With “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” coming to theaters this week, some will binge watch (or read) the Harry Potter series (which in film form is just under 20 hours without breaks) while others won’t have time. That does not mean there’s nothing out there for those with less time to get hyped about going back into the magical world created by J.K. Rowling.
One quick search will give you hundreds of Harry Potter related videos and shorts that you can watch on You Tube. Of course, the quality of these varies greatly from “I can’t believe this is fan made” to “I can’t believe they’re letting people watch this” which is why we went through a ton of them to bring you some of the best ones out there.
Severus Snape and the Marauders (USA) (2016)
This crowd-funded short follows four friends, James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, as they celebrate their graduation at a pub. The arrival of Severus Snape leads Potter to confront him leading to a battle in a forest. Written and directed by Justin Zagri based on characters by J.K. Rowling, this short explores the tensions between friends on both sides of the upcoming magical war. Zagri builds a great short here with well written characters and actions in scenes that make sense for these pre-established characters.
These characters are played by a cast of actors with varying degrees of experience. Each of them do very well, particularly Mick Ignis as Severus Snape who’s taking on a part that is more developed than the others in the movies series and played by the late, great Alan Rickman. He takes the part and respectfully makes it his. Playing against him as Severus’ antagonist James is Garrett Schweighauser who also does well, but his accent is a bit off at times, especially compared to Ignis.
This short is one of those that did the most of its small $28,000 budget with great cinematography by John Hafner. The music by Alexander Arntzen fits with the Harry Potter scores and works with the material here. The visual effects done under the supervision of Jake Akuna look fantastic, the wand fight depending on these, they do not let the viewer down.
Severus Snape and the Marauders is one of those really well made fan films that come close to their source material and homage it beautifully. The crew did not let their small budget stop them and they did great work that fits very well in the world they are fans of.
The OMEN Chronicles (USA) (2013)
Set in North America like Fantastic Beasts, this short takes place 15 years after the Battle of Hogwarts and Voldemort’s defeat. Aurors are chasing a wizard who has a powerful relic in his possession. Written by R.J. Aguiar and directed by Wren Weichman, the story feels like it’s set in the Harry Potter world and like it’s only a small part of something much bigger. Lead Brent Lydic as Malachi is interesting to watch and those chasing him, including Evelina Barry as Nyzette, Will Shepherd as Conrad, and Tanner Thomason as Leo, are as well.
The acting here is on par with a lot of low budget, professionally shot features. The effects are good but not the main focus as this short is fun, has action, and creates new lore that can reside in the same world or universe as the original Harry Potter series. The score is great and also quite fitting with this pre-established world.
Elixir – A Harry Potter Short Film
In this less than 4 minutes short, a wizard is hunted by another, when they meet, a spell0tastic battle ensues. This short directed by Josiah Roetker has great cg effects for the spells done by John Michalec, zero lines yet good acting by Jon Roetker, Bracy Bean, and Andrew Hinkley,and good music by Sole Signal Music. It’s half car porn, half magical fight and it looks great while all this goes down. It’s kind of like if Dean Winchester was a wizard hunting other wizards.