What made this first film such a success wasn't the quality of the work. After all, the film was made by Christopher Columbus. More than anything, what made this film a hit was the source material. The book itself is such an amazing thing, and when the film came out, there was such a huge following that people just ate it up. These days it's hard to forget how many people are in love with this series, and we can attribute that to the absurdity of the Twilight phenomenon. Whenever I hear about some annoying teenage girl who dislikes Harry Potter but loves The Twilight Saga, I feel the impulse to smack them in the face.
~Steve Weintraub (Collider): The first thing you notice about the [Great] Hall is the stone floor. Unlike most movie sets that cheat with the way they build practical locations, the Great Hall was built to last and that meant stone floors and thick walls. While the walls weren’t stone, it was not the typical paper thin walls that you find on most movie sets. As we arrived, all around us were tons of people working. The Hall was filled with camera people, kids in uniform for the scene, hair and make-up people, Daniel Radcliffe, stand-in’s – the room felt like it was alive and I couldn’t believe how large the set was.
~Director David Yates (Collider):
Q: The final book is so dense and has so much pay off, talk about the challenges of adapting that for the cinema but keeping in everything that fans love about the final book?
DY: We had things, of course, the book is pretty rich but you have to try and sometimes create a little bit more momentum or jeopardy. There are sections in the book that while are every fun to read, like the big tent section in the middle, going chapter after chapter wouldn’t easily translate on screen. Then we’ve added moments. We’ve added a couple of sequences, which aren’t and the book that I think raise the emotional stakes and the jeopardy stakes. So the process is always fraught with challenges, you want to try and keep the best of what Jo came up with but you have to refine it and shape it. So we’ve lost things, I’m sure, that some of the fans will be frustrated by but fortunately we’ve kept more than we’ve ever been able to keep in some of the other adaptations I’ve worked on. Simply because we can spread the whole story of the two movies and as you say there are some loose ends we can tie up as well as we go... We’ve added a scene where after Ron is gone, Harry comes back to the Tent and finds Hermione listening to some Muggle music and they have this dance with each other, which is a very tender, awkward and emotional moment for the two of them because they’ve lost their friend but also there is always that question. They have a very special friendship as characters and there is always that moment where you think could this trip beyond friendship to something else? It’s a very naturalistic, charming moment and quite intriguing. So we added that and a big chase towards the end of the first part. Jo gave us these brilliant characters called Snatchers so I wanted to have some more fun with them so we added an extra beat where they chase the trio.
~Daniel Radcliffe (Coming Soon):
~Edward (The Leaky Cauldron): For Deathly Hallows, [Yates] says, “these kids are on the road, they feel very small in this very big world. They’re away from Hogwarts, this very, big and familiar comfort blanket that they’ve grown up with. They feel quite surprisingly vulnerable and fragile in this big Muggle world. And I’ve shot it in a very vérité way so it feels not as measured and it's not as conventional... with Half-Blood Prince I wanted it to be quite elegant, so [Hallows] feels a bit raw…"
~Andrew Sims (Mugglenet): "Towards the end of Part 1, Bellatrix and Hermione have a moment that was shot differently than most. David Yates revealed this when he was talking about being able to pull an audience into a theatrical experience: “There’s this torturing with Bellatrix. Emma was really keen to do this torturing scene. I said ‘it will be really great, and we have to be really careful of how we do it. And [Emma] completely gave herself to the process. What we did was we set up a couple of cameras and Helena got on top of Emma... She was scoring [a word] into her skin.We just let the whole thing roll for about three or four minutes. In that three or four minutes there were some good bits, and some not so good minutes. And there were one or two really powerful bits where Emma was able to just let go a little bit and forget that she was acting. She’s still acting, but she lost herself in this process for a moment. And the screams were quite horrible to listen to. On the stage, everyone felt uncomfortable. Everyone just sort of stepped back a bit. It was a very odd energy in the room because she was kind of exploring... exercising demons really. And serving the scene in doing that. It was really interesting.”