New Videos Break Down ‘Deathly Hallows’ Special Effects

Jan 07, 2017

Posted by: Dawn Johnson

Film Awards, Films, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Honors/Awards, Interviews, Movies, News

It’s been over five years since fans were entranced by the movie magic of the final chapters in the Harry Potter series. But the lure of the wizarding world remains powerful, continuing to mesmerize and intrigue viewers with their outstanding special effects.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I opened in 2010, followed a year later by the Deathly Hallows Part II. Both films received Oscar nominations, and Deathly Hallows Part II won the BAFTA award for Best Special Visual Effects.

A look at the two videos which recently surfaced online reveals why. They offer only a glimpse of the scope of the special effects employed, but they highlight the attention given, not only to the creation of broad-scale environments and action sequences, but also to the smallest of details.

The first video gives a break down of some effects used in Deathly Hallows Part I. Two major inclusions are Harry’s desperate underwater fight with the cursed locket and Voldemort’s raiding of Dumbledore’s tomb to procure the Elder Wand.

The second video covers effects used in Deathly Hallows Part II. Notable inclusions are Rowena Ravenclaw, the opening of the golden snitch, and the boathouse.

It’s easy to watch the films and forget how much behind-the-scenes work goes into perfecting them for the big screen.  Creating the wizarding world always presented a unique challenge, but the end result looks so real, fans become immersed immediately!

In 2012, visual effects supervisor Tim Burke spoke with Studio Daily following the BAFTA win. He commented on what set Deathly Hallows Part II apart from the other Harry Potter films:

It was more of a spectacle. It was the final chapter of the saga, the death of Voldemort, the battles. We’d never been able to create sequences on that scale before. Before, the films had been fairly contained. This gave us an epic sense of the world around Hogwarts rather than inside Hogwarts.

He also considered the perception that their work in Deathly Hallows had been done before, leading some to overlook the remarkable nature of the effects:

“Some people think we were doing the same thing over and over again. Talking paintings. Wand effects. So, I think perhaps there was a sense with some people that we were doing the same thing every time. Hopefully, the last film showed a bigger world no one had seen before, and brought so many CG characters and creatures into the storytelling. The visual effects were more obvious without being live action with magical effects on top.”

Leaky also covered an earlier interview with Studio Daily, which came out after Deathly Hallows Part I. In that interview Burke discussed some of the effects challenges faced in creating the film. He also commented on the final installment, which had yet to be released. He said:

“I think it’s going to be a roller-coaster ride. There’s an incredible pace to it. The audience won’t be able to take a breath. I hope it will be spectacular, as exciting as everyone expects.”

Oh, it was. It was.

To read the full Studio Daily interview with Tim Burke, including his favorite shots in the film, head to this link.



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.