Vanity Fair Profiles Stuart Craig’s Oscar-Nominated Work in “Harry Potter”


Feb 18, 2012

Posted by John Admin

As part of a series leading up to next Sunday’s Academy Awards, Vanity Fair is “pulling back the curtain on awards season’s most visually enticing
films, revealing exclusive details of the creative process of art
directors, costume designers, makeup artists, cinematographers, and
more.” Their latest profile piece is on Stuart Craig, production designer for all eight “Harry Potter films,” who is nominated alongside set decorator Stephenie McMillan for best art direction.

Craig discusses the evolution of Hogwarts’ appearance throughout the films, filming on location versus building a set, and how he put together the Room of Requirement. Craig also notes that a backdrop had to be painted for the Diagon Alley set in preparation for the opening of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

Ironically, in the aftermath of the films, some of the sets that were
rendered in C.G.I. have had to be physically re-created. For instance,
for the Warner Bros. studio tour in London, Craig says, “Diagon Alley
had a green screen at both ends in the later films. On the studio tour,
to see Diagon Alley with a green screen at the end is pretty
disappointing, and so we have painted a backing in forced perspective,
so that at least looking one way down the street, the illusion is

To read the complete piece, visit this page. Thank you to Joel and Valerie for owling with the news!

19 Responses to Vanity Fair Profiles Stuart Craig’s Oscar-Nominated Work in “Harry Potter”

Avatar ImageLunaLuver says: Wow, Diagon Alley was all a green screen? I should have known but still, its looked wonderfully real. That was nice they painted a backdrop for the tour. :)Avatar ImageLunaLuver says: Oh wow, I'm first!! XD That hasnt happened to me in ages, yay! LolAvatar ImageValeria-Johanna says: @LunaLuver, it wasn't all a green screen. The central part was physically built, but it was continued into the distance with the aid of green screen.Avatar Imagemoglet says: @LunaLuver, Diagon Alley, including Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was actually mostly a set, but they cannot build everything up high enough and the green screen allows them to add the tops of the buildings which was especially needed with Gringotts, and also Diagon Alley is meant to be quite long, and that certainly can't be done without green screen as there is a limitiation on space.Avatar Imageakcorr says: It's about time these get credit for this sort of thing. All the environments have looked fantastic in every single film. Well deserved!Avatar Imagekatelyner123 says: It is amazingly realistic; I would have never guessed it was green screened. Amazing and a job well done to the creators! ~Forever HP!Avatar ImageWeenyOwl says: It's a good thing that the scenes in the Room of Requirement went by so fast in the film, because looking at the stills of the piles of furniture just got me thinking, 'Why so many chairs? Why would Hogwarts students with guilty consciences be hiding chairs, of all things?'Avatar Imagejhangelgurl says: Seemed real to me. I'm glad Stuart was able to build the backdrop to make fans happy. Avatar ImageHermione_Granger_Weasley says: Yeah for awards!Avatar Imagekyrstalkris says: CONGRATS! I do try and appreciate whatever we've got but I still feel like Harry Potter was snubbed. Anyway, an award well deserved!Avatar Imagemoglet says: They had loads of things in the Room of Requirement, but of course to make huge stacks of things meant buying lots of furniture.But they had lots of interesting stuff too. Did anyone notice the Troll Armour when watching the film? I have a picture of the troll armour (at Leavesden but not in the RoR), absolutely dwarfing me, I think I might use it as my avatar.Avatar Imagezaucwrkexun says: Yay, they definately deserve this award like they do any other! Any other awards for HP- keep 'em coming! :DAvatar Imagepotion wiz Ms. Potter says: if they have Diagon Alley, i have Missmore Alley. thank you for inspiring me build my page ÏŸ ÏŸ ÏŸAvatar Imagekatelyner123 says: Congrats to Harry Potter once again for winning a well-deserved award! I would LOVE to go to the tour in London and that is probably my number one place in the world I would like to go to right now! Like Grindylow_101 said, keep 'em coming!Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: They deserve this kind of recognition!Avatar ImageLunaLuver says: I knew Weasley Wizard Wheezes was a realy set, you can tell by looking at it it had to be. Green screen can really be a tricky thing, you never know whats real and what isnt.Avatar ImageValeria-Johanna says: Leaky missed Alan Rickman's birthday yesterday! Lucky we remembered over in the Rabid Badger.Avatar Imagehewy says: Stuart Craig is a genius and deserves any and all awards that he gets!!! We will be watching.Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: They lost!

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