David Yates has proven that you really can make smooth transitions from television to feature films, as the award-winning television director will soon hold the record for directing the most Harry Potter films, with two under his belt (the latest being the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and two more on the way (the two-part adaptation of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).
Yates studied politics at the University of Essex and at Georgetown University, but began his film career by writing and directing the film When I Was a Girl. After attending The National Film and Television School, Yates made his name directing television programs like the British hit “State of Play” and has received much acclaim for this television work, including two BAFTA TV Awards and an Emmy nomination. Now he finds himself wildly accomplished in the realm of feature film, as The Half-Blood Prince is likely be the biggest blockbuster of the summer, with advance tickets sales already outpacing the Transformers sequel. But this going back and forth is just the way the director likes it, as he told the Observer back in 2007: “In an ideal world, I’d bounce between big projects and no-budget TV dramas with fantastic scripts. A lot of Hollywood films tend to be bloated, bombastic, loud. At the same time, I do like the infrastructure of making a blockbuster; it’s like having a big train set.”
He certainly did get his big train set by working with the big-budget Potter films, and is working very hard to portray the much loved story on film. “Another year brings up another set of challenges for Harry, Ron and Hermione and the older they get the more complex they become,” Yates recently told Website IESB.net. But fortunately for the fans, Yates has proved to be truly dedicated to his characters; as David Heyman, producer of all of the Potter film adaptations, told IESB.net of Yates, “Apart from telling a good story, the humanity of the characters is so important to him and he continues to draw out new sides of our actors that even I had never seen before.” As shown by the success of his last Potter film, it seems that “Potter-heads” everywhere appreciate his hard work in making these books come to life and all seem to agree these films are in good hands with director David Yates.