How Harry Potter’s Worldbuilding Spawned Its Own School Of The Art Of Magic

Surrounded by Prophet of the Sorcerer covers and books from the magical world of Harry potter, graphic designer Miraphora Mina holds up an envelope that countless children have surely wished to receive.

She’s from Hogwarts, the sorcerer’s stone, and she is addressing a certain “MH Potter, The Cupboard under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey”.

It was “the very first accessory on which I could design The Philosopher’s Stone and the whole series, naively thinking that it would just be a simple envelope, ”Mina said.

“Of course, we needed a lot, a lot (more).”

Tuesday marks 20 years since the film’s release Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the sorcerer’s stone in the United States and other countries). The story of how its young stars were catapulted to global stardom has often been told. But for a generation of other creative professionals, it was also the start of a long and fantastic journey, building the magical world of author JK Rowling.

Much like the characters in the films, they found themselves in a strange place a train ride from London – British Studios Leavesden – where they learned to do magic.

Artists Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina, who created the graphic style for the Harry Potter films, hold actual props they created for the film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in their store in London. Photo: Reuters

“The studios became a kind of Hogwarts, a place where people came in and learned their craft over the 10 years of involvement,” said Mina.

Rowling’s books were already making a splash before the first movie was set, and the filmmakers knew they had to make the magic real.

“How do you get people flying on brooms and playing a game, you know, with a ball chase and they’re 40 feet in the air and they’re kids?” Remembers Nick Davis, visual effects supervisor for the film.

Eight Harry potter the films grossed $ 7.8 billion (RM32 billion) and a third installment in the Fantastic beasts a series of spin-off films is coming soon.

Letter props created by artists Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina for the film Letter props created by artists Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina for the film “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” are displayed in a fireplace in their London store. Photo: Reuters

Today’s moviegoers are used to seeing fantastic worlds conjured up with computer-generated images. But for those who worked on director Chris Columbus’ original vision of Harry Potter, the film was special because so many effects were done analogically, using hand-built sets, props, and models, and a dash of old-fashioned cinematic magic.

“That was 21 years ago, CGI wasn’t quite where it is today and we wanted to put as much reality into everything we did,” said Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson.

“Chris was really up for it and I think that’s why those early films have so much reality and magic. Because whatever we could do behind closed doors, we did.”

With child actors receiving their regular off-camera lessons from teachers in tents, Leavesden has literally become a school. Davis recalled the moment he finally saw hundreds of children, all in their costume dresses, take their places on the huge studio set of the Great Hall.

“Oh my God, you – we’re at Hogwarts. – Reuters


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Kayleen C. Rice