Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Harry Potter Week: Wizard Rockumentary Interview

wizard rockumentary :} Pictures, Images and Photos

Interview with the girls behind Wizard Rockumentary, Megan and Mallory.
Questions by: Lauren
The Website

The girls were kind enough to answer some questions about themselves and the project that ultimately became the Wizard Rockumentary DVD for our Harry Potter week. To find out about the contest, read to the bottom of this interview and the details will be there! Thanks so much to everyone that is bidding on the book marked up by Paul (mostly) of Harry and the Potters and for Melissa at The Leaky Cauldron for being kind enough to make a post about it! Now, without further ado, I present to you Megan and Mallory!

1. How did you first become a fan of Wizard Rock?

We actually became fans of Harry Potter pretty late in the game. I think we were about 16 when we first picked up the books (Goblet of Fire was already out), but we quickly became hooked. I would go as far as to say that Mallory became obsessed.

So three years later, in July 2004, when we were home from college on break, we couldn't resist attending a concert heralded in our local paper. It was Harry and the Potters, coming through Olympia as part of their first national tour. They played in what was essentially a garage in the middle of downtown, crammed to the gills with enthusiastic Harry Potter fans such as ourselves! It was incredible, and we were hooked! We bought t-shirts, and both of their CDs at the time, brought them back to college with us, and began spreading the word. It wasn't until we got suckered into joined MySpace over a year later, that Mallory discovered there were other wizard rock bands out there. The crazy scheme for the
documentary grew rather quickly and recklessly from there.

2. What made you decide to chronicle the fandom of Wizard Rock?

We saw it as a unique, fun, and inspiring phenomenon, that at the time wasn't very well known. We knew other Harry Potter fans would enjoy it as much as we had, but aside from that, we felt it was a story that should be shared with a larger audience: the positivity and friendship of the community, the Do-It-Yourself attitudes of the bands, the love and exploration of the books, and also the social consciousness of so many involved, who worked to raise money for literacy organizations and other causes. The more we immersed ourselves in the community, the more adamantly we knew that this story needed to be shared with a larger audience and at a greater depth. We are so grateful that we made that initial leap in deciding to make this film, because it has been life-changing.

3. When people watch the DVD, what are some things they can expect to see?

Viewers can expect to see the dynamic story of a quirky yet inspiring movement called "Wizard Rock." The film begins in early 2006, when only about 30 bands existed, living primarily through MySpace. From there, we follow the progression of the movement from obscurity through international media coverage, rejected record deals, and through the end of the beloved Harry Potter series to answer the question: Where does the fandom go from here? After the release of Deathly Hallows, the movement had grown to over 450 bands, and it hasn't stopped since.

In the film, we touch upon about two dozen bands of varying ages and backgrounds, and from all over the country, though our "main characters" if you can call them that were Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, the Remus Lupins, and Switchblade Kittens. Other favorites are the Whomping Willows, the Moaning Myrtles, the Hermione Crookshanks Experience, the Parselmouths, Snidget, Ron and Weasleys, and many others. There are many wonderful moments, some at shows with a thousand screaming fans, some casually recorded in a band's living room. It was important to us to also bring viewers into the Harry Potter fandom at large, so we shot at two Harry Potter symposiums. You'll get to meet webmasters and podcasters, fan fiction writers and fan artists, academics and authors, readers and role players. It's a blast!

4. I really love the cover of the DVD. Who designed it?

Everything you see about the documentary has been made by Mallory and/or me, as we are literally a team of two. Producing, shooting, interviewing, editing, everything! Mallory designed the DVD packaging, as well as our t-shirts, and most of the website. The collage on the front was made from photos she took while we were in production. She also coined the phrase "Rocking and Rowling," which I think is brilliant!

5.What has been the feedback thus far about the DVD? Have any of the Wizard Rock bands seen it yet?

We've had the great pleasure of sharing the film over the past year at symposiums, conventions, theaters and libraries scattered around in over a dozen states. Our favorite opportunity, I think, was the symposiums: Portus, in Dallas, and Terminus, in Chicago. Being able to share the film with the Harry Potter fans that lived through the movement with us during the two years of production was so rewarding! To hear them laugh at the right parts, sing along during their favorite wizard rock songs, and towards the end, to have so many of them turn to tears was an incredible experience! Not that I'd ever want to make anyone cry, but it was from strong memories and emotions, and the fact that the film captured that for so many people has been our greatest thrill.

As for the bands, one of the moments that had the greatest impact on me was at Terminus, following the main screening. Paul from Harry and the Potters and Brian from Draco and the Malfoys both had just seen it for the first time, and they came up to Mallory and me with tears in their eyes, and gave us great big hugs, some of the warmest hugs in my life! The reactions all the way around have been wonderfully positive. We've had more than a few playful nudges for a sequel, since the community has changed so much this past year. The fact that people are connecting with it, and that the fans involved feel that it represents their experiences and memories, to me that is a successful movie.

6. What is your personal favorite Wizard Rock band?

We can never answer this question, because we have no answer! There are too many great bands that we love, and we admire all of the bands for having the gumption to become involved. We didn't just make this movie because it is a great story (which it is), but because we love the music and what it represents. And it will always be extremely important to us.

7. Any plans for future projects?

Absolutely! This was our first feature-length documentary, but it won't be my last. For now, I am focusing on some shorter works, including some new wizard rock music videos in development, as well as trying to keep up with the work of distributing The Wizard Rockumentary. Mallory and I both have full-time jobs, and it was a blessing and a ton of hard work to be able to complete this project in the limited time left over after the 8 to 5. But there will be another feature in my future, though it will have its work cut out for it to live up to the amazing experience of this one!


The girls have kindly donated 10 "Rockumentary Admit 1" buttons to give away. How do you win one however?

You must answer the following question (EMAIL ME IT WITH THE SUBJECT "Wizard"):

Q: What was the first Wizard Rock song ever recorded?

Contest Ends:
Tuesday February 10 (a week from now!)

Open too: Everyone!

Remember, please email me your answers so that it isn't ruined in the comment section(Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com). As for the comments, definitely leave your thoughts on the interview, the DVD, Wizard Wrock, the auctions, and anything else you want to say about Harry and the crazy, but amazing fanbase!


the epic rat said...

Man, I didn't realize how much wizard rock has evolved! (I live in quite a bubble.) I'll have to check them all out - I love their band names! That's awesome that there is a rockumentary documentary :)


Lenore said...

I have never heard of this before - interesting.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Cecilia: I agree about the DVD. I really hope to get a copy sometime soon so I can check it out. And yes, Wizard Rock has gone crazy but I love it. It's such fun. Another band that they didn't mention that is really good is Ministry of Magic. Check them out.

Lenore: Wizard Rock in general or the DVD?


Nikki said...

The Wizard Rockumentary is so awesome. I was lucky enough to get to see a screening of it in Dallas at Portus, where we did indeed laugh, cry, and sing along. Megan and Mallory were so sweet and fun to chat with after the screening. I love my signed DVD. :)
It's so wonderful for me as well to own a copy, as I feel the DVD sums up a lot of the Harry Potter fandom experience, and not just the experience surrounding wizard rock. It showcases wonderfully a vibrant, loving, and creative worldwide group of people. Yes, we all share a love for Harry Potter, but being part of the fandom is so much more. I've shown the DVD to lots of my non-HP fandom friends, my fiancé, etc. It helps them to understand what this whole "Harry Potter thing" is about for me. This weekend I'm having several members from a HP community I'm in online coming to my house to meet and have fun. Some coming from as far as Malaysia! You can bet we'll be watching this DVD. Thanks, Megan and Mallory!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Nikki: That's amazing you were able to view the film with the girls and a bunch of other fans. I'm quite jealous of everyone that was able to go to a Harry Potter convention at some point. They always sound like SUCH fun!

That's so great that you are able to meet up with some other HP fans this weekend. I hope you have a great time!!! Harry Potter really is a great community and I love all the things that have happened because of these books. :)


flitwicks_choirgirl said...

I love the DVD. It has stuff for fans and non-fans alike and is a great way to explain our community. I like all the little things they've put in. I was watching it with one of my firends and there was a shot of a crowd, my first reaction was "oh! Eric!" and my firend was confused. so then i began to explain about mugglecast and who eric scull is.
love wizard rock. love harry potter. love this DVD.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Flitwicks_choirgirl: Thanks for your comments on the DVD. I think it does sound like an amazing way to introduce wizard rock to those that don't know about it and also show off another side of this huge community and fandom HP has built. It's great!!!


Liviania said...

Wow, I really only knew of Draco and the Malfoys because I had a friend who liked them quite a bit. Knew there were other bands but not enough for a documentary. That's really cool.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Livinia: Oh gosh, there are tons! Some are better then others, but it's all fun. :)