'Harry Potter': 25 Surprising Facts About Set Miniatures and Franchise Offspring
A lot can happen in 10 years, just ask the cast and crew of the Harry Potter movies. Over the course of the franchises eight-film run, 588 sets have been created and 35 babies have been born to the art department alone.
The Harry Potter decade culminates Friday with the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, the final installment of the profitable series.
The Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy says the finale is "an exciting and, to put it mildly, massively eventful finale that will grip and greatly please anyone who has been at all a fan of the series up to now."
In honor of the upcoming release, here are some juicy facts and figures about the Potter phenomenon direct from the studio, the filmmakers and the crew.
READY, SETS, GO!
1. Number of sets created – 588.
2. Biggest set – the Ministry of Magic.
3. Longest Standing set – The Great Hall, used from the first film till the last.
4. One year a storm with 100mph wind gusts took the roof off A-Stage and the Flight Shed at Leavesden, but none of the exterior sets sustained any major damage.
5. Hagrid’s Hut was taken down at Leavesden and transported and rebuilt 2000 ft. up a mountain in Scotland for scenes in Prisoner of Azkaban.
6. A 1/3 miniature of The Burrow was created just to be burnt down, when Death Eaters set it on fire in Half-Blood Prince.
THE ART OF REPRODUCTION
7. The Harry Potter art department contained a team of 58 people working full time. Over 10 years they produced some amazing work, and also 35 babies.
SIZE MATTERS -- POTTER MINIATURES
8. The Burrow took about 14 weeks with eight model makers to make.
9. It took just six minutes to burn the Burrow down.
10. The Burrow is over 20 feet high at a scale of 1:3.
11. The Burrow model had to match the full size set exactly, so everything was replicated, including leaded light windows, curtains and the all of the various set dressing.
12. The miniature version of Hogsmeade had over 20 shop windows filled with tiny window dressing.
13. Hogsmeade was 42 x 24 x 8 ft high at a scale of 1:16.
14. The full-sized version of Hogsmeade built for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was based on the miniature version created for previous films.
15. Hogwarts was 60 x 50 x 30 ft high on a scale of 1:24.
16. The original version took about seven months to create with 40 people working on it.
17. The miniature has been updated over the years due to story requirements.
Each of these updates has taken approximately 3-4 months with about 20 model makers.
THE HOSPITAL'S DIVINE INSPIRATION
18. The Hospital Wing started its life in Chamber of Secrets as the fountain end of the girls' bathroom.
19. It was then revamped into the hospital wing and revamped again for Prisoner of Azkaban, which involved lifting the 45-ton set and rotating the set 90 degees.
20. The backing seen through the windows is scenically painted with cutouts of other parts of the school.
21. Looking down to the far end you will see a 2/3rd scale miniature of the Clock tower.
22. The inspiration for the hospital wing came from the Oxford School of Divinity
23. In the actual school layout, the corridor leading up to the clock tower is in fact a bridge to the clocktower.
24. It took 12 weeks to build.
25. The bedside cabinets were originally made for a WWII film called In Love & War.
Sofia M. Fernandez contributed to this report.