HOGWARTS CASTLE MODEL
The jewel in the crown of the art department is the intricately detailed model of Hogwarts castle. Built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the model's every courtyard, tower and turret were filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create unforgettably realistic views of the magical school. Footage of this meticulously built model was combined with digital effects to create unforgettably realistic views of the exterior of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A team of 86 artists and crewmembers built the first version of Hogwarts castle for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. To make Hogwarts appear even more realistic, artists rebuilt miniature versions of courtyards from Alnwick Castle and Durham Cathedral, where scenes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were shot. The Hogwarts landscape is inspired by the Highlands of Scotland, including the regions of Glen Nevis, Glen Coe and Loch Shiel. Model makers installed more than 2,500 fibre optic lights, which simulate lanterns and torches and even gave the illusion of students passing through the hallways. Artists also used real gravel for rockwork and boulders, and real plants for landscaping and trees. The work on the model was so extensive that if one was to add all the man hours that have gone into building and reworking the model, it would come to over 74 years.
The Art Department were responsible for designing and creating thousands of props that helped to bring the visual world of Harry Potter to life on screen. Graphic design duo MinaLima designed an array of props from Potions textbooks to wizarding sweet packaging and issues of the Quibbler. By the end of the Harry Potter film series, Graphic Design duo MinaLima had designed over 40 editions of wizarding world newspaper, The Daily Prophet. Each copy was aged by dipping it into diluted coffee and left to dry before ironing out the wrinkles.
WHITE CARD MODELS
During the filming process, before the actual set construction began, the Art Department would create a white card model of the set/location. These models helped the director and production designer look at size and scale and determine camera angles. To plan shots and camera movement filmmakers inserted a tiny camera called a lipstick camera into the model to get a perfect point of view.
Dozens of concept artists, illustrators and art directors created every environment, prop and character of the Harry Potter film series. Each design went through several different iterations as it was tweaked and finally perfected. Lead by Production Designer Stuart Craig, the Art Department designed 588 sets across the Harry Potter film series.