Previous credits: Dangerous Liaisons, The English Patient What gave me daily satisfaction was the fact that we were able to keep the traditional craft skills alive while embracing the world of technology, which was changing so fast, says production designer Stuart Craig. At the same time we had ceiling artists and sculptors of Gothic ornaments, we had guys who engineered things with the delicacy of intricate watch mechanisms. Because we ran for 10 years, young guys were able to learn skills from older ones. Because of this movie, theres a whole new generation of set painters and sculptors.
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that Harry and his pals attended was fashioned on an even grander scale than envisioned by author J.K. Rowling.
Hogwarts is bigger and more complicated than it is in the books, Craig says. We reached for a kind of theatrical exaggeration to tell the story.
During the course of the films, which were shot over a decade, Hogwarts and its environs underwent vast renovations.
We had to modify Hogwarts quite a bit to fit the new requirements of each book, Craig says. In Deathly Hallows Part 2, we needed a battlefield where Voldemort and his Death Eaters attack Hogwarts, and Harry and the Hogwarts staff defend it. (In the book) Hogwarts was built on rocky headlands in the highlands of Scotland, so its difficult to find a place for battle.
To meet the challenge, the production crew altered the landscape.
Things constantly changed, while remaining faithful to the spirit of Rowlings vision, Craig says. Potter producer David Heyman made a promise that if we were ever tempted to depart from the books, we would consult with her always.
The questions posed to Rowling ranged from detailed to practical to odd.
We sent written questions, such as, Can you give us a more exact description of the Deathly Hallows symbol? And she did. We asked, Can there be electricity in Hogwarts? She said, Certainly not. We asked if there would be a graveyard within Hogwarts. And she said, No, definitely not.
Taking down the long-standing carefully hewn sets — some with intricate details the camera only quickly panned over — was not easy.
Ive seen thousands of sets built and torn down on various movies, but this was emotional, says Craig. They were carefully taken apart, and theyre to be reconstructed as part of a permanent museum at Leavesden Film Studios (in Hertfordshire, England). Theyll be part of the Harry Potter exhibits. It will be nice to see them live on for a while.
Previous credits: In Bruges, Children of Men Though Rowlings descriptions of magical garb were detailed, the film costumes had to perform as required in the real world.
We were always giving a modern turn to what Rowling had written, because kids want to think Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is maybe next door, Temime says. That Merlin look is something you can do for very young kids, but when you want to reach older kids and teenagers and parents, you need to get into a look they can believe in.
And for the malevolent Death Eaters, function was as important as form.
I wanted something which was frightening and very wizardly, but also at the same time very wearable, since they had to move in it. It had to look like it was designed 500 years ago and could also adapt to the modern world.
Indeed, being able to fly, as well as saunter and scurry, in wizardly robes was key.
I had to design costumes that gave them not such a stiff look, something they could jump and run in.
Character details from the book were expanded on for the films.
For Harrys nemesis, Voldemort, who spoke with pet snake Nagini in a special language, I wanted him to wear something green, which was really snakey, Temime says. I wanted to use silk because it moves very slowly and sort of sensually, like a snake. I wanted the idea of layering, like a snake taking off its skin.
Some actors were so taken by their costumes that they wanted to take them home, notably Helena Bonham Carter, known for her real-life eccentric fashion sense. As the spooky Bellatrix Lestrange, she was clad in raggedy black, with a plunging neckline and lacy sleeves, a variation of a Goth witch look crossed with a maniacal version of Stevie Nicks.
She adored her costume, Temime says. She never wanted to take it off.
And a character point, revealed after the final book was published, may have had its genesis with Temimes clothing selection. When Rowling finally said Dumbledore is gay, I still dont know if she came up with it after she saw him in the silk outfit.
Visual effects supervisor
Previous credits: Gladiator, A Knights Tale As solid and imposing as it looks, Hogwarts lies only in a virtual realm.
Hogwarts itself doesnt exist, Burke says.
And what was a large miniature model for the first few films is now even less imposing. Three years ago, Burke and company decided to rebuild all of Hogwarts as a digital model.
That way, we can film on any part of that model to give maximum flexibility for the action sequences, he says.
But creating this virtual world was not simple: it took nearly two years. Though actual sets were built at Leavesden Film Studios, a lot of the action was staged on those sets and then dropped into the computer-generated model.
Its a big challenge, linking shots to create a seamless blend of live action and computer-generated motion, Burke says. We deliberately designed shots that make you as an audience member feel like youre flying around the school.
Burke is a master of battle scenes, having worked on the film Black Hawk Down.
This time, I had to put giants and spiders fighting wizards on broomsticks, Burke says.
But he was not averse to old-school techniques.
I decided the giants would work better if we worked with real actors. We did prosthetics for the faces so we could do a computer-generated animation for the face later. But to make it look like giants running down hillsides, we had various interestingly shaped people in loincloths and prosthetic make-up running on treadmills against a green screen.
One of the bigger challenges was making Ralph Fiennes aquiline nose disappear for his part as Lord Voldemort.
One of the tricks is actually removing his nose, because its bigger than the one we put on, Burke says. We have to patch in and fix the missing piece of face. Then well light the textured computer-generated version of his nose and cheeks and match the lighting of the original scene and paste it onto the front of his face. We also animate his nostrils, so they actually flare and move when hes talking.
AN EXCLUSIVE SCREENING OF HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 FOR t2 and TTIS READERS SAW EAGER MUGGLES TROOP IN FOR THEIR DOSE OF MAGIC AND POTTERMANIA AT MUKTI WORLDS LONDON ON SATURDAY
Fourteen-year-old Vinayak Maheshwari (right), a student of MP Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School, who came with friend Raghav Pareek, was super excited when t2 caught up with him during the interval. I am a huge Potter fan. Ive read all the books and watched all the movies a zillion times. I still cant believe I actually won the t2 Potter contest and got to see The Deathly Hallows Part 2! I had huge expectations from this film and it has turned out to be a visual treat. But there are many changes from the book. I am going for another show tonight as well as one the next morning, said Vinayak.
I cried myself silly, particularly when they showed Snapes memories, beamed t2 reader Shreya Goswami, who came with brother Shubhaditya. We are both Pottermaniacs. I loved the part where Professor McGonagall brings the stone statues to life and tells Molly Weasley that it was a spell she had always wanted to use. The film missed out on Dumbledores past, though. They should have shown Arianas tale a bit, said Shreya.
But the film sure gives one an epic feel, gushed Shubhaditya.
Harshita Anand, a self-confessed Potter-crazy teen, couldnt stop smiling post-screening. Oh, my god! I loved every moment of the film. It lived up to all my expectations. I especially loved the moment when Voldemort says: The boy who lived, come to die. Ralph Fiennes was so good. And I felt so sad for Snape. I am miserable that my Harry Potter journey is over, said the student of Pratt Memorial School for Girls.
My son Rehan is a big Harry Potter fan. But getting hold of tickets on the opening weekend is next to impossible for a movie like this, which is why I thought of participating in the t2 contest. We are so excited to have won! smiled Shalini Rikhye. Twelve-year-old Rehan, of course, sat goggle-eyed watching the action-packed movie.
|Little Potterheads dig into goodies during the interval.
I loved the film. But I have read all the books and this film is very different from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book, pouted the bespectacled Potter buff.
This was St. Xaviers College student Indrolina Biswass first Potter experience and she loved every moment of it. It was an out-and-out entertainer. Yes, I found some parts a bit difficult to follow since I havent read the books, but I had a blast watching the film. Being a student of animation, I loved the special effects and the design work that went into the film, especially in the scene where the professors are protecting the castle with magic. It was beautiful. I am so glad I got to catch this movie.
Oh, what a great film this was! I love Harry Potter films. They are full of action, fantasy and great special effects. I really hope J.K. Rowling writes more such books so that more such movies can be made, said Saurabh Jajodia, a student of Bhawanipur Gujarati Education Society College.