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It’s spooky, it’s freaky, it’s fantastic and HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE will change the skyline forever. Words: Mark Fisher

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t‘s going to be one of those Kennedy-assassination days. A moment we will look back on for years to come. ‘Where were you‘." we will ask each other. And we will agree that the world was never quite the same again. Whatever we do. the conversation will always come round to it. ‘Apocalypticf we will say. And forever etched in our memories will be the date of 16 November. The day they released Harry Porter Am/ The Plzilos'oplzer's‘ Stone will haunt us. On my death bed. my daughter will ask. ‘What did you do during the press campaign. daddy‘." And I will confess that l sneaked off undercover to London for an advance screening. that the following day l was bussed secretly out to Knebworth for a mysterious press junket. all in the knowledge that she surely the greatest Harry Potter fan of them all would have to wait until after her birthday. two days after World Harry Potter Day. for the same privilege. Will she ever understand? Will she understand that in those paranoid times. secrecy was everything and careless talk cost lives‘.’ Just listen to the insiders. Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry : m Potter. but you surely know that already) giggles with the guileless charm of the twelve year old he is. eyes sparkling just wimg like. do in themovie. ‘l was pretty .good at keeping secretsf .. he says about staying mum during filminu. but I always felt the l W Will/ii M 4m £3“ urge to say loads of stuff.‘ 1% “wan A radiant Emma Watson (aka .Hermione Granger) agrees. ‘A M _ w lot of it had to be pretty secretive.‘ she says. ‘I wasn t even “fimfi elm” y M:ng it allowed to show my grandparents the script.‘ if). m "j: The observation of director Chris Columbus that there was WWW neveranytlung to be secret about counts for nothing. ‘It was an ' '” " amazing conversation with the studio. says the likeable preppy

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fifflmfifiw fififlfiflm American. ‘They were like. “Maybe we should put the script in '1 the library. and you .would have to read it and not take it away with you. But I said. “You can‘t do that with crew members. they have to take their scripts with them.“ We had this ongoing argument. We kept saying to the press that we were being incredibly faithful to the book: if you read the script is was like a condensed version of the book. I didn't

know what all the secrets were. There were no secrets.‘

For all that. it was only as the coaches five of them stuffed with journalists pulled up to Knebworth House in Hertfordshire that they told us this was our destination. If careless talk costs lives. secrecy causes only confusion. The house. a 500-year-old Tudor pile bedecked with Victorian turrets. domes and gargoyles. is absolutely in the gothic spirit of the movie. Yet it played no part in its making. We didn‘t know we were coming. now we don't know why we‘re here.

So imagine the task of Michael the event manager from Warner Brothers. a bright young thing in a Brides/wad Revisited scarf. who races us round the house. which is Every witch way: Rupert Grim somehow stuffed with Harry Potter props the Nimbus 2000 flying broomstick. a (Ron), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) quaffle from quidditch (am I losing you'P). a selection of Hogwarts tables. an and Emma Watson (Hermione)

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