Harry Potter: Page to Screen
About this deal
The Good & The Bad: I read another book on a *very* similar topic earlier this year, Harry Potter Film Wizardry. You might ask what the difference between them is, and the surface answers would be size and the fact this book encapsulates the final film, while the other (rushed out for last year's holiday gift-giving season) did not. But on a more realistic level, this is a book for a student of the films, not a fan. You have to have a real interest in production and art direction (which I'd say I somewhat do...but not quite to this degree) to really appreciate the final detail included here.
Anyone interested in this field of fantasy art should invest in this beautiful, rich source of inspiration. 5 out of 5." --Imagine FX There are exclusive photographs of the actors and the crew. There's a list of the actors' heights at the start of the franchise, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. There's sketches of Dobby and Kreacher and Quidditch. There are concept arts. There are costumes. There are character references. This book is what happens when someone converts all the behind-the-scenes portion of the DVDs into writings on the printed papers of a hardbound tome. (And the DVD's extra features still can't compete with even half of the book.) The Bottom Line: A wonderful addition to any diehard Potterhead or avid movie fan's collection - but not an incredibly *necessary* one.Harry Potter: The Character Vault / Harry Potter: The Creature Vault / Harry Potter: The Artifact Vault
Really, really cool behind-the-scenes information about the production of the Harry Potter movies. I learned so much about the Harry Potter universe, the actors, and the way movies are made. Like the fact that Mafalda Hopkirk was played by Sophie Thompson, the younger sister of Emma Thompson, and Bill Weasley was played by Brendan Gleeson's son Domhnall. And that the prop crew bought sixteen Ford Anglias from around the country to use in filming. That most of the amazing props and sets were really physically made, with animatronics to make them move—like the Whomping Willow, the doors to the Chamber of Secrets, Aragog, the basilisk's head and 25 feet of its body, etc. The wizard's chess scene was done entirely in real life—the only effects they added digitally were some extra dust and debris for the explosions. They built those giant pieces and actually blew them up on-set. The books is lavishly illustrated from production images both in front and behind the scenes - it shows a very intimate side to the films and the people who created them which is rarely seen especially on such film considering the huge budgets and massive attention they were drawing.The parts where they were putting together towers and parts for the school was just amazing. I was so enthralled with all of these things. It certainly makes me want to get out the blu rays and have my own Harry Potter day :) J. K. Rowling's Wizarding World: Movie Magic Volume One: Extraordinary People and Fascinating Places / Volume Two: Curious Creatures / Volume Three: Amazing Artifacts
It was fascinating to read what each actor thought of their own character-- Fiona Shaw had the most keen insights into her character of Mrs. Dursley that has sparked within me a desire to revisit the early HP novels and pay closer attention to the lesser-focused Dursley dynamic between the matriarch and her nephew (that is often overshadowed by the more comic relationship between Dudley and Harry). There are concept art in the book as well, and they are great. There are designs for Dobby, dragons, props, environment art, etc. This is the only book where you can see them because there aren't any Harry Potter art books. I was a bit reluctant to read this at first because I was scared the book would give away too much information and then the movies would lose its magic, if it makes sense. But I’m so glad I started reading it, it’s incredible everything the cast and crew did to bring to life this little and beautiful thing that is Harry Potter.
Daniel Radcliffe wasn't even going to try out for the role of Harry Potter; fortunately for him, his family ran into one of the producers at an opera and talked his parents into letting him audition How I Came To Read This Book: I believe I first saw it in Entertainment Weekly and thought it'd be a good fit for my blog, so I requested a review copy.