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We asked you a while back to submit questions to the cast and crew of "Mudbloods," the documentary about real life Quidditch, and the Potterheads were true to the end! Now, the film director Farzad Sangari and UCLA team captain Tom Marks have the answers to your questions! Keep reading to see what they had to say about playing Quidditch in real life, what they want people to get from the documentary, and what they think the future of Quidditch is!
Unfortunately they didn't have a chance to answer every single question, but hopefully what they have to say will give you a little more insight into the world of real life Quidditch! If you're looking to learn more about "Mudbloods," like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter at @MudbloodsMovie!
1) What makes you think Quidditch is a sport different from any other sport? Community? Magic?
Tom Marks: It's the community, and more specifically the type of people who are drawn to playing the game. Everyone grows up with the opportunity to play soccer, football, baseball, and the like, but right now quidditch is something you have to seek out, which means every player shares that attitude right off the bat.
Farzad Sangari: I agree with Tom, it’s the community and it’s the attitude or personality that the community attracts.
2) What are your favorite segments of making this documentary? Why?
Tom Marks: Definitely the monthly(ish) lunches I got with Farzad during its production. Originally the production time was supposed to be much shorter than the three years it ended up being, so Farzad and I would get lunch and talk about how it was going occasionally. Even though it took longer than he said, it made me really confident that he was trying to tell the story correctly and that he was taking time for the right reasons.
Farzad Sangari: The meetings with Tom were definitely memorable. It was important for me to show people unaware of quidditch what it was really like. But it was equally important to present quidditch players accurately and honestly. Working with Tom throughout the process (not just during shooting, but also after) allowed us to represent the people and the community in the most truthful way possible. But for me, shooting with the team at the World Cup was the most exciting part of the making of the film. Jason (Knutzen) and I really got swept up in the tournament, all the dramatic games, and the journey.
3) If there's just one simple message you want everyone to take away from the film, what would it be?
Tom Marks: Don't judge any activity, or person, by your gut instinct. The only people who write off or make fun of quidditch are the people who heard about it or saw it in passing, never took the time to follow up, and made their uninformed decision. Take the time to see what people are about before you set your opinion in stone.
Farzad Sangari: Never underestimate how far your imagination (in conjunction with a strong level of determination) can take you.
4) Have you ever been injured playing real life Quidditch?
Tom Marks: I have. There used to be a semi common injury we called "bludger thumb" which happens when you block a bludger with another ball, the ball you are holding is forced back and bends your thumb backwards. It can sprain your thumb pretty bad, I couldn't grip a ball for months, and we had a player actually break his thumb this way! Not the most dramatic injury, but I'm thankful for that.
5) First thing first, are you guys fan of the series (silly question) and if so, what's your favorite book or movie? What's your favorite Quidditch scene or part in either the Movie versions or the Books versions?
Tom Marks: I had never read the books when I started the team at UCLA! Even now, 5 years later, I'm only halfway through the third one. I think he just got to Hogsmeade...Anyway, I had seen the movies and liked them. Favorite movie is probably Deathly Hollows part 1, because the shots of the wilderness and landscape in it are incredibly gorgeous. That movie has more beautiful shots in it than it does wizards. Favorite quidditch scene would be when Harry flies up into the storm with the dementors, that would be terrifying.
Farzad Sangari: I also did not read the books. My favorite movie is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
8) What do you like most about Quidditch: is it the Harry Potter connotation or its merits as a stand-alone bona fide sport?
Tom Marks: I like that it gets people, young and old, interested in sports who wouldn't otherwise be. We've had so many people come because they are big Harry Potter fans and then discover how much they love competing.
Farzad Sangari: I think that it has this amazing ability to do both simultaneously.
9) What do you think the Gertie Keddles of the Muggle world should hear about what makes Quidditch an unique and innovative sport?
Tom Marks: I'm not going to lie, I had to google that name...But I think hearing isn't enough for a lot of people for quidditch. Anyone who spends two minutes playing will immediately understand.
Farzad Sangari: There are a lot of things that make quidditch unique. A couple things are the snitch because it adds an independent, theatrical element to the sport, and that it’s a true co-ed sport.
10) What do you predict the future of Quidditch is? What do you want it to be?
Tom Marks: I'm not sure! A lot of people want it to be more competitive, and a lot of people want to keep it casual. My hope is it becomes both. I hope people can understand that you can have a fierce competitive league and still have room for silly, casual play.
Farzad Sangari: I’m also not sure where quidditch will end up in the future but I’m interested to see what direction the players take it. Ultimately, it’s up to the players of the sport to decide because quidditch really is a democratic sport. Depending on what they want, that will shape the direction of the sport in the future.
11) Were you a fan of Quidditch before playing the game?
Tom Marks: In a sense. I learned about it from a friend of mine who went to Middlebury College in Vermont and she told me all these amazing stories about how fun it was. Quidditch was still pretty young, especially on the west coast, when I started the team so it was hard to be a fan of it yet.
12) If you have a favorite team or player, who is it?
Tom Marks: UCLA! How can I not say my bruins?
13) What was the most inspiring thing you took away from the Quidditch playing community?
Tom Marks: You don't have to compromise between how hard you play on the field and how friendly you are on the sidelines. Sportsmanship is the goal, and if you can win along the way then that's a bonus.
14) How did you go about trying to capture the essence of Quidditch culture and community? Did you do a lot of off-field research before going in, or use more of a "get to the games, watch, and ask people questions" approach? What seemed to give you the best inspiration and footage?
Farzad Sangari: We tried to integrate ourselves with the people in the film as much as we could. This required just spending a lot of time with them, and shooting with them as much as possible. A lot of this didn’t end up in the film, but by spending time with the people in the film we developed a strong relationship with them. They trusted us and gave us a better view into the culture and community because of that.
15) What made you want to do a film about Qudditch? How much did you enjoy filming this flim? Any challenges you came across while filming?
Farzad Sangari: Initially it was just the idea of quidditch that caught my attention, but the more time I spent with the people in the community the more interested I became in them and whey they specifically were attracted to quidditch. I enjoyed meeting them very much and I hope I was able to effectively communicate their passion and dedication for quidditch in the film.
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