This Saturday, August 31, 2013, I will be joining several other people on a “Middle-earth and Harry Potter” fan track at Dragon*Con 2013 in Atlanta (the Website has been down several times for me so I apologize if it’s not working for you).
This marks the first year I will be returning to Dragon*Con as an “Attending Pro” in over 6 years. I was pleased to be invited to participate on a Tolkien fan panel. Of course, I started the Tolkien and Middle-earth fan track at Dragon*Con many years ago but as I moved farther away from Atlanta and depended on TheOneRing.Net more and more for support, it just made sense to ask them to take over management of the track.
Okay, it wasn’t secret — everyone knew about it but the public wasn’t invited.
And it’s really not “Harry Potter world” but rather The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
And it was only the first of two grand openings. You can watch the second grand opening (for the public) at 9:00 AM Eastern Time on Friday, June 18 here. Is that Website really only devoted to this Harry Potter business? Seems a waste, especially since they don’t stream an archive of the event afterward.
Disney’s Inside The Magic Website posted these three videos from tonight’s event, and since they are free for embedding I’m embedding them here.
John Williams leads the Orlando Symphony Orchestra
Warwick Davis leads the Hogwarts Frog Choir
Daniel Radcliff leads the crowd in lighting up Hogwarts Castle
It seems an idle question, I suppose. But Hawke Robinson raised this question recently as we were talking about the Harry Potter books in comparison to Tolkien’s Middle-earth mythology. Tolkien’s legacy has come close to establishing itself in a longeval niche much like the works of older writers from previous centuries.
If I recall correctly, I think Hawke was suggesting that Tolkien may now be given as much value as Shakespeare as a literary genius — or soon may be. The idea that in 500 years people will still find Tolkien as relevant as Shakespeare teases the imagination into thinking that Tolkien succeeded in creating an “English” novel (exemplifying what he felt might have been the style of some English books had the invasion of 1066 not happened).
This is an example of the kinds of topics we can meander into at Middle-earth Talk Radio but it’s one that deserves attention from other people, including fans of both Harry Potter and Middle-earth. Will J.K. Rowling’s legacy match Tolkien’s? I suppose another interesting question is whether Tolkien’s legacy should match Shakespeare’s, but there is no poll for that (yet).
You can take the poll on the new Middle-earth Radio Website.
Unfortunately, old user accounts at the previous incarnation of Middle-earth Radio could not be brought forward into this site redesign. If you had a user account you will have to sign up again. Please make an effort to do that. Hawke and I appreciate all the feedback we have received for the Middle-earth Talk Radio show.
As for Harry Potter vs. Lord of the Rings, I think they will both enjoy considerable longevity. I feel the Harry Potter story is relevant to every generation. It’s not really locked into the timeframe in which it was written (the 1990s to 2000s) so much as it is set in a “Harry Potter timeframe” in the same way Middle-earth is set in the Third Age.
The Harry Potter books follow the lives of almost ordinary young protagonists who grow up during a very dark and frightening time. It is a sad statement about human nature that today we have dark lord-like evil Satan-serving enemies of humanity like Osama bin Laden, but the War on Terror does in some way resemble those classic fictional struggles between good and evil.
Please do visit the site and vote in the poll. It’s a simplistic poll but I think it’s worth your time and attention. I hope you agree.
It’s time to pay the piper. Everyone knows at the back of their minds that there is a price to pay for new technology. So far, we’ve gotten off lightly on the consumer cost of the latest 3-D movie technology.
Sure, there have been long lines, and the ticket prices bumped up from around $10 to $13. But now AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas just increased the ticket price for 3-D movies again this weekend. News reports suggest that it should cost around $15 in most markets for a 3-D movie ticket.
And you still have to wear the goofy glasses, too.
On top of that, new blockbuster movies are being released in 3-D. Warner Brothers announced earlier this week that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will be distributed in 3-D format. I hope that is not ONLY in 3-D format.
Warner Brothers, are you listening? It’s cool to see things pop off the screen every now and then, but the goofy glasses are not comfortable.
We’re all waiting for true holographic projection technology. I would estimate that is still 10-15 years away from commercial production. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised in the next 5 years.
Frankly, I would pay $25 a ticket for a real holographic movie — especially one where the holograms are substantial enough that I would not be looking at my fellow audience movies through “ghosts”.
So, I’ll continue to see movies in the cinema. I love the experience. I’m not happy about the prices. But I love stadium seating, huge wide screens, and the 3-D effects are tolerable for me (for now).
Who’da thought a muggle-born witch girl who struggled to gain the respect of her classmates in her first year of school would be named the most bankable film character of the decade? Technically, Emma Watson was named most bankable actress — generating more film revenue than such well-known personalities like Keira Knightly and Natalie Portman.
Dame Maggie Smith (whose lengthy career has probably been overshadowed by her work as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies) also made the list of “most bankable actress” with Emma. Which just goes to show that, given the right opportunities, our great actors can still achieve great things. The film industry is notorious for giving up on actors after they reach a certain age. Women, in particular, feel the pressure to “stay young, stay sexy” if they want to keep their film careers moving forward.
Way to go, Emma and Maggie.
Attractions Magazine has uploaded a video to YouTube that shows off the new Universal Studios Orlando Harry Potter attraction. This is the first public look at the theme park section and they have some pretty cool stuff.
We have some discussion in our Harry Potter Forum at SF-Fandom.