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harry potter

and the

D e ath ly H a llows

hen harry potter and the deathly hallows was published on

july 21 , 2007, the filmmakers were presented with an incredible
challenge : how could they condense this immense bookthe
finale of the entire seriesinto one movie ? although they d
once considered splitting goblet of fire into two films , they
realized that by focusing on the story s essential elements

they could successfully bring Harrys fourth year at Hogwarts to the screen in one movie. Deathly Hallows, however,
contained masses of material crucial to resolving all the intricately intertwined elements of the story.
It was not an easy decision at all, recounts David Barron. When we first read Deathly Hallows, we all thought,
My God, this is a huge book. When producer Lionel Wigram suggested they divide the book into two films, David
Heyman was reluctant.
I was not initially for it. Wed never broken up any of the Harry Potter books, says Heyman. But it became
increasingly clear that if they tried to condense the story into one film, it might run to five or six hours. As Heyman
explains, To condense it to a two-and-a-half- or three-hour film would have meant leaving out so much that it
would compromise not just this individual film but the overall saga, because it is one saga. Its seven books that form
one long story over seven years. There is so much information in the last book, so much resolved emotionally and
practically that we would have had to leave out, it would have meant that resolution would be unsatisfactory.
Even though it meant committing to two more movies rather than one, director David Yates agreed it was the right
choice. It wasnt a big decision for me, says Yates. Basically, David Heyman and David Barron said, We think it
should be two movies. What do you think? I knew Steve Kloves said it should be two movies, and I trust Steves instincts.
If Steve thinks were going to have a problem squeezing it into one script, I trust that we would have a problem.
In fact, At one point during the process, Barron recalls, Steve Kloves said, You know, this should almost be
three films. We tried hard to avoid it, because, of course, we knew that there would be some cynical people who
would say, Ah, Warner Bros. couldnt resist one last dash to the till. That was not it at all. Warner Bros. said to us,
Whatever you decide is creatively the right way to gowell support it.
In the end, the filmmakers determined that the book would become two films. They then decided quickly that
the movies would have to be shot simultaneously, leading to an unprecedented Potter shooting schedule of nearly
eighteen months of continuous filming.
It was the only way to guarantee that we got the entire cast, Barron explains. Its a tough thing to get everybody on board for a schedule that long, but I think it would have been impossible if we said, Okay, well shoot a
movie, well release it, then well come back and shoot another one.
The prospect of shooting two films at once didnt seem to faze the director all that much.
Two things have really helped, Yates explained at the time. The first is, Ive made two of these films before,
so the system is in place and I have a solid understanding of the mechanics that make up the world of Harry Potter.
Secondly, Ive got a great crew, and Ive got a great team. But its not a way I would like to work again, because you

OPPOSITE Rupert Grint (left) and Emma Watson filming a scene during the battle of

Hogwarts, the spectacular conclusion to the series.


TOP David Yates stands in front of the Magic is Might

monument, which replaced the Fountain of Magical
Brethren after the Ministry was claimed by the Death
Eaters. 8 ABOVE A prop reference photo of Bellatrixs
dagger, which she uses to kill Dobby. 8 BELOW Plans for
the construction of Dobbys headstone by Hattie Storey.

split your brain about three different ways. For examplewithin a single day, youre doing a
very big, emotional scene on one set with Robbie Coltrane, where you want to be with Robbie
and guide him. Then Ive got a big scene with two hundred extras on another set, which is
for the other film. And in a water tank at another location, Ive got my first assistant director,
Jamie Christopher, getting everything ready for an underwater scene. So you have to parachute into each situation, keep your notes, and do what you need to do, and then you jump
out and get into the next one. Its an odd, unusual way of working. But it works.
Despite the fact that Kloves had written two scripts and that both films were being shot
at once, the filmmakers had yet to finalize the point in the story at which the first film would
end. In fact, the dividing point between the two films shifted back and forth several times.
The original ending was closer to where Part 1 ends now, explains Heyman, around
the death of Dobby. Then we moved it, and decided that the first film should end with a cliffhanger, with Harry, disguised by the Stinging Jinx, being caught by a group of Snatchers and
taken to Malfoy Manor, where the Death Eaters discover that they do have the real Harry. We
were aware that movies four, five, and six had ended with a deathand we didnt want to
repeat ourselves. When David Yates saw the first cut, he felt that the ending was good, but it
didnt feel as if there was any emotional resolution. You were in the middle of something, and
we wanted the film to still have an ending, even though its Part 1 of a longer story. David
Yates decided to end it with the burial of Dobby and with Harrys resolve to carry on and
defeat the Dark Lord, no matter what.
The audience really liked Dobby, David Heyman continues, but although hed
appeared several times in the books at this point, it had been a while since wed spent any time
with him in the films. We wanted to make sure the audience was invested in him, and that
his death would resonate. So, unlike in the book, Dobby accompanies Kreacher in bringing
back Mundungus Fletcher to Grimmauld Place. We also added a bit more of him to the rescue
at Malfoy Manor, just before we see the knife being thrown by Bellatrix Lestrange. Having
Dobby die in the beginning of Deathly Hallows Part 2 would have diminished that moments
emotional weightas we would have been separated by eight months from having seen him.
David Yates recalls shooting the emotional scene in which the trio buries Dobby outside
of Shell Cottage. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are clawing away at the ground, the director
says. Its the first time these three kids actually bury something. I shot it all handheld and
just let them find their way into the scene without saying, Right, you have to go here for that
shot, and youre supposed to be over there for that shot. None of that. Its a universal human
experience to bury the dead and pay homage, but to see these three iconic characters digging
their first grave was very moving.
David Yates came up with a final beat to the film, which was, as Heyman describes, an
image of Voldemort desecrating Dumbledores tomb and grabbing hold of the Elder Wand.
This added the cliff-hanger, in the sense that you feel, Hes got the most powerful wand in
the wizarding world. Theyre in trouble. Whats going to happen? But it also enables us to
resolve Dobbys involvement in the story.
Yates also saw Part 1 and Part 2 as very distinct movies. In the simplest terms, the first
film would be something of a road movie, leaving the world of Hogwarts far behind for
the majority of the story, while the second film would return to the school as an all-out
war movie.
Each film feels different, the director states. By that I mean [in] shooting the first film,
we used a lot of handheld, vrit-style camera work, and overall its much more naturalistic,
because the kids are out in the real world. Theyre away from the safety and the island of
Hogwarts, so theyre far more vulnerable and, in a way, innocent, which is interesting.
The second film feels more operatic, because there are big battles and big, dramatic
climaxes. Were also back at Hogwarts, which always gives you scale. Im really excited about
each of them. Ones more epic, and the others a little bit more nuanced, as it looks at the
human detail of the trios relationship.

TOP Luna (Evanna Lynch) consoles Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) as he cradles the gravely injured house-elf Dobby. 8 ABOVE Hermione (Emma Watson, left), Ron (Rupert Grint,
center), and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) arrive at Shell Cottage after their narrow escape from Malfoy Manor. The Shell Cottage exterior set was erected on location in Freshwater
West beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

h a r r y p o t t e r a n d t h e d e a t h ly h a l l o w s


TOP LEFT Rupert Grint celebrates his twenty-first

birthday at Leavesden on August 24, 2009, during

the filming of the Seven Potters sequence. 8 TOP
RIGHT From left: Louise Leguen De Lacroix (personal
assistant to Emma Watson), Emma Watson, Sarah
McKenna (personal assistant to Rupert Grint), third
assistant director Eileen Yip, and Rupert Grint on
Freshwater West beach. 8 ABOVE Chanya Button (far
left), Michael Berendt (left), and Daniel Radcliffe
(center) present Emma Watson with a surprise birthday
cake during filming on April 15, 2010, for her twentieth


As the final two films were being made, the cast and crew reflected on the overall
Weve been working together for ten years or so and, over that time, have become a real
family, says David Heyman. As the end draws close, I think we are all aware of how the
family is going to go its separate ways very soon.
For the three young leads, filming the final two Potter films not only marked the end of an
era, in many ways, it also marked the end of their childhoods.
Its something that doesnt seem real at all at the moment, said Dan Radcliffe at one
point in the arduous shoot, and wont until the last day, probably.
There is just that part of you that thinks you might not see that person again. I would
be sad about that happening with anybody on these films, Radcliffe continues. Itll be very
emotional, particularly for me. Lisa Tomblin, my makeup artist, started on the second film,
missed the third and fourth, was on the fifth, and then she started [heading] the hair department on the sixth, and now the seventh. Amanda Knight, my hair stylist, has headed the
makeup department since the first film. Lisas very much like a sort of older sister to me, and
Amanda isand this is not reflective of a difference in their agesmore of a mum to me.
Theres a lot of care and fondness and feeling between not just those people and me, but also
with people all throughout the set.
Will Steggle worked in the costume department for the whole run of the shoot and was
not only Dan and Ruperts dresser, but also became Dans best friend on set.
Im sure when I get in the car on the way home I shall have a tear, Steggle ventures on
the final day of principal photography. Ive been here since August 2000. Dan hadnt long
been eleven, I think, and Rupert was eleven or twelve. Its been a long, long journey and a
great lesson looking after the boys before I had children of my own. I was a single man when
I started these films, and now Im married with three kids!
It really is a great family, and I know everyone keeps saying that, Steggle continues.
Im sure people on the outside might say, Oh, please! But its true. We really are a family
now, and Im sad to see us have to go our separate ways, though Im sure Dan and I will work
together again.
For Rupert Grint, the ending was disconcerting. Its really weird, the actor confesses.
I just cant visualize how its going to really end. I cant imagine not coming here every
day. Its going to take a while to adjust. Im going to miss this place quite a lot, because
its become like a second home. I spend more time here than I do at home, really, which
is quite scary.

Emma Watson was also emotional about the series coming to an end. Im sort of in
denial, really, the actress says. I cant get my head around it. Until they say Emma, youre
wrapped. Thats it. Youre done. We dont need you anymore, I dont think Ill believe it.
Radcliffe was particularly surprised by how emotional it was shooting Harrys final goodbye with the Dursleys. He recalls, It was Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, and Harry Mellings
last scene for the films, and it was the first time that we had to say good-bye to people who
wed been working with from the very first film. That made it a bit of a landmark scene.
After the Dursleys leave, the film offers a bit of comic relief. The Order bursts through
the door of Privet Drive to rescue Harry, Radcliffe continues, and its very much like
The Magnificent Seven. Its the cavalry coming over the brow of the hill. This then leads
into the seven Potters, which is a sequence where Fleur, Hermione, Ron, the Weasley
twins, and Mundungus Fletcher all take Polyjuice Potion and transform into me, which
meant that I had to do impersonations of all those characters impersonating me.
Radcliffe had to shoot the scene portraying each character, including himself. I think
I broke the record for the most number of takes ever done for a scene, because it all counts
as the same shot. Wed shoot one version with me as one of the characters, and then the
camera would stay in exactly the same place, and wed shoot another version with me
as another character. Eventually theyd lay them on top of each other. Each pass I did,
whether Fleur or Mundungus, was part of one shot, and I think we got up to ninety-five
takes on that one. It was a long day!
The thing I was most pleased about was how good I looked in Fleurs costume, Radcliffe
laughs. It has a sort of glam rock feel to it. Well, at least thats what was going on in my head,
and thats what everyone told me to keep me sweet on set.
When each of the seven Harrys pairs up with another member of the Order for their
escape, the real Harry is accompanied by Hagrid because, as Robbie Coltrane quotes, I
brought you here sixteen years ago when you were no bigger than a Bowtruckle. Seems
only right that I should be the one to take you away now.
Harry and Hagrid take off in a modified version of the motorcycle the half-giant used to
bring the infant Harry to Privet Drive. This time, Harry rides along in a sidecar. I cant think
of anybody Id rather be next to in a sidecar than Robbie Coltrane, says Radcliffe. We went
less than about three meters in it, but those three meters were some of the most fun Ive ever
had. Thatd be a great way to come to work in the mornings, although probably very dangerous. Im not sure how Warner Bros. would feel about that, insurance-wise.
After audiences had their final visit to the Dursley home, they made their very first visit
to Hermiones homea scene written especially for the film.
I was charmed that Steve Kloves wrote that, says Watson. I think it really shows the
magnitude of the sacrifice that Hermione and Ron make for Harry, for their friendship, and
for what hes doing. I think the audience will connect with Hermione and her personal story
through this scene, seeing her so vulnerable like that at the beginning of the film.
She has a very difficult decision to make. She knows that by siding with Harry, shes
putting people around her in danger. She knows she has to protect them, and the only way
she can do this is by cutting them off from her. She makes her parents lose every memory of
her, and thats tragic. But shes very brave and very loyal, and she knows that she must do the
right thing.
Emma Watson also knew enough about Hermione to give Stephenie McMillan some
advice on her bedrooms dcor. I remember walking into Hermiones room, and it just
looked too girly. Ive been playing her for so long now, I feel I intuitively know what shed
like and what shed want. Hermione is a voracious reader. Why are there not more books?
I asked. There needed to be books everywhere.

TOP TO BOTTOM Third assistant director Eileen Yip

(right) gives stunt coordinator Greg Powell a hug on
the Privet Drive exterior set. 8 Robbie Coltrane tries
out Hagrids motorcycle. 8 Deathly Hallows Part 1
expanded upon an opening scene in the novel where
Hermione casts a Memory Charm on her parents. 8
In a dramatic visualization of the spell, family
photographs (photoshopped images of a young Emma
Watson with Michelle Fairley and Ian Kelley, the
actors playing her parents) offer a glimpse into the
Granger family past, only to have Hermione disappear
picture by picture.

h a r r y p o t t e r a n d t h e d e a t h ly h a l l o w s


Behind the Scenes

harry times seven

One of the most complex effects in Deathly Hallows Part 1 didnt
include flying creatures or shattering explosions. It was just Harry
Potter, albeit seven of him. Layers and layers of live and computergenerated action were composited together to achieve this startlingand amusingmultiplication.
In order to achieve the scene in which six Order members
morph into Harry after taking Polyjuice Potion, filmmakers utilized the Mova Contour Reality Capture system. First, a thin layer
of UV paint is applied to each of the actors faces. Though invisible to
the naked eye, the Mova cameras recognize the paint and are then
able to pick up the tiny facial details and movements that are unique
to each actor. These shots are then combined to create digital hybrids that will ultimately, once perfected, replace the actors heads.

Its a full CG, close-up character, being driven by a live-action performance, explains visual effects supervisor Tim Burke.
However, the scene would not be complete without Harrys interactions with the other Harrys. To create this comedic sequence,
Dan Radcliffe reenacted the performances in each of the characters
costumes. Dan studied the way each of the actors behaved and then
mimicked their actions, says Burke. The amount of detail he incorporated was incredibleproving that he knew the others very
well. Each pass needed at least ten takes, so we ended up doing up
to seventy takes for each shot. These snippets, filmed in very specifically blocked spots on set, were layered together in the computer.
This live-action time line was then used as reference for a proper
CG pass at the sequence, which eventually became the final scene.
ABOVE Daniel Radcliffe poses for costume continuity photos dressed as (left to right) Fred, Fleur, Mundungus, Hermione, and Ron, after they have taken Polyjuice Potion. The colored tape on

the carpet is to assist with the extremely complicated blocking for the scene. 8


BELOW Concept art by Andrew Williamson of

the seven Harry Potters making their getaway from Privet Drive.

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TOP LEFT A white card model showing giants and humans on the pathway that leads from the courtyard. 8 TOP RIGHT A destroyed part of the castles marble staircase. 8 ABOVE
Stretchers lay in the battered Great Hall to hold the wounded and dying. 8 OPPOSITE TOP Concept art by Andrew Williamson of the battle of Hogwarts. 8 OPPOSITE BOTTOM
Concept art by Andrew Williamson of Hermione, Harry, and Ron together, after the battle has been won. 8 FOLLOWING PAGES Concept art by Andrew Williamson of the burning
Hogwarts (top) and the castle as the smoke clears (bottom).


h a r r y p o t t e r a n d t h e d e a t h ly h a l l o w s