Was the “Seven Harrys” Scene Actual Magic or Visual Effects?
There are so many iconic moments in the Harry Potter films. We’ll never forget the awe of seeing Diagon Alley for the first time or the underwater scenes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. One of the most memorable scenes from the series is when there are seven Harry Potters filling up the Dursleys’ living room.
It takes a lot of work and behind-the-scenes help to make these shots picture-perfect. The “Seven Harrys” scene was no small feat to create. In all the Harry Potter films, this scene alone broke the record for the number of takes it took for one scene. It was a total of 95 takes!
Yes, 95 takes for this amazing scene. Daniel Radcliffe said this made for a “very long day.” Could you imagine doing the same task 95 times in one day, knowing that, if you moved over an extra inch or two, it would make the task useless? The amazing actors and crew of Harry Potter make it look so easy. Each of the actors who turn into Harry did their own performance of the scene while Daniel watched closely and would attempt to mimic their actions. Daniel commented on how surprised he was at getting Emma’s actions down so quickly. His comedic performance as Fleur-Harry still makes us laugh, and his Mundungus-Harry gives off just the right amount of shady vibes. He enjoyed this opportunity to study his coworkers and their performances.
You start to look at people in a very analytical way when you’re kind of studying them. Like, Rupert [Grint] walks with a real wiggle in his hips; you know, it’s actually quite a sexy walk if, you know, if that’s appropriate to say.
Something to this day that still has us questioning if it’s visual effects or actual magic is the morphing and facial expressions on each character’s face while the Polyjuice Potion goes into effect. The production crew used a special ultraviolet makeup that helps capture facial expressions. Ten years ago when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was filmed, this technology was brand new. The makeup gives each person a Voldemort-esque look, which can be a little unnerving. Almost 30 cameras were used to capture these expressions from all angles. Once it was filmed, the special effects team blended all the shots together and made a seamless transition for each character. The excitement from everyone is contagious as you watch the behind-the-scenes video.
This scene is unforgettable! David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, described this scene as “the film equivalent of actually doing a magic trick.” The effort that went into this scene is unimaginable, but it created a phenomenal moment that all fans were excited to see on the big screen. Watch the magic happen again.
A moment of comedy, excitement, and overall amazing acting still makes us feel like we’re watching the scene for the first time. It still might take some convincing for others that this was visual effects instead of actual magic. Which not-Harry was your favorite to see Daniel create?