1. The graphics team made up all of the ads in the Daily Prophet.
“In Order of the Phoenix there is a sequence when the camera goes inside the Daily Prophet. So we had to make adverts like it was a real newspaper. Sometimes we were surprised that they let us get away with the funny things that we wrote. Now you can see lots of those ads in Diagon Alley. You can see the fun bus — that was an advert in the Daily Prophet.”
2. In fact, many of the things that make the Wizarding World so special weren’t even created by J.K. Rowling.
“The thing in the books is that Rowling never really gave too much detail. I think she was very clever and very intelligent. She let you create your own world. She knows exactly what is there. She knows what is behind the Dark Forest. Sometimes production would have to call her and say, ‘OK Jo, what is behind the Dark Forest? We have to design this and we need to know if it’s to the left of the castle and is it near the Lake?’ She’s the one that knows exactly where things are. But in the same way that she let you [her readers] decide, we had to decide.”
“The set designer may say, ‘We have this set so we need 20 posters in the background,’ and we’re in charge of creating these from scratch. For the Weasley products we got to do the same. I think in the book there were only seven or eight products that she mentioned and we had to create a three-floor shop and had to populate that shop with lots of products. So we had to create new ones. And it’s so funny to see now, people can purchase them at the shop and we invented that while having a coffee.”
3. More than 300 graphics were made for the films.
And if you count pages from the Daily Prophet individually, it’s much more. Each issue had almost 20 pages.
4. But the most intensive was the Daily Prophet.
It took over two weeks to make one edition and there were more than 30 editions.
“Each was absolutely different and I did it all in Photoshop. It was much easier to move things around and lay things out in layers. It was easy to move the big blocks of texts.”
5. It’s filled with hidden gems.
The security editor was Eduardo Lima’s mom and he’d often set things in his small village of Caxambu, Brazil.
6. The overall look and tone of the newspaper transformed throughout the movies to reflect the dark changes in the Wizarding World.
You may have noticed that the Daily Prophet is more whimsical in the first two films than in the rest. This was a conscious decision.
“In the third one [Prisoner of Azkaban], we start to get a little bit more serious and black with the addition of Alfonso Cuarón [the director], who did that very well. So of course we had to do that with the props and the Daily Prophet as well. We kept the same style in the third movie, and in number four [Goblet of Fire] it was a little bit of Let’s not give that away, but it’s coming. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when the Ministry of Magic takes over, we wanted it to be all propaganda posters and that was kind of the look behind it and the direction as well. It needed to be much bolder; the font had to be stronger. This makes people a little bit more worried. They start to wonder if what they read is true.”
7. The designers weren’t allowed to put dates on the Quibbler.
They would use runes to say things like “sun in Virgo and a moon in Cancer” just to give some type of understanding about the time.
8. All the writing on the Marauder’s Map was hand-drawn.
Mira Mina, Eduardo’s partner, handmade all the maps. She had multiple versions since some would be destroyed or folded differently. This also meant that they could incorporate new bits of the cast throughout the films.
9. But these feet were not.
When asked about the feet, Lima said he’d seen them but it was not his handy work.
“I don’t know the story behind it. We didn’t do that. Maybe it was the post-production people. I think maybe it’s not true? On that sequence, they wanted the map so we had to make Mina’s handwriting into a proper font.”
10. Rowling liked The Tales of Beedle the Bard so much that she asked for the movie’s copy before it was even done.
Lima and Mina’s team made a really complicated embossed copy with gold foiling, a nice tooling on the back, and laser-cut illustrations — but you never get to see these details in the films. Originally the scene was supposed to start with the camera going into the book to tell the story of the three brothers, but the filmmakers went a different direction. But it wasn’t all a lost cause. When Rowling saw the book she said, “I need to have one. I’m sorry I can’t wait,” and took a copy right from Eduardo’s hands.
11. The perfume ad from Half-Blood Prince took the longest of any graphic prop to make.
It took the longest to clear the name.
“We tried, like, 150 names and the only one that we could clear was Divine Magic, and I’m not even sure how that got through. Then they had to figure out the model. When I did the layout I used Gisele [Bündchen] because I thought, OK let’s just put that there. But of course, they couldn’t get her to do that. It wasn’t important to get someone like her. It was fun because all the producers and directors had different ideas of what should be there — a black woman, a ginger, a blonde woman. It took ages to get there. Until one day we said, ‘It’s shooting in 10 days we need to pick someone.’ But the biggest problem was that no one really wanted to make Muggle stuff. Honestly, everything that was Muggle was more difficult because everyone was like, ‘Ugh, Muggle stuff is so boring!’”
12. The graphics team had to create over 100 proclamations for Umbridge.
The team was only given 10 proclamations that would be focused on. They had to make up the rest and each had to have more than one copy for when they all fell to the floor.
13. Emma Watson used to borrow supplies from the graphics studio, but never returned anything (oops).
“Emma used to come to our office. They used to have a proper school there for the child actors. They always had art projects and Emma would come in and be like, ‘Can I borrow some ribbons and some paper?’ She never would bring anything back (laughs), but she was really small and sweet. She would sometimes ask for advice on how to cut or draw something.”
14. And Helena Bonham Carter used to come hang out in full costume while she was waiting to go to set.
“She used to come to us and ask us, ‘Do you have this paint?’ and ‘What are you working on?’ Finally she was like, ‘Why don’t I come here more often?’ Sometimes the actors had to wait two or three hours to start working and she said she’d have much more fun here than in her trailer. But if she was there then we would stop working and just talk to her. She was in full costume with the teeth and the hair.”
15. Fans can expect some incredibly amazing details in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The producers for the film haven’t started to hire their crew yet (although David Yates is expected to come back), but if MinaLima have anything to do with it, it’ll be just as magical as the Harry Potter films. Also, this is the first time we’ll see a glimpse of the American Wizarding World!
Click here to view more of MinaLima’s work.
This article originally misidentified “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.” We are sorry, Potterheads.
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