MinaLima Panel at CCXP Cologne: Working Internationally for “Fantastic Beasts” and Opening a Shop in Germany
During the second day of CCXP Cologne, MinaLima had a panel at the Thunder Theater, where they chatted about their work in the Harry Potter films, explained the importance of graphic design in film, and touched on the new challenges that they are excited to be embarking on.
Starting off, Miraphora Mina explained how it all started for them, with her getting booked for a then unknown film about a boy wizard. She explained that her journey, just like Harry’s did, started with the Hogwarts letter, since that was the very first prop she created for the films. For the making of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, she got to work with Eduardo Lima for the first time, and what started off as a one-month partnership has continued for years. Now, almost 20 years later, they are still working together.
After all this time, and I still can’t get rid of him.
Eduardo then explained to the audience that they had never expected it to continue for so long. When they founded their company, MinaLima Design, in 2010, just after the last Harry Potter film, they never thought they’d work for the Wizarding World again. But Universal called, so they ended up doing more work for the theme park, and by the time they had finished working on that project, it had already been announced that there would be three new Fantastic Beasts films. They are delighted to still be working in J.K. Rowling’s magical world.
Miraphora and Eduardo both brought their favorite prop to the panel. Miraphora showcased the Marauder’s Map, which she loved creating since it required her to think as the four boys who came up with the map. Eduardo brought an edition of the Daily Prophet, talked about the difficulty of picking the right typography for the paper, and explained that they chose a font for the text body that is particularly hard to read because those are written by him and Miraphora. Eduardo also said that Rowling had read some of their stories when she visited the set and had given them their stamp of approval.
They explained that designing for the Wizarding World was very exciting and fun and that all the props for the Weasleys’ joke shop had to be redone at some point because it just was too perfect and wouldn’t have fit something that two wizarding boys would have come up with. So they went back to consciously make “design errors” in the Weasley products because they fit the raucous twins better.
Eduardo shared with fans that there was a part of working on the Harry Potter films that they didn’t enjoy as much and would find a lot harder to do. Every time the films are in the Muggle world, there had to be props designed as well, and of course, compared to the magical props, those would feel boring to their creative minds.
I called that ‘the Muggle Struggle’!
Miraphora chimed in that working on Fantastic Beasts now, it was much more exciting to do the Muggle parts since it meant creating for a different time, in an international environment. They had been able to travel to both Paris and New York to research the local atmosphere and design as much as possible to be able to re-create that feeling on-screen. Eduardo explained that it was very challenging for Paris because they had to work in a different language as well, but getting a French assistant helped them overcome that language barrier.
When asked by a fan about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film, which might be set in Brazil, Eduardo said that he would love to do design for Rio de Janeiro and that he had already overpromised his family and friends in Brazil that it would be the best work yet. However, he hadn’t yet thought about anything specific that he would like to feature in the film. Miraphora also explained that work on the film wouldn’t start for another couple of months and that they knew nothing. She also remembered that anytime Rowling would come to set during the making of the Harry Potter films and point at a particular prop they created, she would tease that it would become very important in the future but never reveal more, which they both found very frustrating.
At the end of their talk, they told the audience that a year ago, they had done a similar panel in Japan and had asked the audience if they wanted a shop in Japan to buy their MinaLima products, which eventually led to the opening of MinaLima Osaka. Eduardo asked the audience if they would like to have a shop in Germany too, which was met by loud cheering. Although they couldn’t confirm anything yet, they would definitely love to open a shop if the opportunity arose.
CCXP uploaded a video to its YouTube channel in which MinaLima were interviewed for about 20 minutes. The timestamp for their section of the video is 2:43:20–3:04:44.