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Local Harry Potter Devotee has Unusual fan Experience

Jennifer Elston, of Emmaus, worked at the Harry Potter press junket in New York on Sunday.

When her husband came home and told her that he was going to be working at the red carpet premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” in New York, Jennifer Elston, a self-described “giddy school girl” when it comes to all things Harry Potter, had a single thought: “I HAVE to be at that premiere.”

Jen, who together with her husband Christopher, owns in Emmaus, told Chris he needed to do whatever he could to get her to the movie opening.

Chris knew there was no way he could bring Jen to the premiere. So, he did the next best thing – he got his wife a job at the Harry Potter press junket at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Sunday.

A press junket is when television interviewers all come to the same place on the same day to interview the stars of a film. For the stars, it’s a day of back-to-back interviews designed to promote the opening of their movie.

Chris was already scheduled to be at the Harry Potter New York junket – his job was to be operating the video camera assigned to Rupert Grint, the actor who has portrayed the red-headed Ron Weasley since the original Harry Potter film, which opened in 2001.

The way the press junket worked was pretty simple, according to Jen. Each star is assigned to a room with identical backdrops. There are two chairs in the room and two video cameras, one for the star and one for the interviewer. Each interviewer can pose five questions to the star. 

At the Deathly Hallows press junket there were three stars being interviewed Grint, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Michael Lewis (Neville Longbottom).

Jen’s job: to stand in a hallway and watch the interviews being conducted on a video monitor. When it was clear that things were wrapping up (people standing up, microphones being removed), Jen was to run down the hallway to the room in question, pick up the tapes from the interview and bring them to the sound guy. 

Jen said her job was something that they normally would have hired a teenager to do, but she didn’t care. Among the highlights of her time rubbing elbows with the stars: posing for a photo with Philadelphia news anchor Ukee Washington (Jen grew up near Philly) and getting her copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” signed by Grint.

Jen documented her day with her iPhone camera. She wasn't allowed to photograph the stars of the film.

Editor's Note: Chris was actually behind a video camera on the red carpet at "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" New York premiere last night. Look for Chris’ side of the story later this week.

Jennifer Elston July 12, 2011 at 01:44 PM
Also, one of my favorite moments on set: Walking down the hall and chatting with Tom Felton, the actor who portrayed the evil Draco Malfoy. Tom could not have been any sweeter or more down to earth. Felton signed my book 2 years ago when Chris did the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince press junket: http://christopherelstonblog.com/?p=47
Pat Vallese July 12, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Wow!....Must have been hard to keep yourself composed having lived and breathed Harry Potter for almost 10 years. Surprised the lead star was not at the junket?
Jennifer Elston July 12, 2011 at 02:52 PM
I was disappointed that Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) was not there, but Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) did appear for a few interviews. Also, the director, David Yates was interviewed for a bit. I was beyond excited to be on set!
Jennifer Marangos (Editor) July 12, 2011 at 09:48 PM
A clarification on how the press junket worked -- each interviewer was allowed five minutes with the star, not five questions.
Christopher Elston Photography July 12, 2011 at 11:51 PM
Blog posts of other press junkets that I have done. Read the Iron Man one! http://christopherelstonblog.com/?s=junket&searchsubmit-top=search

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