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Harry Potter fans documentary: We Are Wizards

Harrypotters We were psyched to receive a screening copy of We Are Wizards, a documentary about Harry Potter-inspired pop music, websites, and other fan creations. (View trailer here.)

The movie will make its NYC debut at the New York Underground Film Festival: Sat., April 5 and Tuesday, April 8th... and will appear at the Sarasota Film Festival in Florida on Sat. April 12 and Sun. April 13.

In the film, kiddies gather in libraries and auditoriums to hear fellow 7-year-olds and their elders sing songs from the perspective of characters from the Potter pantheon: Harry and the Potters (natch), Draco and the Malfoys, the Whomping Willows. Who knew that "Wizard rock" constituted an entire genre? We also get to see Brad Neely, creator of our beloved Wizard People, Dear Reader discuss his version of the first Harry Potter movie. And a young activist who led a charge against HP merchandise after Warner Brothers started threatening fans with lawsuits.

Granted, the movie isn't perfect. It's poorly edited, lacks a story arc or coherent thesis, and leans too heavily on visual effects and background music to give it an air of self-importance. To the extent that there is a story arc, it is that Warner Brothers has come around to the idea that fan art is a good thing, but if that is the case, the filmmakers lose major points for their cowardly failure to include Harry Potter movie excerpts or imagery. How can directory Josh Koury spend so much time on Brad Neely's Potter commentary without actually showing the work in question? Perhaps if he had consulted the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use or one of the recent documentaries about copyright, he'd realize how much he's gutting his own movie.

Nonetheless, We Are Wizards is entertaining and eye-opening. It's one thing to read about Harry Potter devotees, and another thing entirely to see all these kids in action. In the end, the movie is a handy record that documents how works of popular culture frequently inspire others to create.

Posted by carrie on 03/31/2008 | Permalink


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