Magical Mystery Tour
I have a confession to make. I was not a fan of the Harry Potter books. Maybe my age – way too old for all that!
But then, one rainy Sunday afternoon around 17 years after it was first released, I found myself watching the film of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and I was hooked. I am happy to say I have now seen every film in the series multiple times and, if you asked me if I wanted to watch one right at this precise moment, I’d be sitting in front of the screen in a flash. Oh, I’m still not sure I care about an orphaned wizard but the costumes, the sets, the props, the artwork...these are truly magical.
Therefore, if you want a day out looking at some great art, sculpture, installations, design and graphics, I would definitely recommend the Warner Brothers Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Everything started on paper. Just as J. K. herself set pen to paper, the Production Designer gives Director-approved sketches - visual interpretations - doodles to Concept Artists such as Paul Catling to fully visualize these ideas. Character studies, moodboards, storyboards and illustrations combine to define the aesthetic of Harry Potter’s world which, in turn, inspire the Set, Costume and Prop Designers.
Works on canvas played an important role in the storyline too with the ‘moving portraits’. Many of the paintings featured on the walls of Hogwarts were painted by just one artist – Sally Dray.
The Weasley & Weasley Joke Shop – also known as Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes – displays some of the hundreds of packaging designs that were created for the Diagon Alley scenes. Add to this the book cover designs, newspaper layouts, letters and posters and you have thousands of pieces of graphic design that go a long way to defining the look of the world of Harry Potter. The artists responsible for all these designs are Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima and their Design Studio, Minalima.
Setting the Scene
The scenery shows off the work of the Set Designers, Art Department, Construction Team, Lighting Department and Set Decorators. Each set – 588 in total across all the films - is swarming with creativity.