I’ve started reading the Harry Potter books with my 5- and 7-year-olds this summer. We’re getting on well. In fact, we’ve even taken to recreating scenes from the books/movies with a few upgrades. Here are a few excerpts from our screenplay…
EXT. OUTSIDE DIAGON ALLEY — DAY
We join HAGRID (played by 5-year-old) and HARRY (played by DAD) as they are about to pass through the secret entrance to Diagon Alley. HARRY is seated at the dining room table. HAGRID is standing a few feet to HARRY’s left and he looks bemused.
HAGRID moves hands in the air to indicate tapping of bricks
in a wall in a coded pattern.
HAGRID: Here we are, Harry! Welcome to…what’s it called?
HARRY: The Leaky Cauldron?
HAGRID appears perturbed.
HAGRID: No. It’s something else…
HARRY: Diagon Alley?
HAGRID smiles broadly.
HAGRID: Welcome to Diagon Alley!
HARRY looks bewildered as if he has no idea what is going on because he doesn’t.
HARRY: Umm…what are we doing?
HAGRID: You check your list to see what you need.
HARRY: Oh…I need a wa —
HAGRID: No! Check your list!
HARRY moves hands in the air in a motion reminiscent of unfurling a scroll. He examines the imaginary list carefully.
HARRY (CONT’D): I need a wand!
HAGRID: Then you’ll want to go to the wand shop. This way!
HARRY stands and moves a few feet to his left.
INT. WAND SHOP — DAY
HARRY is now inside the wand shop. The scene suddenly becomes a one-man play with the DIRECTOR (5-year-old) giving directions from a few feet away. Is this unorthodox film making or innovative? YOU decide.
HARRY (CONT’D): Ummm…
DIRECTOR: Try out a wand!
HARRY (CONT’D): Oh, okay.
HARRY waves hand in air as if brandishing a wand. He looks subtly toward DIRECTOR for further direction.
DIRECTOR: No. No. No! Aim at the glass. Break it!
HARRY (CONT’D): Oh, right.
HARRY aims hand at glass. Makes shattering glass noise with his mouth. DIRECTOR turns into OLLIVANDER (the wand shop owner) and the scene becomes slightly more traditional.
OLLIVANDER: Curious…curious indeed.
EXT. HOGWARTS CASTLE GROUNDS — DAY
A group of first-year students are assembled on the castle grounds (aka the kitchen). Present in the group are RON WEASLEY, NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM, and DRACO MALFOY (all played by DAD)and HARRY POTTER (played by 5-year-old). There are two BROOMS lying on the floor.
HARRY: Say “Up!”…you know, so your brooms will come up.
RON/NEVILLE/DRACO? (WHO KNOWS REALLY): Oh, okay. Up!
HARRY: No. Make your broom hit you in the face, Ron!
RON: Oh. Up!
RON picks his broom up and smashes it into his face comically.
RON (CONT’D): Oyy!
HARRY: Now, Neville. Fly away!
NEVILLE mounts his broom and begins to careen around the kitchen and living room area dramatically saying “Woahhhh” a lot.
NEVILLE begins to crumple to the floor…
HARRY: Nope. Harder!
NEVILLE stands back up. And crashes into the floor again. This time banging his shoulder into a pillow and moaning.
HARRY: You say…did you see his face!
DRACO: Oh. Did you see his face?!?
SMASH CUT to…
EXT. HOGWARTS CASTLE — IN THE AIR — NIGHT
HARRY (played by 5-year-old) is in flight at a QUIDDITCH MATCH versus SLYTHERIN. He swoops around the living room and finally into the kitchen. Moving low to the ground, gulping, and collapsing on the floor in a heap. He coughs something out into his hand.
ANNOUNCER (Dad): He has the snitch! Potter has the
snitch and Gryffindor wins!!
HARRY: OK. That’s enough of this now. Can I watch YouTube?