Academy Award–winning production designer Stuart Craig, the man behind the look and feel of every set in the Harry Potter film franchise, gave an interview at Architectural Digest, in which he discusses the difference in working on Harry Potter versus his other films, like Notting Hill.
Because it was a franchise—eight movies—that lasted ten years, we built up a great archive of things we’d already made. Doors, windows, staircases, and bits of set got recycled and reused. It was an incredible luxury to have a kind of scene dock for stuff that was used previously, but that could be applicable to the next thing.
Craig also gives a some insight to set continuity between films, noting the ever-changing structure of Hogwarts:
Hogwarts, if you look carefully, is constantly growing and changing shape. In the third movie, there’s a tower with a little sort of prison cell at the top for Sirius Black, and then in subsequent movies that’s completely gone. In the sixth film, there’s a huge tower that’s a completely different design, and that’s the tower that Dumbledore falls from and dies. The other area of significant change is the front entrance: The courtyard in front of that was not there at the beginning, and then it got bigger and bigger and bigger until in the film that we haven’t seen yet, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it’s big enough to stage the final Battle of Hogwarts.
The film’s official launch is tomorrow, July 15.
Images: Jaap Buitendijk