Harry Potter’s head wizard: Director David Yates

Director David Yates attends the New York premiere of "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2."

Back in 2009, David Yates was in the middle of filming the epic two-part final component of the “Harry Potter” series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which clocks in at about four and a half hours back to back. At the time, he told Metro that it was like climbing a mountain – you couldn’t look up or down, just straight ahead. Today, with the release of the final film, we find a very relieved director, who can explain why no other “Harry Potter” films should ever be made.
 
At the end of shooting “The Deathly Hallows,” did you feel relieved or did you feel like you could do four more films?

I was really glad we’d finished, quite honestly. It’s very tough making these movies. They’re really complicated. The reason I think I lasted longer than anyone else is because I enjoyed the world very, very much. The people gave me a lot of energy — Dan, Rupert and Emma, the crew, my producers. And, I didn’t want to be the director that did the two in the middle. There was something about that [idea] that made me feel really uncomfortable.

Can you talk about converting this film for 3-D?

I’m not a huge fan of 3-D. I was very nervous about it, but I decided that there was a very elegant and beautiful way of doing 3-D, which would help the experience of enjoying the film. I used 3-D like music: In quiet, intimate scenes it’s very shallow — and in more dynamic scenes, it’s very deep.

There are so many rituals and totems in the “Harry Potter” universe. Did you have anything that kept you cool throughout the process of making these films?

I got into meditation and yoga because it was so head-spinning making these films sometimes. I had to find a way of dealing with it that would clear my head. A yoga teacher named Sarah helped me, as did copious amounts of alcohol.

What kind of film would you like to direct next?

Something much smaller and meaner and leaner. The great thing about directing “Harry Potter” is that “Harry Potter” as a story, it’s a thriller, it’s a comedy, it’s a horror movie, it’s an action picture. So as a director, I’m getting sent everything that you could imagine. 

What do you want audiences to take away from part two?

Just the sense of emotion, that a circle has been completed. We went to Chicago to test the picture, and you get these cards that everybody fills out. A young girl just had one note. She didn’t criticize anything. She just wrote “goodbye childhood.” That kind of summed it up for me. That’s why I think it’s important to just leave it and not make others.


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