Harry Potter: Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley

Harry Potter: Film Wizardry is a stunning coffee table book. I started ogling it on my first visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour – where its pullouts are assembled and displayed in full glory – treated myself to it on my second visit, and finally read it after my third. It chronicles the behind-the-scenes process of recreating the locations, characters, creatures and props from the books to the big screen, and is a visual feast in the process.

The biggest draw for me was the array of pullouts – replicas of everything from Harry’s first Hogwarts letter to the Marauders Map, Honeydukes packaging and a Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes catalogue. I’m now longing for a display cabinet to arrange them all in (although fighting the Madam Pince-esque voice insisting that removing the pullouts is vandalism!)

The arrangement of images and text is spot on, as is only to be expected given that the layout was designed by the same Minalima team who provided graphic design for the films. New tidbits and treats burst out of every page. I lost count of the number of times I interrupted friends and family with ‘did you know this obscure fact? How about this? Or this?’

The only let-down is the lack of completeness. I believe the book was originally published before Deathly Hallows completed filming, and was later revised and expanded to include a few pages on the last film. Sadly, these pages feel rushed and repetitive, and the text is drier and less interesting than the rest of the book.

Overall though, Harry Potter: Film Wizardry is a beautiful book, and a brilliant addition to any Harry Potter collection.

[Read from 24-27 July 2016]

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