“Harry Potter” fans rejoice! We have some behind-the-scenes stories from the set of the first movie!
Ever since the last Harry Potter movie graced our screens we’ve been itching for more magical things (Fantastic Beasts we eagerly await your arrival!), and Entertainment Weekly just let us know that director Chris Columbus shared some insider production stories from the set of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on the EW Harry Potter podcast.
One of the first things Columbus shares is about the poltergeist Peeves, and how they had trouble translating him into a CGI character. He was ultimately cut from the film, but Columbus tells us that the “footage exists,” and “there’s the potential that someday we could put it back together if people really were that interested.” Ummmmm YES please!
He also gets into how difficult and dangerous it was to light the Great Hall with hanging candles.
"We designed the Great Hall with hundreds of candles that were on monofilament strings and all of them were lit with flames and they were hanging. Those flames were…causing the candles to drop, so suddenly right before we were supposed to shoot all of the kids coming into the Great Hall, candles are dropping left and right.
Columbus also shares a regret about Hagrid’s height, and the challenge of making him appear taller and heavier:
“I always thought Hagrid should be a little bigger. Believe it or not, we didn’t have the resources or the money to actually create a CGI version of Hagrid for the first couple of films, so we had a rugby player in a gigantic Hagrid suit who worked in the wide shots for us. He was actually walking there with the kids, and then we did forced perspective sets for Robbie (Coltrane) and created an image of Robbie being much bigger than he was, but I always thought Hagrid should be about two feet taller and about 100 pounds heavier.
Oh, and the cast and crew would play baseball and basketball in their downtimes, which is just incredibly cute.
“I had Warner Bros. send me a backstop and a bunch of baseball equipment, so we built a baseball field outside of Leavesden and the cast and crew would play baseball everyday if it were nice, and if not, we built a basketball court inside of Leavesden with a huge Hogwarts painting in the middle. I remember Richard Harris dressed as Dumbledore cheering me on when I was playing basketball. That may be one of the more fun moments I’ve had in my life.
OMG IT’S JUST TOO MUCH!
Thank you EW for bringing us this insider info! Our inner child/Harry Potter geek is loving it. And now we’ll just have to have an HP marathon to tide us over until Fantastic Beasts comes out.
FYI you can literally go into iTunes and subscribe to EW’s Binge. The whole first season is about Harry Potter!