Harry Potter:The Greater Good Fan Film is Greatly Done
by Robyn Stone-Kraft
My day got sidetracked by just over seventeen minutes. Having heard about the Harry Potter fanfilm, “The Greater Good,” on this site (http://legendarium.mymiddleearth.com/2013/12/05/the-greater-good-a-harry-potter-fan-film/) I, naturally, went to see if I could find it. I did, easily. But when I realized that the video set to play was the movie itself, I thought I’d come back once I’d finished some more of my daily to do list and watch it then. The problem was, once I started watching, I couldn’t stop.
With Youtube full of videos that last two minutes or less, and a world full of people who stop watching something that takes five minutes or more so often that they have to be admonished to watch till the very end (sometimes in the name of the video itself), I was amazed that this mini-movie didn’t feel like seventeen minutes. It was like I’d barely started watching when I reached the end. And that is the mark of some masterful movie magic.
It starts with the viewer being dropped right in the middle of the disagreement, just as literally as the actors are dropped into the sand on a lovely and lonely stretch of sand. While you’re never told exactly what set the situation off, the dialogue, as well as a knowledge of Dumbledore’s history taken from the books, will tell you what you need to know to work it out.
The actors are excellent. Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore especially. The nuances of their facial expressions bring an added dimension to the already tightly done script. What the viewer is seeing is, in essence, a very violent, emotionally fraught, public breakup. A breakup that is happening in front of witnesses who don’t know the full depth of the relationship that’s now falling apart.
For a fanfilm, the special effects are much better than one might expect. Especially exciting to watch is the expertly choreographed three way duel between Albus, Aberforth and Grindelwald. If the actors felt silly pointing sticks at each other and grimacing, they don’t show it. This looks like a real magical battle. The music is well done, adding to the scene and only really noticeable where it can make the most impact- just what you’d want from a soundtrack.
Kudos are due to Justin Zagri for making the film happen, to the Visual Effects crew (Jake Akuma, Amy Carpenter) for making it look good, and to the actors, Christopher James Cramer (Albus Dumbledore), Josh Brodis (Grindelwald), Colin Goodridge (Aberforth), and Kari Swanson (Arianna Dumbledore) for making the characters real.
Zagri is currently trying to raise funds for a new Harry Potter fanfilm about Snape and the Marauders. I think ‘The Greater Good’ is proof that he’ll deliver great things for this new project as well.
Robyn was a fan of fantasy before she was aware there were even other entertainment options. She’s been a writer just as long as she’s been a fantasy fan. In D&D she plays Wizard, she was sorted into Slytherin, she supports House Lannister, flirts with Garrus Vakarian, supports the Imperial Empire, and she has a favorite Doctor. She also has more degrees in Literature than most people tend to consider a good life choice, has somehow managed to get some of her poetry published, and gets to fail college students who decide they don’t have to turn in their assignments. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, four cats, and huge personal library.