A No-Maj Ollivander: “Fantastic Beasts” Wand Designer Describes Process
In its tantalizing and yet not-too-informative way, Pottermore has shared with us another tidbit of information about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – this time concerning the main characters’ wands!
In the most recent post, the Pottermore correspondent describes meeting with Molly Sole, a junior concept designer for the film who was responsible for taking what information was available about Newt, Queenie, Tina, Graves, and all other wand-bearing folk from J.K. Rowling’s screenplay and trying to imagine what their wands might look like.
Sole says of the process,
I know from the Harry [Potter] books that the wizard has to have an affinity with the wand. It picks them. It’s a bit like people and their dogs. I feel like you can see traces of the wand in the wizard and the wizard in the wand. So we had to imagine the feel and the material of the wand as a good partnership with the character.
Although there are no pictures of the wands, Newt’s is described as a “modest wooden wand” – which is supported by the few promotional photos for the film released so far – and Sole says about the thought process behind designing it,
We wanted it to relate somehow to the animal kingdom, but we thought it was sort-of [sic] inappropriate to give him anything that might have a trophy feel to it. We didn’t think he would be into that at all. The main part of this one is wood.
We also learn just a little bit about the processes behind choosing wands for the other main magical characters:
[Alison Sudol] did have a little bit of influence on hers because she really likes Art Deco. We put her taste in that, and it really helped us get the time period, the era, into the design, whereas Tina’s wand is more functional, more understated. David [Yates] didn’t want it to be too jazzy because that wouldn’t suit Tina. We used an antique conductor’s wand for the basis of Graves’s wand.
In one of the photos released late last year by Entertainment Weekly, we do see Queenie’s wand, although not the handle, which is likely where the Art Deco design elements come into play.
In the final part of the article, Sole speaks to the amazing feeling of seeing something you designed the concept for become an actual tangible object:
It’s fantastic. When I saw them for the first time, I just marveled at the detail. When you’re designing, you don’t have endless time to rationalise all of the elements to actually make the thing, so when you finally get to touch it, you’re like ‘oh, guys – you made it [look] so good.’ It’s just amazing to see.
As with most of Pottermore’s posts about the upcoming film, it mostly leaves us wanting more – but we’ll take what we can get! You can read the full post here.
What do you imagine the wands will look like based on the designs described here?