17th December 2003





Fans of the boy wizard Harry Potter were given an insight into the making of the fourth film in the series of movie blockbusters yesterday.


Film director Mike Newell, who is currently working on ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, visited the University of Lincoln yesterday to officially open a new media incubator centre on campus.


Sparkhouse Studios is a small complex of commercial units housing new creative and media businesses set up mainly by university graduates.


Mike Newell, whose film credits include ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, ‘Donnie Brasco’ and ‘Dance With a Stranger’, unveiled a plaque at the official opening yesterday afternoon.


He then gave an interview to Professor Brian Winston, Dean of Media & Humanities at the university, in front of an invited audience.


“Sparkhouse Studios is a brilliant idea,” he said. “You’ve heard of the science park in Cambridge – well this is a media park, a quite unique project.


“When I started out in film and television we all had the mindset that we were working for someone else – the big media barons of the day.


“Now those barons are dead and the whole industry has changed beyond recognition. Here we’re creating the film tycoons of tomorrow, and they’ll be working for themselves.”


Mr Newell said he had already met and been impressed by some of the young entrepreneurs based in Sparkhouse Studios.


“They’re already breeding new ideas and cross-fertilising, sparking new ideas off each other, which is terrific,” he said.


And he revealed that the next Harry Potter film will be the biggest budget movie of all time.


“It’s got a very strong, tight storyline,” he said. “It’s an old-fashioned thriller which will appeal to adults as well as to children. It’s the classic case of the good guy – Harry Potter – not realising he’s being manipulated throughout by the bad guy until the horrible realisation at the end.”


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Film director Mike Newell


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University Vice Chancellor Professor David Chiddick (left) at the opening of Sparkhouse Studios with Mike Newell (right) and Professor Brian Winston, Dean of Media & Humanities at the university


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Film director Mike Newell unveiled a commemorative plaque at the official opening


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Mike Newell, director of ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, signs a copy of a Harry Potter book for a fan


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For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln

Tel: 01522 886042

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk