Yes, You Can: Interactive Harry Potter Movie

Interactive movies are one of those topics that routinely get discussed on listservs. I knew my teens would love an interactive movie program, but never felt like I had time to prepare for it. How many times would I have to watch the movie in advance to get it right? I wondered. Every time the idea came up, I would get excited for a day, then decide it was impossible and shelve the idea for later.

That all changed when I attended Teen Think Tank in February 2016, where Rikki Unterbrink discussed her interactive screening of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Rikki was kind enough to share her script with all of us, and she made it seem much more doable than I originally thought. Armed with Rikki’s script, I made a few tweaks to her original plan and was well on my way.

How It Worked:

Apart from the time that I put into creating chocolate Golden Snitches, I was really surprised how low-maintenance this program turned out to be. The most time-consuming part was stuffing the bags. Upon arrival, each participant was given a bag of props and a script. I used white paper bags with handles from our craft stash, and prettied them up with a label that I printed on a standard Avery shipping label. After a little explanation about what was expected of the participants, we started the movie. Everyone was eager to participate and we had a great time!

So What’s In the Bags?

Each bag contained:

  • A copy of the script
  • An Oreo cookie (use Birthday Cake-flavored Oreos if you can find them)
  • A chocolate Golden Snitch (see instructions below for how to make these)
  • A ticket for Platform 9 ¾ (there are lots of designs online for this; I included the one I used in my public Google Drive folder for this event.)
  • A paper wad
  • A paper airplane (I used the pattern found at this link and made these out of origami paper.)
  • A party horn (kazoos will also work)
  • A Kleenex
  • A plastic spoon
  • A peppermint candy
  • A small bag of chips
  • A small bag of animal crackers
  • A gummy worm

In addition to the bags, I needed:

  • A beach ball
  • A squirt gun filled with water
  • A bag of individually-wrapped candy
  • Some chocolate gold coins
  • An individually-wrapped Twizzler for each participant
  • A troll costume (I appropriated a wig from our storytime props–you can make this as elaborate as you want)
  • A can of silly string

The Piece de Resistance: Chocolate Golden Snitches

This was the most time-consuming part of putting together this program, and you don’t have to do it this elaborately. Any gold-wrapped candy could serve as a Golden Snitch, but I used a low-temperature hot glue gun to glue feathers to the sides of Ferrero-Rocher candies. They were the talk of my office for days. They do contain nuts, however, so warn your teens in case of food allergies.

All in all, what started as a program I thought I would never be able to pull off became one of my best-attended events last summer. The teens had a blast and the interactive experience let them see an old favorite movie in a whole new way. I can’t wait to try another interactive movie, perhaps at my National Teen Lock-In event this summer!

Want to try this at your library? My scripts, tickets, stickers, and a detailed how-to are available at this link.

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