With the intention of seeing how the visual world of the Harry Potter films was created, I visited Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London and looked at the process. Architectural drawings, model mock ups, finished art pieces and a completed Hogwarts castle were on display and I was able to track the process of creating a 3 dimension capriccio from start to finish.
With respect to the design of Hogwarts production designer Stuart Craig states: ‘An early decision was not to make it whimsical, not to make it a fairy-tale castle, but to make it heavy, enduring, and real. Here is a story about an English public school, so we made it as much like one as we possibly could.’ (Stuart, 2012). Craig, who spent 10 years on Harry Potter and who won the Art Directors Guild award for his work, shares his initial inspiration were ‘the two great universities in England – Oxford and Cambridge.’ It struck me how such quintessentially British institutions became inspiration for what became a wonderful fantasy landscape. European cathedrals, medieval gothic styles were also an inspiration ‘we cherry-picked from everywhere – the best from the universities, the best from the cathedrals – and then slammed them together.’
VANITY FAIR. (2012) Sketch to Still. [Online] Available at https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2012/02/harry-potter-exclusive-art-direction-room-of-requirement-special-effects [Accessed 10/11/17]
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST. (2017) Behind the Scenes of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter [Online]. Available at https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-design [Accessed 10/11/17]
POTTER MORE (2016) Behind the scenes: Designing Hogwarts castle. [Online]. Available athttps://www.pottermore.com/features/designing-hogwarts-castle
McBabe, B (2011) Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey. London: Titan Books