Produced by award-winning filmmakers Tim Richardson and Michael Kouroubetes (Kill the Messenger, The Dork of the Rings), Harvey Putter brings together a highly talented group of actors, artists and filmmaking professionals from across the country, as well as Australia and Portugal.
Veteran film actor Kiran Shah plays Dumpy the Houseschmuck. Based in London, he has been in numerous films, including Return of the Jedi, Legend, The Dark Crystal, Titanic, Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. The principal cast includes singer and actress Sunny Williams (Hernia Grunger), “Neville’s Diary” wizard rocker Bryce Cone (Harvey Putter), and actor and model Joe Scheibelhut (Rod Cheesely).
Emerson Spartz, webmaster of the world’s largest Harry Potter website, MuggleNet.com, spoofs himself in a cameo in the film, and there is a special appearance by the hugely popular wizard rock band, Draco and the Malfoys.
The film’s Art Team includes award-winning Visual Effects Artist Ian Strandberg (Trippin), who is joined by award-winning Costume Designers Janice Bennett and Todd Davis, and dozens of other artists, including Creature Designer Andy Swisher and Graphic Designer Chad Rajski. Mark D’Errico (The Dork of the Rings) is creating the musical score.
Tim Richardson, Michael Kouroubetes and James Pickens began the script in October 2006 and continued to tweak it through filming in summer 2008. The challenge was combining all seven Harry Potter books into one 100-minute movie, which was complicated by the fact that book seven didn’t come out until nine months after they’d started.
Auditions were held at the Indiana University South Bend campus, Borders bookstore and Fun F/X Halloween Outlet, and over 100 people turned out for the 40 available roles. By the end of production, over 200 people appeared in the film, including extras. The first cast read-through and costume fittings were in January 2008 and actors came in from Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky. Two of the film’s stars–Joe Scheibelhut and Sunny Williams–read their parts via speakerphone from Florida and Nevada, respectively. Kiran Shah sent video via the internet of himself reading his parts in London.
Starting in March 2008, the crew constructed sixteen 12-foot high wall units that could be arranged and re-arranged to become the ten different sets for scenes inside Snogwarts School. Better World Books–an online book dealer–generously allowed the filmmakers to utilize a section of their ware-house from June-August 2009 as a sound stage for the film, which included areas for a scene shop, costumes and makeup, camera equipment, and an “actors’ lounge.” Other locations included the Mishawaka Public Library, Potawatomi Park and Zoo, Beyer Castle, and several homes. The shoot lasted 18 days and took place mainly during weekends.
A rough cut of the film was assembled by October 2008 and the film’s teaser trailer was released exclusively on MuggleNet.com in November 2008, to much positive response and over 30,000 views in a week. A skilled team of local and international visual effects artists continue to work diligently in the film in preparation for its release in Summer 2010 at Infinitus, a huge Harry Potter conference in Orlando. The team continues to shoot additional footage and green screen shots, while the audio and music teams create and mix the sound design for the film.
The marketing team is staying busy with new videos and updates frequently released online. The filmmakers have appeared and/or previewed the film at Harry Potter conferences such as Prophecy 2007 (Toronto), Terminus 2008 (Chicago), AccioCon 2009 (Florida), Expecto Patronum 2009 (Sweden), and Azkatraz 2009 (San Francisco) , as well as DragonCon (Atlanta) and GenCon (Indianapolis).