["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
Andrew: Because this is our eighth year Harry Potter podcasting, this is MuggleCast Episode 261 for January 27th, .
[Show music begins]
Andrew: This week's podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 261. Eric, Micah, and I are here this week. Hello, gentlemen.
Andrew: What do we have on tap for this week, this month, this year? The first episode of 2013? You guys tell me.
Micah: It's kind of scary, isn't it? To think this will be our eighth year of podcasting?
Micah: We started way, way back in 2005.
Andrew: Mhm. It is a long time, Micah.
Micah: It is. What's interesting is seeing you guys as we podcast here because we're doing it on Google Hangout, which we haven't normally done over the last… how long has Google Hangout even been around? A year?
Andrew: Yeah, maybe a year or two. But it's only gotten better recently, so…
Micah: Yeah. I just find it interesting to see what each of you do as you podcast. Andrew…
Andrew: What do you notice about me?
Micah: Sipping some coffee or alcohol.
Andrew: It's pure vodka.
Eric: It's a nice mug.
Micah: That's what I was going to say. Yeah, it's cool. But anyway, on this episode, nothing. We're not going to change too much in 2013, I don't think. We're going to stick to our normal format. Go through some news, talk a little bit about Harry Potter…
Micah: …new content from Pottermore, and do some fun segments. And we might even bring back a voicemail or two.
Andrew: Wow. Bring back from where?
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: From two years ago, the voicemail.
Eric: Well, well, let's…
Micah: No, no, no, it's been longer than that.
Andrew: The lost voicemail.
Micah: I was going to say we should really task the listeners with going back in time and seeing if they can tell us the last time we had a voicemail on the show.
Andrew: I would think you could just search the show notes and find… because we would probably mark the voicemail segment.
Micah: That's true.
Andrew: I would think.
Micah: I would think. But…
Eric: I'm going to do that right now. I'm curious.
Micah: Let's see, if we had to guess - go around the table - when was the last time we had a voicemail on this podcast?
Eric: Would you think… oh wow, that's a specific year. Would think that it was before… we haven't had voicemails since we had David Heyman on the show, did we? Have we?
Micah: Did we have…
Andrew: Yeah, maybe that was the last time.
Micah: …voicemails specifically for him?
Eric: No, we didn't. But I was saying that was kind of a milestone. But that was two or three years ago, Episode 200.
Eric: So, let me…
Micah: I think Andrew could be on target there. 2008, possibly.
Andrew: Well, tell us what's in the news today, Micah.
Micah: We have some updates from the Wizarding World in Japan. Construction finally beginning over there. Many, many thousands of miles away from all of us, but we're slowly starting to see things come together. I see one picture here with Elmo on the wall outside. I don't know how Elmo ties into Universal Studios, necessarily.
Andrew: Weird things happen in Japan. That's all you can say about that.
Micah: Everything is randomly connected, I guess, in other parts of the globe. But the building that we see, I'm not entirely sure what it is and why it's necessarily associated with the Wizarding World, unless it's the beginning of the castle being put together. But it looks more just like your average corporate building, to be honest with you.
Micah: There's nothing that really says Harry Potter about it. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, of course. Micah, come on, you're a construction man. They're not going to build Hogwarts Castle, they're building the structure. My guess is that's probably the building that the Forbidden Journey will be housed in.
Eric: I think that's probably right.
Andrew: It looks just like the other one, so yeah. And it's supposed to be the same exact thing as what's in Orlando right now, so we shouldn't be expecting any surprises or anything. But it'll be interesting to see if they make any areas bigger because of crowd issues. I know there's been some crowd concerns with Wizarding World Orlando, so that'll be interesting to see if they kind of backtrack on those from the original plans.
Eric: It's funny, I usually think of Asia as having crowd issues normally.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, and I mean the thing about the small stores, as they argue, is that in the books they're small, the stores are small. It was kind of designed that way on purpose to make it loyal to the book.
Andrew: And the movies. So…
Micah: Yeah. I wonder, though. You said it's going to be the same as the one in Orlando. Is that including an expansion?
Micah: Or will Orlando be the only one that has this new area?
Andrew: My guess is Orlando is going to be the only one with this expansion because they… I think Universal Orlando still probably wants the advantage over the other parks.
Andrew: And who knows how well these other parks are going to do in these different locations. It's kind of a safe bet that they'll be successful, but we don't know for sure. So yeah, I think you're just going to see that in Orlando. By the way, we were sent on Hypable some photos of the Orlando expansion and we were asked to take them down, but they were something. They basically proved that they are building Gringotts. We saw the windows and we saw the teller desks. [laughs]
Eric: Oh, wow.
Andrew: So, there's kind of no doubt that…
Micah: Did you see the goblins?
Andrew: No, those have not been constructed yet.
Andrew: Warwick was not there.
Micah: But it says this park is set to open in late 2014. Is that the same timeline for the park out in Hollywood as well?
Andrew: I think that one is 2015.
Andrew: Yeah, because they've barely even started here. There's nothing, as far as I'm aware. And they have to knock down a lot of stuff here first, whereas in Orlando and Japan they didn't. What else is going on in the news?
Micah: We got an interesting update from Pottermore. They took us behind the scenes to really give us insight into how a Moment is created. So, as you go through Pottermore, usually you get several chapters per segment - or several segments per chapter, I should say - and you get these Moments from the design team, coded and magically created so that you can interface with it. I thought that kind of the big piece in this was that they try and take scenes that don't necessarily appear in the movies. They specifically said, "We also like to highlight scenes that were omitted from the films or those where the film depiction differs from the books." So, they really want to give people experiences that they wouldn't normally have if they were watching the movies.
Andrew: Yeah. I think that's a really good idea because I think, as I wrote in here, it's good that they... it's nice that what Rowling dreamed up finally gets some visual light of day, as I put it...
Andrew: ...kind of poorly in the post. Because you don't see it in the movies, so that's nice that they prioritize.
Andrew: They should really say that more, say, "Hey, join Pottermore and check out these scenes that you didn't get to see in the movies."
Andrew: That seems like a selling point to me.
Eric: I agree with that. They're all very artistic and they're fun to look at. So, the fact that they weren't specifically in the movies... I noticed that even the scenes that made it completely into the movies from the book, they managed to keep it interesting on Pottermore in terms of the perspective of the Moments.
Micah: I agree with what you said, Andrew, though. I think it would be a great selling point.
Micah: I think that a lot of people go to Pottermore... and for those who have read the books, they're looking for the additional information. And when they're interfacing with it, they tend to get frustrated or get bored because you don't necessarily have that much going on. There'll be a chapter where you're just clicking and nothing really happens. Maybe you hear a noise here or there. But if you know going in that, "Hey, I'm experiencing a chapter that doesn't appear in the movies, and they took a lot of time and attention and care to detail in creating this," maybe you'll appreciate it a little bit more.
Andrew: Yeah. Exactly.
Andrew: I wonder if there's going to be a Pottermore Superbowl commercial.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: They want to be everywhere, don't they?
Micah: Brought to you by Sony?
Eric: Yeah, brought to you by Sony.
Andrew: Yeah, Sony's probably got the money for it. Yeah, they do want to be everywhere. You would think that's kind of... they should consider that.
Eric: A logical step.
Micah: They do. There was a story not too long ago - I think it was actually yesterday or the day before - about how they're now working together with the Book of Spells.
Andrew: Really? Oh, that's right.
Micah: And how you can now connect spells that you learned on the PlayStation and bring them into Pottermore. So, I guess you can duel with them or do something to that effect. I didn't really read too much up on it, but...
Andrew: Well, I know when you connect your accounts you can get the wand that you were assigned in Pottermore on Book of Spells. It'll become your wand in Book of Spells.
Micah: Oh, okay.
Eric: Oh, cool.
Andrew: That's a nice integration.
Andrew: I'm not running out to buy it because of that, but...
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: It's funny, I actually got it over the holidays. I got it as a present and I haven't hooked it up yet...
Andrew: [laughs] Ho ho!
Eric: Oh, no kidding?
Micah: ...to test it out.
Eric: Micah, if I gave you that gift for Christmas I would have been calling you by now and been like, "So, what do you think of your Book of Spells? How's it going?" And I would be very upset.
Andrew: Yeah, why haven't you... you don't seem very excited if... I mean, it's been a month now since...
Micah: Yeah, it's true.
Eric: You should... I think you've given up the present. You should regift, Micah. You know my half birthday is... actually, that's not true.
Eric: My birthday is coming up soon. You might as well regift if you're not going to plug it in.
Andrew: Well, I'm never playing it. I know for sure now because my PlayStation 3 died the other day.
Andrew: Yeah. It finally died, so I just bought a Blu-ray player. I never play games anyway, so...
Eric: Well, that's fair. But they do have the new white PlayStation 3, not that I'm advertising for them.
Andrew: Yeah. I just never play video games, so...
Andrew: ...just bought a Blu-ray player. Stick with that.
Micah: I think I'm missing one of the components. I think that's what it is. You need a little piece that goes...
Andrew: Yeah, you need like thirty accessories to play Book of Spells.
Micah: Yeah, exactly. I just got the Book of Spells itself. I don't have all the additional components.
Andrew: You don't have the wand and the camera and the... what else do you need?
Micah: Yeah. The fifteen million other things that you need to make it happen.
Andrew: It's literally four... you need the wand...
Eric: The book...
Andrew: The book, the camera, of course the PlayStation itself, the game. So, it's like five elements.
Eric: Still, I would think that the game wouldn't be sold on its own because of it being…
Andrew: You can get a pack.
Micah: Yeah, I'll have to take a look and see what's in there. I think the only thing that might be missing is the camera. So…
Andrew: Oh, okay. And you need a TV, which I just find ridiculous. I'm out.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: Those are expensive these days.
Andrew: They are.
We are going to continue with the news in just a moment, but first it is time to remind you that today's episode is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For our listeners, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. One audiobook to consider is Divergent by Veronica Roth. Now, I get lots of questions… since we do this podcast and we do a couple of others, people ask us, "Well, what should I read next? What is next? What is the next big thing?" Of course, there was Twilight, there was The Hunger Games. And the next big thing, I'm going to let you in on the secret right now. Some of you know this already because it's already kind of becoming the next big thing. It is Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is a trilogy, even though only two of the three books are out right now. The third one is due out this year. The second one is called Insurgent, the first one is called Divergent. Rumor has it the third one is going to be called Detergent, but that's besides the point. And also a joke. But anyway, Divergent, book one in the trilogy. It is a dystopian novel. I actually just finished reading it the other day. You can listen to it, just like you do a podcast, for absolutely free by visiting AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. Do a search for "Divergent", you will see the book there. You know, people really enjoy the book, and people do believe it's going to be the next big thing. There is a movie that they haven't started shooting yet, but they're going to start shooting soon. They actually… the studio just announced the other day that Kate Winslet is going to be in the movie. We don't know who she's going to play yet. There's some guesses, but Summit has not announced yet who she's going to play. And by the way, Shailene Woodley is going to have the lead role as Tris. This book follows a girl in the lead character slot. So again, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast, type in "Divergent", type in "Fifty Shades of Grey", type in whatever you want. Whatever book you want to read, visit AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast and chances are you're going to find it. They have, like I said, over 100,000 downloadable titles and many, many, many books you are going to love listening to, just like you do this podcast, are available there on Audible. And we thank Audible for their support of the show.
Micah: Speaking of wands though, the studio tour…
Micah: …over in England is hosting Wand Week, which I ask, is this similar to Shark Week? It seems like they're starting to do a lot of themed weeks. They did something with the Dark Arts not too long ago…
Micah: …it was before the holidays. And I think we can probably expect a lot more of this kind of stuff moving forward where the studio tour will put things on display, or create these theme-type weeks that maybe haven't necessarily got the attention or there just maybe wasn't space in the studio tour to house some of this stuff, so they'll do these cool kinds of features.
Andrew: Yeah, it's a cool idea. It's definitely great to bring people back, or maybe finally give people a push to come in and experience the thing. I know Disney, this year, they're doing a series of Limited Time Magic, and this is what that kind of reminds me of. It's these limited time, special things. But really, a lot of these should be open. A week doesn't seem like enough time. It should be longer. I don't get why it's so small…
Andrew: …of a window.
Eric: Yeah. Museum exhibits, for example, are usually like a month or two long, I think. If they are a traveling…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: …exhibition. Wand Week, though, kind of has a nice ring to it.
Andrew: I'm surprised they are not selling annual passes, and I mean that seriously. If they want people to come back for these different themed events, why don't you do this special pass that's good for a year?
Eric: You know, it's funny, I can't remember who it was, but just the other day, in a Ustream chat for the Shorty Awards, somebody said that they lived near the studio tour and have been like twenty-five times.
Andrew: Good God.
Eric: They said that it was their second home. So whoever it is, whoever that was, let us know how Wand Week is.
Eric: Because if I went there that often [laughs] I'd be looking for something different, I'm sure.
Andrew: It seemed really expensive to me. I think I brought up on the last episode that I went to Harry Potter: The Exhibition in New York City. Did I mention that?
Eric: Oh, the recent one?
Eric: Yeah, the one that we... okay, cool. What did you think?
Andrew: That was the first... well, I'm trying to remember... did I talk about this last episode? I don't want to...
Micah: You talked about it a little bit, I thought.
Andrew: I was just... well, I thought it was all right. I was disappointed they didn't let you take pictures. That was really bugging me.
Andrew: Especially when I was getting sorted! I'm up there, on the Great Hall thing, with the hat on my head, and you can't even take a picture? Come on!
Eric: Yeah. Well, did they take one for you and then...
Eric: ...they expect you to buy it? No, they didn't, so...
Andrew: Well yeah, they do at the very beginning.
Andrew: But not...
Eric: But not getting sorted.
Andrew: Right, not getting sorted.
Eric: If you're getting sorted, that's a special occasion. Not just everybody gets sorted.
Andrew: Yeah. By the way, me, my mom, and brother, we did this evening tour and there was just, like, five of us. It's like, what's the harm?
Andrew: Come on, don't you know I do MuggleCast? Come on...
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: ...I need this picture of me being sorted.
Eric: Do you know who I am? Do you know who I am?
Andrew: Yeah. Do you know who I am? [laughs]
Micah: It's clearly a policy, though, because I remember when I went with a friend, back when the exhibition was first in New York, and she tried taking pictures, and they went over to her and did the same thing, so... I don't understand it, though, because the studio tour you can take as many pictures are you want.
Micah: I mean, you see all the pictures that our friends have posted when they've gone over to visit. So, I don't understand what the issue is for the exhibition because they're not the original props, supposedly. I mean, they may be original in some sense but they're not as authentic as what you would find at the studio tour, so who cares if people are taking photos of them? I mean, look, I can understand if people are going through they're taking a photo of everything that they see. But to your point, if you're there with five people and you're kind of working your way through and there's not many people around you, you should be able to take photos of whatever you want.
Eric: I think it's a fair point considering the studio tour does allow photos for the exhibition to also follow suit. The only thing I can think of is that it might be terms of the agreement for displaying those costumes and things.
Andrew: Yeah, I'm sure it's probable with Warner Bros.
Eric: Maybe, but considering it's a traveling exhibit and you're not going to be able to see it - you can't just go down the street and it will always be there - you should... I just think that photos should be allowed. I don't know why that wouldn't be.
Micah: Yup. It's definitely weird, but some interesting notes that came along with this story and some of them may have touched on before but in the first and second films the wands looked quite plain and this was drastically changed in Prisoner of Azkaban when the wands were given distinctive shapes and carvings, reflecting the owner's personality. Obviously we've heard a lot about this from the films over the years, that the wands were created specifically for the characters that were using them.
Andrew: Is that… I mean in the books you would think that they have some detail, or did JK Rowling never… I mean obviously she would describe the wands when people first got them.
Andrew: But I would think that the movie versions, what they became, were more of what you would expect to find in the actual books.
Andrew: I wonder if that was Alfonso's touch?
Eric: That's the thing, is that it says during Prisoner of Azkaban…
Eric: …this changed dramatically.
Eric: And I was like, yeah of course it did because he changed everything.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: But that's why Hermione's wand has leaves or vines up the side of it. I think that's… maybe I've already ranted about this on a previous MuggleCast, but suffice to say I just think that the wands that they currently sell as being Hermione's wand, Bellatrix's wand, Voldemort's wand… which is a bone. I just don't think it's very realistic in terms of…
Andrew: Oh, I love those.
Eric: Well, if you're like ten-year-old Voldemort though, and you get… and Ollivander hands you the wand and it's a skeletal bone like a femur or something, [laughs] don't you think you're destined to be this evil overpowering wizard? Like, do you really think that when he was that young…
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I just… I mean in terms of purchasing them it is cool to…
Eric: Oh, okay.
Andrew: ...be able to see the differences. You know what I mean?
Eric: Well, I agree with that because if... to be honest, if they want to sell something it can't just be plain.
Andrew: They can't all look the same, other than the label.
Eric: Yeah, and how would you tell them apart?
Micah: Well, I seem to remember a story, probably from a couple of years ago, where they said that JK Rowling would actually sit down - I forget if it was with David Heyman, or one of the producers, or the director - and actually talk through what all of these wands look like for these specific characters. So… but I don't know, Andrew, if they took on more the representation of the actors who were playing these characters or the characters themselves, so that might be an interesting question to ask. It also said that 17,000 hand-decorated and hand-labeled wand boxes filled Ollivander's during filming, and his costume will actually be on display for the first time in front of his store in the studio tour. So, again, tying back to the stuff that hasn't been featured up until this point.
Andrew: He… what was I going to say? Oh, in the movies, you know how… where was it? Someplace… oh, is it during… yeah, yeah, it's on the actual studio tour, right? All the wands are on display, and each one has a name of a person, and they're all crew and cast member names.
Andrew: Do you guys remember hearing that?
Andrew: Yeah, I thought that was neat.
Micah: It is.
Andrew: Just a random fact.
Micah: Because you could take your wife, your kids, and go show them that your wand is sitting there with your name in this studio tour, which, I think, is kind of cool.
Micah: Show your family, show your friends. Hey, I worked on Harry Potter. Here's the proof.
Andrew: What's that?
Micah: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Micah: But the final story of this episode, related to news, is the fart prank machine, or the fart machine prank, however…
Eric: Why is this news? How is this news? [laughs]
Andrew: I didn't put it in.
Micah: I put it in, which is probably to be expected.
Andrew: It's true.
Micah: But the video of this, finally…
Andrew: It's really funny.
Micah: …was released…
Andrew: Well yeah, I actually… I don't know how this surfaced. It's off the DVD, obviously, but I don't think it's ever been on the Internet until recently.
Andrew: And it was on one of the special feature DVDs. I assume… it may be new on Wizard's Collection or something, I have no idea.
Andrew: But it was obviously shot during Prisoner of Azkaban, in the scene where Dan Radcliffe and everybody is sleeping in the Great Hall and Dumbledore and Snape are talking. And apparently Michael Gambon inserted a fart machine into [laughs] Michael Gambon… into Dan Radcliffe's sleeping bag, and what ensued was really funny. I'll play a clip really quick. I'll just skip to the good part.
Andrew: That's Alfonso talking.
[Clip continues to play]
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: What's really funny to me… first of all, yeah, this is the first time we're seeing this footage as far as I know, but also, I just love how Michael Gambon continues rolling through the lines…
Andrew: …even while the farts are happening.
Andrew: [imitating Michael Gambon] "Even in our deepest dreams. Our deepest dreams."
Eric: [imitating Michael Gambon] "The deepest waters." [laughs]
Andrew: So funny.
Micah: Which begs the question, I think…
Andrew: [laughs] What question could this possibly beg? Go ahead.
Micah: Will we ever see bloopers from this series?
Andrew: Oh. [laughs] Yeah, that's true. We still haven't seen the bloopers, have we? Oh no, I thought there was a blooper reel in that new thing that just came out.
Eric: I really don't know.
Micah: Which new thing is that?
Andrew: Wizard's Collection, right? Wizard's Collection, that came out…
Eric: Wizard's Collection?
Andrew: No? Maybe not.
Eric: Based on the write-up that we got from, just the product write-up of what the features were, the bloopers weren't advertised. But it's possible they were on the special hidden disk or the double hidden disc.
Micah: I don't…
Andrew: I see there was a little blooper reel included with Prisoner… or sorry, with… what is this a part of? Yeah, this is a part of Harry Potter Wizard's Collection, and it was this clip… it was basically just showing how Rupert couldn't keep a straight face. So, that was kind of considered a Harry Potter blooper reel because it was just tons of clips of him screwing up during takes.
Andrew: But yeah, I think we all know what kind of blooper reel we're looking for.
Micah: Something like we just heard, with Gambon.
Andrew: Yes. More farting, please.
Micah: Yeah. Why not? He's an old man, I bet he farts a lot.
Eric: Oh God.
Eric: [laughs] Does that conclude our news?
Micah: That does. What better way to conclude the news than talking about gas? Speaking of gas, our next…
Micah: No. [laughs]
Andrew: I don't like…
Micah: That was a horrible transition. What's that?
Eric: You can make that transition.
Micah: I can make that transition?
Eric: You can do that. You know what runs on gas, don't you?
Micah: Well… or does it?
Eric: Or does it? Ooh, the Knight Bus.
Andrew: Or, is it out of gas?
Click here to go to page two