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


Jun 27, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

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

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

Avatar ImageRavenclaw98 says: it must have been difficult.Avatar Imagekiwimci says: I've always been a huge fan and quite the champion of Stuart Craig's work. I love the man and what he's given to Harry Potter.Avatar ImageDiamondWings says: That's very Interesting!!! Great!!!Avatar ImageGreat Uncle Algie says: first!Avatar ImageRavenclaw98 says: Neat! second! Avatar ImageMary11_hplvr4l says: wow that's so cool :D its gonna make me enjoy the cave scene so much more!Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Interesting interview...Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: sounds intense!Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: Sounds wicked cool! :)Avatar ImageLloyd says: Cant wait to see!Avatar ImageHarryRichardsPotter says: wow. I'm not sure about the cave scene feel. I'm sure it will be an amazing action scene dont get me wrong. And aparentley Steve Kloves pretty much copied the book word-for-word. But in the trailers everything looks like its been digitally turned blue. Harry and Dumbledore are blue! pure blue! but when the fire comes it turns colourful. BAH! shut up Harry! it's going to be amazing. Love Stuart Craig!Avatar Imagecghambright says: Awesome! Stuart Craig is bloody Brilliant! He always does such an amazing job with the art direction on the HP films. I think he's been nominated for an Oscar like twice for his work on the HP films...he's just so good. And I can't believe that whole cave is Digital! it's amazing! And his design of the orphanage is perfect too. It's got just the right mixture of mystery and Gloom. I love it! I can't wait for HBP!!! Only 18 Days left!! Avatar ImageHagrid 713 says: So many great articlesAvatar ImageHermioneRon4ever says: Sounds amazing!Avatar Imageforgetmenot_007 says: Hmmm...sounds interesting....Avatar ImageMatea says: amazing!!!Avatar ImageKC Nox says: sounds incredible!! Avatar Imagesimos says: Waw! that sounds amazing!Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: cant WAIT for the 15th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Avatar ImageDolemite says: Sounds very cool and expensive.Avatar Imagebengtson_98 says: This would be hard to pull off, Good Job!Avatar ImageCeltise says: wait the cliffs of moher?Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: I am convinced that Stuart Craig is one of the finest set designers of our time; his contributions to the Harry Potter films have been without precedent! That said, I am fascinated by his comments about the crystal caves that Hitler exploited and which he used in the film. Those two did share a lot in common, I suppose.

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