Stuart Craig Talks Creating the Cave for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Jun 27, 2009

Posted by: SueTLC

HBP Film

The latest installment in the daily Hero Complex Blog from the LA Times to herald the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince features a new interview with production designer Stuart Craig. The award winning designer who is responsible for the sets in the Harry Potter films and is currently overseeing the development and look of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, gave a new interview where he speaks to his designs for various things in HBP, notably the cave scene. Quotage:

Voldemort has hidden a Horcrux
… The construction of that cave, the design of that cave and entrance
is on the ocean in a cliff face beside the ocean. The most spectacular
piece of coastline in these islands is in fact the Cliffs of Moher in the west of Ireland.

So having found the entrance, we thought ‘What should the interior
be?’ Well, stalactites and stalagmites. Yeah, they’re exciting and
sort of interesting formations, but they’re familiar. So we found some
material about a cave in Mexico that has huge quartz crystals in it. So
we began to look into crystal caves … but [we] also discovered that
near Frankfurt in Germany there’s a cave with salt crystals in it, so
we went off there and it was indeed amazing. It was the cave where
Hitler stored all the gold bullion and precious works of art taken from
the European countries that he invaded. There were photographs of
Eisenhower after the war entering this giant salt mine and discovering
all this stuff. But, I’m rambling.

JP: No, no … that’s very cool.

SC: The Horcrux is hidden in a hollow in the middle
of a lake in this cave, and it’s vast. Then came the question about
how much do you build physically and how much would be
computer-generated extensions. We did go quite large, in two quite
large chunks physically — but again, there is a physical limitation
governed by the stage that you’re in. But it is a massive digital
construction.





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