This new photographic exhibition gives fans of the franchise a close look at how the films were created and the people involved in bringing J.K Rowling’s magical world to life.
The Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition is a fascinating experience that offers Harry Potter fans another way to immerse themselves into not only the magical world itself but also the world of film making and all the details that go into creating a film series of this kind.
Filled with not only photographs but also short films involving those involved with the processes of creating the films and opportunities for you to have your picture riding a broomstick in front of a green screen to have your own magical moment and a butterbeer bar to sample the wizard’s favourite drink, this is certainly a family friendly experience that will appeal to those of all ages.
Starting with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and continuing all the way through to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which of course isn’t a film but does round off the exhibition nicely), visitors are given a comprehensive look at how certain key elements of the film were created – in particular some of the main sets. Of particular interest were the various short films dotted throughout featuring interviews with some of those involved behind the scenes, offering those who we don’t see a chance to explain what it was like to work on the film franchise.
This whole display feels like a celebration of film making in general, with the diverse range of photographs on show from film stills to more relaxed images of cast and crew on set giving a real sense of what it was like to work on the Harry Potter films. Yes, while some of the overall quality of the photographs is mixed in places (some look distinctly blurry), I really loved the way in which some of them were blown up and allowed you to feel almost as though you were there – in particular with the empty set photographs which are wonderfully atmospheric and magical in their own right.
It should also be noted that just like at the Warner Bros Studio Tour, there are plenty of friendly and informative guides who are around to share interesting facts and information. Whether this is details relating to the set or stories about making the films – such as Richard Harris who was so convinced by the animatronic Fawkes the Phoenix he thought it was a real bird – there is certainly a lot to be learnt in this experience no matter how much you think that you know about the films. Attention to detail is clear not only in the way in which this exhibition has been displayed but also the level of information that is available for people to discover.
A fascinating look into film making as much as the Harry Potter series itself, this is a nice alternative if you are unable to venture to the Warner Bros Studio tour.
By Emma Clarendon
The Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition is on display at 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden.