“Harry Potter Film Vault” series review and giveaway

Jul 30, 2020

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

Book Reviews, Books, Contests, Fun - Contests

The lushly illustrated Harry Potter Film Vault series from Insight Editions is now complete with the imminent release of Volume 12 on 4 August. Those who have been collecting each book in the set will have noticed by now that the gold decoration on the spines of the books forms the Hogwarts crest when the volumes are displayed in order on your bookshelf.

Each volume in the Film Vault series gives us a detailed, behind-the-scenes look at creating some aspect of the wizarding world for the films. Volume 12 spotlights “Celebrations, food, and publications of the wizarding world”. The cover shows guests arriving at The Burrow for Bill and Fleur’s wedding, mingling under the lavender and grey striped tent on the lawn. The scene appears light-hearted and festive but we all know it represents a very brief calm before a very big storm.

Celebrations and food go together like Pumpkin Pasties and Butter Beer, and we saw feasts aplenty at Hogwarts, celebrating the start and end of term, Halloween, and the launch of the Triwizard Tournament. Volume 12 provides us with some close-up shots of the food and drink on the table in the Great Hall that we could only see in passing whilst watching the films. Did you know that breakfast cereals served in the Great Hall included Cheeri Owls and Pixie Puffs? I had also missed the lines of white chocolate mice scurrying along the tables at the Triwizard Tournament welcome feast, and I enjoyed being able to study the details in Bill and Fleur’s wedding cake and the Yule Ball ice sculpture. There’s also a close-up shot that reveals the beautiful embroidery on Hermione’s beaded bag.

After celebrations and food, the last volume segues into magical publications with a shot of Xenophilius Lovegood’s printing press for The Quibbler. All of the printed materials in the films, including The Daily Prophet, textbooks, wanted posters, Muggle-Born Registration forms and Ministry propaganda leaflets, were designed by the stupendously talented graphic design duo known as MinaLima. Each piece is thoroughly detailed, even if we only get to see it for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it seconds on screen. The reproductions in this volume let you appreciate the effort and attention to detail, as well as the cohesive style created by modelling the materials on Soviet era propaganda.

Each volume contains a frame-able print taped to the inside back cover. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but let’s just say that the print in Volume 12 is the cover of a wizarding publication we all know and love for its, ah, refreshingly iconoclastic perspective.

Previous volumes gave insights into the creation of myriad features of the films:

Volume 1: Forest, lake, and sky creatures (even knowing they are props, the Acromantula are huge and scary)

Volume 2: The Leaky Cauldron (we admit to being a little biased here!), Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express, and the Ministry (there’s a fully furnished interior for Quality Quidditch Supplies that we never get to visit in the films)

Volume 3: Horcruxes and the Deathly Hallows (schematics and close-ups of details of ring, cup, and diadem that we don’t get to see in the films)

Volume 4: Hogwarts students (plus a few visitors from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons)

Volume 5: Creature companions, plants, and shapeshifters (Fawkes! Secrets of Animagi! Even Arnold the Pygmy Puff!)

Volume 6: Hogwarts Castle (including Hagrid’s Hut and the Forbidden Forest)

Volume 7: Quidditch and the Triwizard Tournament (did you know that the stadium for the dragon task was composited onto Glen Inverness for dramatic effect?)

Volume 9: Goblins, house-elves, and dark creatures (with Fast Facts about everyone from Grawp to Cornish Pixies)

Volume 10: Wizarding homes and villages (featuring interior shots from The Hog’s Head to Grimmauld Place)

Volume 11: Hogwarts professors and staff (which explains how they got Umbridge’s costume to smoke after the Weasley fireworks display)

You can pre-order Volume 12 and any of the other volumes that you need to complete your collection here.

Thanks to the generosity of Insight Editions, Leaky is able to give away a complete set of all 12 volumes to one lucky winner. To enter, send an email to [email protected] by midnight EDT on 10 August telling us which aspect of the magical world you are most curious to read more about. Winner will be chosen and notified on 11 August.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.