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There’s no question that the world of Harry Potter is a sparkly magical wonderland where all one need worry about is not getting eaten by a Dementor (but how bad could that be, really?). But have you ever thought about the real-life wizardry that went into creating and building the eight HP movies’ intricate sets?
Jody Revenson’s Harry Potter: Magical Places from the Films, a gorgeous leather-bound tome, offers an inside look at the films’ comprehensive set designs, detailing the studio’s creative process from sketches through to fruition. The book is organized chronologically, including beloved spaces and places from each of the eight movies. The first chapter, for example, displays artists’ sketches and film stills from the Dursleys’ House; while later chapters display magical indoor spaces, like the Herbology Greenhouse; the Ministry of Magic; and The Burrow, as well as Hogwarts’ fantastical grounds, including the eerie Forbidden Forest and the lively Quidditch Pitch.
Each detailed look at the films’ environments includes accompanying “behind-the-scenes photographs” and “supplementary text that highlights filmmaking secrets from the Warner Bros. archives.” Like, for example, that set decorators encouraged the many extras to carve their names and doodles into the long tables in the Great Hall, in order to make the tables look authentically aged.
The images below are pulled right from Revenson’s book: think of them as a teaser trailer to the book, which shows how the muggle magic of film combines with Hogwarts’ wizardry to create something truly amazing. All of these images contain details that even the most die-hard Harry Potter fan probably wouldn’t have noticed — but definitely needs to see.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
Gryffindor Common Room
“The interior of the Lovegood house set was designed to appear ‘lovingly vandalized’ by Luna Lovegood.”
Images: Courtesy of Harper Design