloved series for Books Abroad, a charity that seeks to "help to educate children worldwide by sending free school books that are carefully chosen to match the need of each school." Earlier today at midnight the auction on eBay had closed with the winning bid at 18,200, or $37,100 with the starting offer at 100. To prevent the books from being stolen, they were locked in a jail prior to the auction. Books Abroad said they currently "don't have any specific use (for the money) in mind."
That's all the news for this October 1st, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
Laura: Okay, thanks Micah. Now, before we dive into some news discussion I'd like to welcome back Kevin. You were gone for a long time, weren't you?
Kevin: Yes, I was. Quite a long time...
Laura: You were on two shows all summer. [laughs]
Kevin: Yeah, well...
Laura: And where were you? Just curious.
Kevin: I was actually in France.
Laura: Oh, but you're not there anymore, right?
Kevin: Not anymore. Oh, no.
Eric: Geez, are you sure? Because I swear - When did you come back? There was no - that's just because I haven't heard from you, man.
Kevin: I came back two weeks before the start of the semester.
Laura: Just a little bit of background information here. Before we started recording the show, Eric was talking to Kevin as though Kevin was still in France. And it just kind of went on for a few minutes and nobody said anything.
[Kevin and Eric laugh]
Laura: And then finally...
Kevin: I actually let it go on for a few minutes.
Laura: [laughs] And I was like, "Eric, do you think he's still in France?"
Eric: And then I was like - because we were talking about riding boats with his G-Force 8, right? Don't they do that, Kevin? Can we talk about this?
Kevin: Oh, sure.
Eric: Yeah. The powering boats, sort of like they did in Stuart Little
Kevin: Although, was that with the fan on the video card? That example work?
Laura: Yeah. So, you were gone for awhile. Eric, you haven't been on in a few episodes.
Eric: No, same here. I mean...
Laura: It's been awhile, yeah.
Eric: Couple shows, maybe. Three or four since Book 7? So...
Eric: Yeah, it's good to be back, good to be on.
Laura: That time difference is ridiculous. It's like 16 hours, isn't it?
Micah: Yeah, so people can...
Eric: It's 17 hours.
Micah: Understand a little bit why it was so hard to record in the summer. With people in...
Micah: ...various countries and all different time zones around the world.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Kevin: Just a bit.
Eric: No, it is quite shocking. But New Zealand is funny too, because even if we did I couldn't even get used to the time change. Because what happened was they just changed over today, which was Sunday. They changed over and I didn't know about it. It's obviously, you know it's a few weeks ahead of changing over - I guess you guys will change over in about three weeks time? The end of October? Something like that.
Laura: All right, so welcome back you guys. Really glad to have you back on the show. As we all know, recently the filming for Half-Blood Prince commenced. And it seems that both Dan and David Yates have talked about the film, did you guys see any of that?
Kevin: Yeah, the interview with David Yates was good. Because he was talking about the romantic aspect and how he intends to make it a very large part of the movie.
Laura: Oh, fabulous.
Eric: Yeah, he was talking about the movie in general, I think and I expected it to be - you know, so-so. I mean it's six minutes long, just audio. I mean, there's a sort of collage picture that you can watch while you're listening, but it's not bery exciting, doesn't really move. But it's a six minute audio interview that - Let's see, it's a six minute audio interview that the guy does with David Yates and, yeah, I recommend checking that out, believe it or not. Because it is exciting and it's a piece of news and any news is good news in the Harry Potter world today. And yeah, it's really comprehensive. It's really good. Like, David Yates seems really into making the sixth film and he answers a lot of good questions.
Laura: Yeah, I'm pretty excited to see him direct the sixth film because I actually really liked Order of the Phoenix. And one of the things I'm excited about was Dan talked about how he's going to have, like, four days of filming for the cave scene with Michael Gambon. And I'm so excited to...
Micah: Yeah, it takes Gambon a little bit of time to get things right. So you know, that's probably why they're doing it for four days.
Laura: Whatever, Micah.
Eric: Yeah. No, it's true. It's true.
Laura: I don't care what you have to say.
Laura: Actually, I do.
Laura: I'm just kidding. Just kidding. Anyway. But it's pretty exciting, I think. Because if you look at the way that the Department of Mysteries and the Ministry was set up in the fifth film, I'm pretty excited to see how they set up the cave.
Kevin: With the same set. It's going to have, like, pillars on this time.
Eric: Like they did - well, I mean, I guess they did that on purpose.
Kevin: They did that for Chamber of Secrets and they reused the set for Order of the Phoenix.
Eric: Oh, did they?
Laura: Did they really?
Laura: Which one?
Eric: Oh, you're right. Son of a gun.
Kevin: That was the set. You didn't recognize...
Eric: The Ministry.
Kevin: Yes they did.
Laura: Oh, wow.
Kevin: They revamped it. But if you noticed, the atrium is exactly like the hallway in the - or the actual Chamber of Secrets, I should say.
Eric: They must have just kept that set sitting there in Leavesden studios. I do not know why they didn't do a studio tour then of the Chamber of Secrets. Because that would have been cool to have for the past three years until they used it.
Kevin: Probably because they were remodeling [laughs] for the...
Eric: Yeah, for three years.
Kevin: Three years.
Eric: They really work hard. You never know, though.
Laura: Cool, well, Warner Brothers recycles.
Eric: Yeah, but there was - yeah, the interviews were really good. There was a point where David was talking about Harry's unrequited feelings for Bonnie, even though he means Ginny. And he corrects himself immediately afterwards.
Kevin: Yeah. That was pretty ironic.
Eric: I thought that was funny because - well, not ignorant, I thought it was funny just because I have unrequited feelings for Bonnie, as well. And I don't know - I probably speak for a lot of other people.
Laura: I'm sure you do.
Kevin: Now that we've got a restraining order against Eric.
Eric: Oh wait, that's right. Yeah, sorry.
Laura: All right, is there anything else anyone wanted to bring up before we move on?
Eric: Yeah. Sorry again. Just one final point. He does - David talks about, it's just one quote here, he talks about balancing the intimate with the epic. Like, I thought that was very well worded, balancing the intimate with the...
Eric: What? Yeah. He says - you know, along the lines of you need to sort of, if as long as the characters can be related to by the audience, that's what essential. He says you know, you can show them all sorts of spectacle. What really matters is if the characters - he says that in movie 5, the first screening, when they, you know showed it to the audience, he was just surprised how much the characters meant to the audience. And sort of how much - You know, how much dependency it sort of had on the enjoyment of the film and the meaning of the film and that sort of thing. So, he was really...
Kevin: He also mentioned that this film is largely character-driven.
Kevin: So, he's trying to build the characters as much as possible because, you know, people have grown up with them. So...
Eric: Which is interesting. Do you there'll be - I mean, because in Movie 5, obviously, I mean it might be in this too, now that you've seen it. But in Movie 5 there's sort of the fun scenes with Dumbledore's Army where it's - would you call those scenes character-driven? Because they're obviously the characters we love and know sort of escaping the tyranny of the character of Umbridge. But, I'm just trying to distinguish whether or not the scenes will be sort of cheesy or if they'll be, like really good character scenes or what sort of - I mean it'd be impossible to tell, but what do you think he means by character-driven that's going to be so different from Movie 5?
Micah: I think it's got to be Snape. I mean, there's no other character that needs to be more developed, I think, in this movie than Snape. It goes back to, even Order of the Phoenix. I mean, he was in the Occlumency scene and really that was about it. And even that scene, I felt was rushed. I mean, obviously they didn't do it the way that it happens in the book. You know, it's Harry going up to Dumbledore's office right after the attack. And then two seconds later Snape is there and Snape takes Harry down to his office to do the whole scene. But, I just feel like Snape has been underdeveloped as a character throughout the entire first five films. And I think he really needs to be developed in Half-Blood Prince because, you know, Deathly Hallows, obviously he's going to be playing another major role.
Kevin: Yeah, he's going to playing a key role, so if they don't get it right it's going to hinder the ability of the director to direct the last one.
Laura: Oh yeah, it's definitely really interesting, now that we've read the seventh book, seeing all the things that they've left out of the movies, and we can just sort of sit back and go, "Hmmm, I'm wondering how you're going to fit all of this into one film so that it makes sense in the last one?"
Eric: See, I don't even know if they'll have that problem as much. I mean, what else have they got to do besides here's an - I mean, Jo essentially just kept introducing stuff, including the Elder wand.
Laura: Well, what about Lily, though?
Eric: What about Lily?
Laura: She wasn't in the Snape's Worst Memory scene at all. If in the seventh film, all of a sudden we see that Snape and Lily were friends, that comes out of nowhere.
Kevin: It does, yeah.
Eric: Okay, well, flash back to the scene in Movie 3, then, when Lupin's on the surprise secret bridge and talks to Harry about Lily seeing the good in people, that they never did before.
Eric: Because JKR was really pleased with Cuaron for that, for doing that scene about Lily that was - now we see it was actually, as Jo put it, preemptive for the seventh book. Lupin talks to Harry about her.
Laura: Actually, it was.
Eric: So they can just flash...
Laura: Do you remember when everybody thought that was kind of Lupin's way of saying that he loved Lily, or something like that.
Laura: I remember everybody thought that.
Eric: It was quite questionable, actually.
Eric: But I don't know. Lupin and Tonks and stuff - it's just good, I think. One of the things I liked about Movie 5, and maybe you guys agree, was just the amount of actors they had in it, just the amount of quality actors.
Laura: Oh, yeah, definitely.
Eric: No matter how many scenes, obviously. I mean, Lupin didn't even have much screen time at all. I mean, he's there to kind of hold Harry back at the end, but beyond that, I think he has one line, and if I remember correctly, you don't even see him speaking it when he says it, he's at the table or something in the headquarters. It's very low, minimal screen time. Same thing with Snape.
Micah: Speaking of lines, there's one line, and it's really my favorite line in the entire series.
Laura: Oh, boy.
Micah: And I...no, no. Wait.
Eric: Oh, boo hoo, and you didn't see it in the movie, and it wasn't in the movie, and boo hoo hoo.
Laura: Oh, okay, I thought you were about to rail on Michael Gambon again.
Micah: No, no, no. It's in Order of the Phoenix, and I'm happy, I'm very very happy that they kept it in. And it's actually said by Kingsley in the movie, but in the book I think it's said by Phineas Nigellus after Dumbledore flees the office.
Eric: Yeah, it is. You're right.
Micah: And he says, "You may not agree with everything Dumbledore does, Minister. But you've got to admit, the man's got style."
Laura: Yeah, that was...
Micah: And it's one of my favorite lines in the entire series, and I'm really happy that that was kept in. But going back to what you guys were talking about before, one thing that I wanted to say was that there's no excuses now to leave out crucial plot elements, because now all the books are out.
Kevin: And they know where it's going, yeah.
Micah: They have all the information. So for Half-Blood Prince to lack anything would be a disappointment.
Eric: I quite agree. And I mean, Alan Rickman's a great actor. I mean, come on, nobody denies that. And he's keeping active. I'm looking at his IMDB page right now. He has four movies in advance. I mean, maybe I'm just not looking at the right websites, but where are the Alan Rickman interviews that are saying, "Okay, you play evil Severus Snape. What's going on with that? Are you excited? What's your game plan?" I don't know much about Alan Rickman as an actor, if he likes to be approached by interviews, but I love to read that kind of stuff all the time, about how the adult actors portray their characters and are looking forward to the next installments and have been reading the books along with the trio. Do you know what I'm saying? I mean, the only actor we do hear about is Michael Gambon, who pretty much says he can't be beeped [Laura laughs] to learn what it's all about.
Laura: Oh my gosh.
Eric: So you know, I'd like to hear from Alan Rickman. I mean, he's 60, he's sexy, and he's still acting, and he's ready to go. I mean, come on, seriously. I'd just like to get an Alan Rickman interview, if that's not too much to ask.
Micah: A lot of the interviews you get with Alan Rickman, though, are usually related to the other stuff he's doing.
Eric: Yeah, that's true.
Micah: And then occasionally, the interviewer will throw in a question about Harry Potter. You don't get anything exclusively Harry Potter with him, which hopefully will change because of his role in Half-Blood Prince.
Eric: Yeah, I think they might even - I think it would be pretty cool as spin on the whole sort of marketing--I mean, what else are they going to do besides spin what they've already done? Then to center around Snape for the Movie 6 poster, do you reckon? I mean, not specifically Snape, of course, because that would give away the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, oooh. But Movie 5 was this whole kids, uprising, government. They show literally all the students that we know, the main characters, on the poster, which looked great, but what are they going to fit into "6"? More people? Or are they going to turn it into something different, and do like an Alan Rickman, Dumbledore, Voldemort's past thing? Like what do you think?
Laura: I think that's probably what they're going to focus on, because if you look at the significance of Dumbledore's Army, in the book it didn't have a great amount of significance, except for the end when Neville and Luna came back. But it wasn't like you really saw the same focus on that group of students as you saw in the fifth book, even. So, I think that there's definitely going to be more of a focus put on the Harry-Dumbledore-Snape dynamic.
Eric: Oh, crap, that reminds me. Kevin, you don't remember - because he didn't really talk about Voldemort, did he, David Heyman, in the new interview?
Kevin: No, he didn't.
Eric: Oh, that's a shame, though, because he's talking about Kloves - sorry, Steve Kloves - turning in a fun script, and sort of balancing romance with intrigue and spectacle, but I wonder where the whole Voldemort back story comes into that. Just thinking preemptively. I'm not saying just because we didn't hear it in this interview it won't exist. I don't want to say that, but I'd like to hear about how they plan on doing that, because that's quite a - it's one thing to do a Hitler allegory in a book, in a contemporary book. But then to do it in mainstream cinema as well, you've sort of got to know what you're doing.
Kevin: And don't you mean David Yates?
Eric: Sorry, what did I say?
[Kevin and Laura laugh]
Eric: David Yates, yes, of course. Well, there's always these Davids, Davids, Davids.
Laura: Okay, if that's it, everybody? Everybody got their input out on the table?
Eric: That was incredible.
Laura: Yes? No? Maybe? Okay, let's move on to some announcements now.
Laura: Our fearless leader is gone once again this week. He and Jamie are essentially the biggest fan girls on earth and they just had to go spend a weekend in London to see the final performance of We Will Rock You. So guys, he's abandoned you again. I think that listeners should start complaining.
Micah: Don't say that, we'll get a lot of e-mails.
Eric: He's still editing the show isn't he Laura?
Laura: Okay, quit trying to make me feel guilty.
Laura: Shut up, Eric.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Eric: That's why you haven't had me on.
Laura: All right. But hopefully he'll be back – hopefully he will be back next week as well as Jamie and we hope that they had a good time. Also Pickle Pack registration is now closed. The cut off date was September 30th. So thank you to all of those who signed up, we greatly appreciate your support of the show and at this point we don't know about any sort of re-opening date for Pickle Pack. So, don't count on it, but don't think that we'll never do it again. We're just not sure at this point.
Laura: Also, one final thing before we let Eric take the floor on a special announcement of his, as everybody knows Jo's going to be doing a reading in New York City at Carnegie Hall in the next couple of weeks. As far as I know, Micah you're going to be there right? Well you're going to be in the city?
Micah: That is right..
Laura: Right. I'm going to go. Kevin, you were a maybe?
Laura: Last time I heard.
Kevin: Still a maybe.
Laura: Okay, yeah, Kevin might be there, but essentially we all decided way back in July that regardless of who got tickets and regardless of whether anybody got tickets at all we were all going to get together in the city and hang out. I am actually very excited because I did end up with a ticket.
Laura: So I will be going to the reading. Why are you laughing Eric?
Eric: I'm just laughing.
Eric: I'm singing, "I got a golden ticket, I've got a golden ticket."
Laura: I did. [laughs] Actually a listener Laura, who I think her name is an awesome name, what do you guys think?
Kevin: I don't know.
Micah: Just get to the story, would you?
Eric: I think that ticket was meant for a Laura, Laura, but it might not have been Laura. It might be Laura who is originally intended, so Laura gave Laura a ticket, everybody and so thanks to Laura for giving Laura a ticket.
Laura: Yeah. It was – I can't express how much – like how thankful I am to her because that was such a generous thing for her to do, so thank you again Laura, I really really appreciate that and I am looking forward to going to the reading.
Micah: That is really cool, but...
Laura: So, yeah?
Micah: One thing that we also did talk about, I don't remember which show it was but, this whole idea about having the tickets distributed in this type of a way, through these raffles, contests, whatever you want to call them, I don't particularly like this. You go back to 2006 in the summer with Radio City, it was a little bit different type of atmosphere with her coming in and reading with the other two authors and it all was going towards charity. I don't understand why something similar to that wasn't done this time. Why it's such a select group of people that are going to be able to go? Because even when you're looking at the three cities that she's doing, only one of those shows is for people who aren't in school. And I understand her appeal to those types of people, but she appeals to so many more that are now restricted from going. And us in particular, you know we're not going to go out and put our names, well except if you're Laura, we're not going to go out and submit...
Micah: ...to these contests.
Laura: [laughs] Oh my gosh! No!
Eric: Okay guys, we're pretty...
Laura: Let me make something clear. Okay, I sent in an entry but I did not win tickets, how dare you Micah!
Eric: Wait Laura, Laura did win tickets.
Laura: We're not friends anymore.
Eric: And Laura has a ticket. MuggleCast Laura now has a ticket. I don't know, I...
Eric: I see a parallel.
Eric: I see a connection.
Micah: No but not poking fun at Laura. Putting this all aside, I wanted to get your guys' opinions on this because as staff members of a Harry Potter website we're not going to go and submit to these contests because then it would seem as if it was unfair if we came out on the other end with tickets and we're essentially taking them away from somebody else.
Eric: Right. Because we would never do that.
Laura: Mmmm. Okay. Yeah. I mean you're talking about basically the exclusivity of the event. Like, how it's become – how it seems like it's becoming somewhat difficult to get into these things?
Eric: Well, nd it's limited. Such a limited audience. I mean yeah school children are sort of – yeah but Micah's just saying she appeals to so many more people and if she's going to do these sort of secluded events, how are we going to see her? Is that what you're saying Micah? Like how – wnot just how are we, but how are the majority of fans – but I think it's a matter of there's no venue big enough, you know? I mean there's no – and this is certainly just the first sort of wave of readings she'll be doing. She might do an international tour or J.K. Rowling on the Orient Express, you know something like that maybe sometime in the future.
Micah: I disagree with that though because you go back to Radio City last summer and those shows weren't sold out. You know there were still seats available the day of. So, to think that she is going to fill up all these places...
[Eric mutters something]
Micah: ...which she very well might if she opened it up to more people being able to come and see her other than – and I'm not saying it's her.
Laura: No, it's not her.
Micah: It may be Scholastic who's setting these guidelines saying that this is what needs to happen. So... But I just think, you know, we feel, I feel left out like I have no power to go ahead and to ensure that I would be going by going and purchasing a ticket.
Eric: Oh hey, Micah, you used to do a segment on this show right? And didn't it used to produce results? From JKR? Do you think you could try your hand in that old magic hat again?
Micah: [laughs] Uhhh, yeah.
Eric: Maybe get something to change and she'll be mentioning that all of you yanks in America will be going to - and yeah maybe she'll pay your plane fare too, Kevin, from France because I guess it's quite expensive.
Eric: Geez, you're not in France...
Kevin: Well I think that the thing is that she can't please everyone and they have to set a cap on the number of people and I think JK Rowling enjoys more intimate events where there's fewer people and she can interact with the fans directly...
Eric: That's the other thing too...
Kevin: ...and she doesn't have enough time to be greeting 10 – 20,000 fans, it's just impossible.
Laura: Yeah, not to mention everybody at this event is getting a signed book. So...
Eric: Oh, wow.
Kevin: Exactly, so her hand has to be braced and iced.
Eric: [laughs] We were talking about that. Yeah she might not need to ever write again so it wouldn't matter she'd still need to sign.
Micah: Well I mean, intimate setting, I unerstand what you're saying Kevin, but the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles is not a small place. Carnegie Hall is not a small place.
Kevin: Right, but the setting comes from the number of people as well.
Micah: Well I agree, I'm not saying you open it up to more people, I'm just saying allow an event where you're not restricting, you know, everybody is able to purchase tickets, when you limit it to a contest you, you know, you're not giving everybody the opportunity to go ahead, and it's not - I don't know, I just feel like in a way, you're restricting people with these types of readings.
Eric: Well, I think I have an idea.
Kevin: Well, she's making it luck and not financial resources.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. I mean that's the other thing too. When you get...
Micah: Well, age as well.
Eric: Well, when you fet tickets, Micah, that's the thing. If something is hot, if it's like, a hot ticket, like We Will Rock you, for instance, it's final show. I don't know how Andrew and Jamie got tickets. But the fact is, when you get tickets for, you know, hot tickets, what happens? Same thing with the iPhone and PlayStation 3, right? People buy them up and sell them for five times more on ebay the next day.
Kevin: That's true.
Eric: And it's all the gamers that are - not the gamers but, you know, 30, 40-year old guys...
Eric: ...Who ae grabbing thse tickets from these oherwise school children who have to beg their moms and dads to you know, dip into their college fund to pay for JKR. You know? I mean it's not, obviously, that dramatic, but doing it with the school I'm thinking okay, so if JKR wants to sort of get rid of the whole money, competition, because money is evil, lets face it. It's one of the big evils, you know? If she wants to get rid of that, she can just do this thing with schools. And it's true, it's not necessarily, it's not open by any means, but it is luck and it is a raffle, and she can choose sort of schools in the area and say okay, this one's going, you know? Yes, it would - it is - people would - you know, people are getting left out, but I'm thinking, what would be the alternative? People running away with a truck full of Half-Blood Prince and holding someone at gunpoint? I mean, you know, these things have happend in the past.
Laura: [laughs What!
Eric: I think JKR - that happend, that was a real story! Wasn't it? There was a gun involved in the Half-Blood Prince.
Laura: Yeah, but it was a fake gun.
Kevin: You do also have to realize that the thought was put into the contest.
Kevin: If you notice, she didn't have any internet sign up, she made you send it in. I mean, just that as, at least from a computer science standpoint, I know exactly what she was doing, and what she was doing, or Scholastic was doing, was making it so you couldn't submit you name multiple times under different addresses, and it makes it so that there's like a bottleneck where you actually have to sit down and write out the, you know, the submission. Because if you put it i online, people will create scripts that will submit their name 10,000 times in a different way.
Eric: Could you write a script for that, theoretically for that Kevin?
Kevin: You could. Absolutley. And the same thing happens with tickets online. If - I can guarnetee you that I will get the first ticket, or nearly the first ticket, for any event if I spend enough time coding the script to do it.
Eric: And that's it before Kevin gets taken away.
Micah: And before we all get arrested.
Eric: So now we are going on to...
Kevin: No, it's not - it's by no means illegal.
Eric: It's not a threat.
Kevin: It's not illegal.
Eric: Oh, it's not illegal?
Kevin: It's totally legal. No, not at all. I'm allowed to use it.
Eric: To write a script?
Kevin: To sign myself up for tickets online, absolutely not. It's totally legal. But what it enables, what computers enable people to do is manipulate the system where all of a sudden this fair competition isn't so fair anymore.
Eric: So we're thinking the fact that so many children are getting to see it, who are otherwise just school kids, might be the whole point in and of itself. It's not that we're all getting out, but we're in the non-safe world where people cheat, and so maybe I mean, just for this event. And she did open one up to the public, is the Canada one going to be public as well?
Micah: No, I think it's school-based as well.
Laura: I don't know.
Micah: Because they were - I forget the exact wording of it, but I believe that it's all being done through the school system. And look, I'm not saying - don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that, I think it's a great idea how she's doing that with all the different schools. My point is, can you have one event where it's not a contest-related event. You're able to go if you can, you know, pay your way to go.
Eric: Well, you can have one event, that's the New York event, isn't it?
Micah: No, that's - wasn't that all contest-based?
Laura: No, you had to win tickets.
Laura: Yeah, it was all contest based.
Eric: Oh, so.
Micah: And me, myself, and I know a lot of MuggleNet staff, aren't going to go and enter those contests for the exact same reason that I mentioned before.
Eric: We don't want to disadvantage the fans.
Micah: And you don't want it to be seen as some sort of favoritism, so you know, then it falls on - it's just like working for any company. You know, if you work for Major League Baseball, you're not going to enter into a contest to win tickets to the World Series. You're not allowed to do that. You know, it's against your contract or whatever. You legally can't do that. So, I mean it's the same thing in our place, you know. We're not going to go an enter a contest because we work for a Harry Potter fansite.
Eric: Yeah. Except for some of that is...
Laura: Unless you're me. In which case, you do. [laughs]
Eric: No unless you get a girl with your exact name. What's this other Laura's last name, huh? Are you sure?
Laura: I'm not going to tell everyone her last name.
Eric: No, I didn't actually want you to, I didn't actually want you to.
Laura: [laughs] Okay. I was going to be like, no.
Eric: I was actually talking without thinking, which is very dangerous when I do it.
Laura: You had a special announcement, right Eric?
Eric: Yes, I did. Now as few of you may have heard this on, at the end, the tail end of last week's amazing episode. I haven't heard it all yet, but I know that Jamie was really funny and I really want to listen to Episode 114 but, MuggleCast is going down under. That's right, yes. MuggleCast is coming to Australia and we are doing two events, one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. Actually that's strike that, cross that, reverse it. Sydney first, Sydney event, Sidney, Australia, and then the Melbourne event. It is official, we are doing these events. We've already got a Facebook group called MuggleCast-Down Under!. And that's actually just the signs, not spelled out. And we have a logo which you guys might see if you're all on Facebook. You can join the group if you're not coming, I think, it's just, we'll have an event coming out as well once we know more details. Now, it is official, though. I am stressing that because before I was talking about it being preliminary, you know, sort of not completely official, but it is official. It is official. We are definitely doing a MuggleCast meet-up, however, because it is going to be the same weekend that you guys - the rest of the MuggleCasters - are in New York City. So, it's going to be the weekend of the 19th, the 20th, and the 21st. It could be that Friday and Saturday or Friday and Sunday. We're still working on details, but I do want to stress, it is actually official. And so we're taking sign-ups, we're taking - sorry - we're just taking RSVPs, just to hear back from how many people could make it because we're trying to finalize details with the venue and things like that. It's all a bit complicated, I'll mention it on MuggleCast.com, but the only announcement I guess left on the shirt?
Kevin: The shirt?
Eric: Sorry, thinking ahead of myself. The only announcement left to make just on here quickly is t-shirts, which is - I'm just happy to announce it because we haven't talked about t-shirts on the show, and I just love talking about t-shirts on MuggleCast. Okay, what's happening is the logo that you see on Facebook group will be used to create some really amazing t-shirts, which are actually essential to these shows. They'll be available specifically by pre-order; that'll be the only way to guarantee that you get one, and they'll actually be pre-ordered through a website that will be available, but they have the really cool kangaroo holding an iPod with the MuggleCast Down Under sort of logo thing. So, we'll be giving more details, everything, just check MuggleCast.com, and Sydney helpers are wanted. We're still trying to - Melbourne we've got the most response in, I'll tell you that. That's surprising people, that's surprising. But, just generally, we need - if anybody's interested in helping us out with Sydney, possibly, like event staff type people, please just let me know. Details MuggleCast.com, thank you very much.
Laura: Cool. That sounds really exciting, Eric. I'm really looking forward to hearing how that goes.
Eric: It's really taking off.
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