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The Mass Media

Harry Potter and the DVD Extras

Harry Potter and the DVD Extras

Fans of Harry Potter rejoice, for the 5th installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will soon be available for home purchase. It is common practice by many to abstain from movie theaters and patiently wait while the film of their choice arrives at their local video store for sale.

While this is generally done by those who would rather not pay an arm and a leg for an hour and a half of distraction accompanied by greasy foods and crying babies, there are plenty of other reasons why movie lovers should snatch up the latest chapter of the Harry Potter saga.

It is becoming more common for extras of sorts to be included with a DVD. Whether it be never-before-seen footage, interviews or what have you, the special features of many movies are becoming a fundamental selling point.

The 5th Harry Potter film offers buyers a 2-disc special edition, which includes a DVD separate from the film with a variety of special features. Viewers can pick from Additional Scenes, Trailing Tonks, The Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter, and, finally, Harry Potter: The Magic of Editing.

The first choice is rather self-explanatory, offering a number of short scenes that were undoubtedly cut for time management. The next option, Trailing Tonks, is a personalized tour of the Harry Potter set by Natalia Tena, who plays Nymphadora Tonks.

Tena incorporates her funky personality into the tour, which is both amusing and annoying (though I personally felt compelled toward the latter). We get to see the fascinating canteen which apparently means cafeteria, as well as Tena’s trailer. Here, she serenades viewers by strumming her guitar and belting out a rock ‘n roll Christmas tune she wrote when she was younger. Surprisingly, she can both play and sing, which is more than some may say about her acting talents.

Harry Potter: The Magic of Editing offers the viewer a small window into what editing a Harry Potter film is like. Two of the editing specialists sit down in front of the camera and explain the importance of music and visual and sound effects to a scene which, I am sure, is startling news to all.

In this section, viewers also have the opportunity to edit their own Harry Potter scene. There are different camera angles to choose from, as well as audio choices and different combinations of music and sound effects.

The Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter is probably the most interesting to hardcore Harry fans. The segment takes an in-depth look (very in-depth, as it goes on for twenty minutes or more) at all of the Potter films. There are interviews with several of the cast members, as well as two individuals who have written books on the secrets of Harry Potter. Yeah, I know, that’s what I thought, too.

Though the Hidden Secrets section is by far the most interesting, never would I opt for it over the movie, or even a good book. Nothing is really learned, just rehashed and discussed by different people who seem to have nothing better to do than talk about Harry Potter all day long.

Lesson learned: DVDs are nice to own, but rarely is it worth it to shell out the extra however much to get the special features edition. Unless that is, of course, if you are enough of a Potter fan to have read the two books discussing the popular books. Remember lives people? The things that you once desperately tried to get before you dedicated yours to a fictional character? I suggest you get back on that.