This series has drawn inspiration from the incredible cinematic series that is Harry Potter, and the cast and crew do a great job in making us believe that they are in fact living within the same universe, with little nods and hints to certain phrases and even the occasional Potter wand.
There is a wonderful relationship between McGonagallesque, Professor Grinlow Caltain (Lawrene Denkers) and student Emma Colden (Jeri Leader), as they begin by butting heads, but then slowly grow to respect each other. Being a young girl in a harsh world can be tough and she has friends in her life that would easily lead her astray, but with her Tutor by her side we see Emma prove time and time again that, much like Hermione Granger, she is easily the smartest Witch in her year.
So far The Spell Tutor can only boast of three episodes, with some fun behind the scenes videos sitting alongside them, on their channel on YouTube. However, it will be interesting to see where this new angle to ‘life inside a Wizard school’ can take us. There have been some amazing Witch and Wizard stories told in the past and with darker themes coming into play from episode 3, it’s clear to see that we are in for a good adventure with this new rendition.
On a production level the sound is wonderful, with large open rooms and all the places a Witch can teleport herself, it’s clear that sound recorder Randy Resh was working very hard to keep every piece of dialogue crisp and clear. The musical score specifically fits nicely alongside the story. Daniel X. Belasco (Composer) throws in a jaunty theme that matches the fun and magical curiousness of the world. The special effects are rather young at this stage, but there is great ambition here and a wonderful chance to see where they are heading when we fly over the Wizarding world, at the beginning of episode two, only to be surprised by the creatures that lie beyond the forest. But most importantly, this is a sincere web series telling a good story and really succeeding very quickly in making us care for the characters that we meet. Director Herman Wang and Director of Photography Steve Lambert made a good choice not to show any other adults in Emma’s life. With her mother’s passing and her father frequently out of shot, it is the Tutor who she gives her trust to and that growing bond is what really makes this worth watching.
I would recommend The Spell Tutor to any young Wizard fan or any adult who still loves to believe in magic. The series covers some ‘coming of age’ stories and subtly deals with peer pressure, overconfidence, loss and selfgrowth. There is much to be learnt while practising all the new spells concocted by Wang, who also wrote the bulk of the series.