June 22, 2004

D.I.Y. H.P.


There's a new article by me on Salon today: Harry Potter: The digital remix. How one artist turned a kids movie into a poetic masterpiece J.K. Rowling never could've imagined.

On the day "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" opened, as they say, at theaters everywhere, some 50 people gathered in a concrete-walled screening room in Brooklyn, N.Y., that was the only theater anywhere showing the other new Harry Potter movie, "Wizard People, Dear Reader."

Actually, "Wizard People" isn't a movie, exactly. It was conceived as an audiobook that tells the story -- or rather, a story -- of Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts Academy. Creator Brad Neely, 27, recorded narration to be played while watching the first Potter movie, 2001's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," on mute. In the projection booth, Myles Kane of the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival, which sponsored the screening along with Stay Free magazine, tried frantically to get the sound and picture in sync using an iPod and DVD player. But the DVD kept starting at the wrong point, or not starting at all. An error message flashed on the screen: "Operation currently prohibited by disc." Stay Free publisher Carrie McLaren chuckled. The screening itself was quite possibly prohibited by law.

If you're not a Salon subscriber, you'll need to click on "free day pass" and watch a short ad (how ironic) to read the rest.

I should add that perhaps the best thing in the article is the chance to listen to an excerpt from Wizard People, which you will definitely want to download in its entirety when you have the chance.

Posted by Daniel Radosh

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