Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Behind the Scenes

  • Director

    David Yates

    The HP movies bounced around among different directors up to Order of the Phoenix.

    First there was Chris Columbus, then Alfonso Cuarón, and then Mike Newell. And that was fun and all when we were younger and things were less…complicated, but we're careening toward the finish line now—and things are getting super stressful and nail-bite-worthy.

    So, it's probably good that a single director, David Yates, took the reins of the Harry Potter movies in Phoenix and is carrying the franchise right through to the end. A little continuity in an ever-changing magical universe.

    Well, at least we feel good about it.

    Yates' resume prior to joining up with our magical friends is super diverse. He'd done lots of TV work across different genres, such as comedy (The Young Visiters—yes, that's actually how it's spelled, and Slughorn ,a.k.a. Jim Broadbent, is in it, too), international drama (Sex Traffic), and suspense (State of Play).

    And hey, those are all genres that poke their heads out in the Harry Potter films, so it makes sense that the Harry Potter powers-that-be tapped him to work on the series.

    We're pretty sure that Harry Potter took Yates' name recognition to a whole new level, though. Oh, and it got him more work, too: he's slated to direct all five of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies. Not too shabby.

  • Screenwriter

    Steve Kloves (Based on J.K. Rowling's Novel)

    Have we mentioned that the folks behind this franchise are all about consistency? Well, apparently, they are. Why else would they have the same writer, Steve Kloves, for all of the Harry Potter films but one (Order of the Phoenix—trust us, you'll thank us if you ever play a Harry Potter trivia night)?

    We've already provided a decent download on Kloves in our guide for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, so hurry on over there for more scintillating details.

  • Production Studio

    Warner Brothers and Heydey

    Producers Warner Brothers and Heydey aren't new to the Harry Potter game, Shmoopers. In fact, they slapped their label on all of the HP franchise films.

    Dying to know more? Check out what we've already written on these folks in our guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

    We're all about options here at Shmoop.

  • Production Design

    It's a Very Harry World, And We're All Just Living in It

    The film is pretty tightly hitched up to Harry's perspective. What does that mean? Well, basically that we don't really get to know too much more than Harry does. Aside from a conversation among Narcissa Malfoy, Snape, and Bellatrix Lestrange at the beginning of the film, we're mostly following Harry and his crew, and only finding out the stuff that he finds out.

    So, since he doesn't know what's really up with Snape, we don't get to know either. Is he loyal to Dumbledore? Faking it? Like Harry, we can't really tell, especially since we mostly hear or see Snape only when Harry's around. Looks like we'll have to wait until Harry knows the truth to get the full story. We really hope that's soon.

  • Music

    Nicholas Hooper

    Nicholas Hooper has two Harry Potter scores under his belt: this one and the Order of the Phoenix. He seems to have mastered that whole spooky-scary, ominous sound that we've, heard across the whole series.

    You know what we're talking about: heavy on the strings and drama.

    And hey, fair enough, right? The plot is only getting more tense and dark, and Hooper's score definitely matches that whole mood step for step. The folks at the Grammy Awards seemed to agree, since the soundtrack was nominated for 2010's "Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media." Not too shabby.

    We'd say that's even more impressive when we consider that action/adventure/suspense isn't exactly Hooper's normal gig. In fact, his resume is weighted heavily toward documentaries, which seem about as far from the Harry Potter universe as you could get.

    He's also done lots of TV series and movies, with a heavy emphasis on the U.K.—which, you'll be shocked to learn, is where he's from (gasp). Like, well, basically all of HP's primary actors, the director, the get the drift.

  • Fandoms

    Er, yes, you could say that Harry Potter might have one or two fans. And we may or may not play for the neighborhood Quidditch team.

    We've already talked about the massive HP fan base a fair bit elsewhere, so go ahead and take a peek.

    The thing that's so crazy about the Potterdom is that it shows, like, zero signs of dying down. (Yassss.) There's still a huge market for Harry-related stories, which is why we've seen the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them since the end of the original Harry Potter films/books.

    And hey, we're not complaining—we're so not ready to get off this (Hogwarts Express) train.