The Muggles of London were out in force this past Thursday, where Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima of MinaLima hosted an special event on "The Graphic Art of the Harry Potter Films."
Set in the grand surroundings of the St. Bride Library, the talk begun with a quick showreel of their graphic design work on Potter, before going to into greater detail on creation of their favorite pieces and the processes behind making them. While some involved pretty mind blowing feats of skill and focus, other effects were achieved using surprisingly basic means. For one, it was certainly reassuring to hear that even experts use the classic coffee trick to age newspapers, albeit on a much larger scale - they would often take over the workshops at Leavesden, filling the corridors with the smell of instant coffee for days on end.
The time and detail put into behind every piece of work is clear, but what was perhaps most surprising was the thought process behind every design, usually informed by lengthy research and particularly inspired by the characters. The Marauder's, Map for instance, a labor of love for Mina, was designed with James Potter & Co. in mind - what would four rather showy boys have created? - while the clashing colors of the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products came from putting themselves in the shoes of two manic teenage boys. Indeed, they considered opening the Half-Blood Prince screenplay and seeing that a wizarding joke shop needed populating as a "designer's dream."
The anecdotes were endless, but one worthy of particular attention has to be the story of the Black family tapestry. Initially designed digitally, the image was then printed and painted over by hand. Completed the day before it was needed on set, it was then put through the fire proofing process. When they arrived on set the next day, however, the tapestry had been washed away by the chemicals, with nothing but a blank page remaining. Some very quick handiwork ensued!
The session ended with a brief Q&A before we were all offered the chance to peruse the props they had brought along, including Hermione's beautiful copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. All in all, it was a thoroughly entertaining and fascinating event for Potter fans and aspiring artists alike. We can only hope they are brought back on board for Fantastic Beasts!
Take a look at the Printorium for more of their designs, and if you are attending LeakyCon this summer, you may just get the chance to meet them yourselves.