And the fans are getting a little bit scary

Lovers of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series found a unique way to spend their Saturday morning, as a swarm of Harry Potter fans converged upon the stairs on the Vancouver Art Gallery, each one of them portraying a character from the well-known series of books and movies. The flashmob event, sponsored by Warner Brothers, brought out over 30 Harry Potter fans and gave them a chance to win prizes as well as receive information about the upcoming Potter-themed Yule Ball that will also be taking place in downtown Vancouver later this year.

Warner Brothers has been throwing events all across North America to pump up the release of the penultimate Harry Potter film. Alongside the Beat 94.5, they attached broomsticks with code words on them to bike locks all across Vancouver and gave fans a chance win their way to an advance screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, most hard-core fans already had their tickets for this much anticipated event.

“I’ve had my ticket for the midnight screening for weeks,” said fan Nicole Beaudet, who came to the event dressed as a silver doe, which is Professor Snape’s patronus, “I love Harry Potter, it’s beyond being [a] fanatic. I even have a Deathly Hallows tattoo on my arm. I wouldn’t miss the [midnight] screening if my life depended on it.”

Not all fans were as enthusiastic as Beaudet, however. “I wish they were doing one movie,” says Yule Ball co-coordinator Kelsey LeForte, “now I have to wait another full year to see the other one. It just makes me [kind of] angry. They better do the final book justice.”

Many fans agree with LeForte on this point, saying that the last two movies have been sloppy, relying on the fact the franchise has lots of fans, rather than remaining true to the books. The second part of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie is set to come out in July 2011.

“I like the fact they spilt the book into two movies,” says LeForte’s fellow coordinator for the Yule Ball, Kate Streifel. “It will give them a chance to do a better job at the movies, and make them more exciting than the last few have been.” The two also agreed that the splitting of the book into two movies is better for business for their annual Vancouver Yule Ball.

The Yule Ball is kicking off its third season in Vancouver and raises money to help the Vancouver Children’s Hospital and the Vancouver Food Bank. Last year they donated over a thousand dollars to the food bank and over 50 new books to the Children’s Hospital. “Harry Potter is no longer just about entertainment,” points out LeForte, “Yes, we can dress up and have a good time at the ball, but we can help people while having a good time.”

When Warner Brother’s’ representatives were asked what they thought about the excitement around the upcoming movie they said it was expected to be bigger. “This being the beginning of the end, we expected everyone to get really into it,” explains Sarah Allin, who has worked with Warner Brothers for over five years. “I’ve seen the movie, it’s fantastic, everyone needs to get more excited for it!”

“I don’t understand why everyone isn’t excited for it,” says Streifel, “If you are anti-Harry Potter you are anti-literature, anti-love and anti-awesome.”

//Christine Jamieson, Writer

//graphic by Haley Whishaw

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com