Cinesite Ensures Harry Potter Goes Out With A Bang

As we might have expected, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has stormed the global box office, earning $481.5m worldwide in its first weekend. The UK played its part, delivering a record-breaking £23.8m and 4m admissions.

Warner Brothers is now predicting HP7 Part will be the first billion-dollar box office Harry Potter film. Commenting, Warner Bros president of international distribution Veronika Kwan-Rubinek said: “Harry Potter is truly a cultural phenomenon the world over. Whether in German, French, Japanese, Russian, or any language, international audiences have embraced the Harry Potter films over the years, with the powerful finale punctuating just how special the property is.”

Anyone who has seen the run of HP films will have been suitably impressed by the standard of the vfx. A key contributor to this process was UK-based Cinesite which reckons to have created nearly 2000 shots during the 8-part franchise.

According to Cinesite, one of its biggest challenges in HP7 Part 2 was “creating an intricate digital marble staircase environment, which had to appear in various stages of destruction throughout the film, in varying lighting conditions, all seamlessly integrated into the practical set piece, which was shot at Pinewood studios.”

As with HP7 Part 1, Cinesite again replaced Ralph Fiennes’; nose area with Lord Voldemort’;s snake-like snout. Because Voldemort features prominently in the film Cinesite had to generate a large number of shots. New wand effects were also created for various scenes. They included “fiery whips and explosive shields for MacGonagall’;s confrontation with Snape, chains that Harry fires at a Deatheater, an inky spell fired by Ron at another Deatheater, and a wand bolt deflection that destroys part of the CG set.”

Other Cinesite highlights include the animated canvas oil paintings and a Patronus doe, conjured from a swirl of ribbons from Snape’;s wand.

“We’;re very grateful and proud that we’;ve had the opportunity to work on every film in the Harry Potter franchise,” said Antony Hunt, managing director, Cinesite. “With each installment we’;ve created increasingly complex effects, culminating in our work on this film. The franchise has had a tremendous effect on the UK visual effects industry and it has certainly helped us evolve into the diverse, creative company we are today.”

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