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Review: Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey
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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 21 October 2011 14:45



To say this book is heavy is an understatement but then anything less that purports to detail an 11 year cinematic journey would likely be an exaggeration. The best way I can think of to describe Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey is to liken it to a Harry Potter movie bible. Now I know what you’re thinking; I’ve seen the DVD special features, the behind-the-scenes clips and I’ve read every article that pings up on Google News, what else is there that I don’t know about already? If you think you know it all, think again.


From the never-before-seen photos of the young actors at the beginning of the franchise, to the behind-the-scenes candid images documenting a childhood on a film set, this book delivers new details on nearly every single page. My personal favourites are the polaroid continuity snaps; some of the expressions in them are priceless.


The story of the Harry Potter films is told in a meticulous narrative that has always been impossible for magazines or online outlets. The beauty of a book, compared to a magazine or a website, is the ability to put it down and pick it back up again, meaning that you can hold the attention and interest of a reader that much longer. This allows the author, Bob McCable, to luxuriate in the personal stories that weave together to tell this most magnificent of tales.


For Harry Potter Page to Screen is not just about the actors and how they were cast but how the films came together from a technical point of view. As well as many behind-the-scenes pictures there’s also lots of concept art for you to feast your eyes on, showing the progress from initial sketches through to the sets, props and costumes that ultimately end up on screen.


However the story of the journey through making eight films only takes up half the book. The other half is dedicated to the art of Harry Potter, with a focus on the costumes of each character, set design for all the major locations, all the creatures (detailing contributions from the make-up and effects departments) and artefacts (otherwise known as props).


The final section of the book, aptly called the epilogue, focuses on how the series was wrapped with a special film screened by the crew, displaying shots of a different group of people or person each day with a sign marking how far along they were in the 24/7 shooting schedule. Here you get to see some of those shots, giving you a feel for the family atmosphere that is often talked about by the cast and crew.


Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, out 25 October, 2011, can be pre-ordered at and