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  Chris Columbus COS: full interview
Updated 13 November 2002, 17.12
Chris Columbus chats to Lizo
Chris Columbus, Chamber of Secrets director, spoke to CBBC Newsround's Lizo Mzimba about the movie - and why he's not doing Prisoner of Azkaban.

How much pressure was on you to make the second film deliver, as the first film was the second biggest film of all time?
I didn't think about it in those terms.

We started shooting Chamber of Secrets three days after the Philosopher's Stone opened so we didn't have time to think about the success of the first film.

Also we started preparing Chamber of Secrets midway through shooting the Philosophers Stone and we knew we wanted to make a different type of film.

Harry and Ron
There are similar elements but it's a little darker, a little edgier and a lot more excting.

One of the things we benefited from the second time round was that we'd set up the characters in the first film so we could immediately get into the story.

The kids were more confident as actors, they felt more comfortable in their roles.

They'd been doing it for 150 days on the first film and they came to the Chamber of Secrets with a new found confidence so their performances were better.

One of the other key elements was the visual effects.

I thought the effects on the first film were OK, sometimes not so OK and we only had three months to complete them.

In the second film we shot all of the visual effects sequences early on.

Dobby the house elf
It gave us nine months to get the effects just right.

Quidditch is much more dynamic and the characters are much more integrated into the background.

The characters of Dobby and the Basalisk and the spider feel like they are a seamless part of the world and that was important.

Did you worry that this film might be too scary for young kids? The basalisk scene was intense and the spider scene was - wow!
Once we'd completed the film we showed it to 250 school children and their parents.

The kids ranged from seven to 13 and we asked them afterwards if it was too scary.

Not one kid raised their hand.

We asked the parents and not one raised their hand.

We asked if it was exciting and they all raised their hands and said 'Yes it was exciting - we loved it! Was it scary? No, it was the good kind of scary - we loved it.'

Kids love to be scared but they don't like to be disturbed. There's a fine line but I think we've solved it in this one.

I know my five-year-old daughter loves the film so I feel pretty comfortable that it's OK for kids.

Tell me some of the difficult cuts you had to make in this film to get the running time?
We actually made the cuts from the screen play rather than the film which hurt us internally but it didn't hurt the film.

We had to cut the deathday party which was Nearly Headless Nick's 500th anniversary of his deathday which was essentially a party of ghosts.

Chris Columbus
That was an exciting sequence, it would have been a lot of fun to shoot.

It had some great humour in it but it was a sort of sidetrack from the story so we felt that structurally it was not right for the movie.

All of us, Jo, Steve, Dave and myself were sad to see it go.

What about scenes that you did film that didn't make it in - Mr Bourgin?
Bourgin and Burks - that scene, which was a fun scene, felt like we were introducing Lucius Malfoy a little early and I wanted to introduce Lucius Malfoy in Flourish and Blott's book store.

I've saved that scene for the DVD and there'll be two versions of that scene on the DVD which will be interesting.

Anything we should know about on the DVD?
Little scenes here and there - almost 18 minutes in total though.

Tell me about your decision not to do Prisoner of Azkaban - was that difficult?
No, because physically I had put everything, blood, sweat and tears, into the Chambers of Secrets.

I hadn't seen my own kids for supper in the week for about two and a half years.

I have four children and I have to give them some time now.

More InfoBORDER=0
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