'Potter' staff must convince bake-off what isn't real

Tim Burke, visual effects supervisor; Tim Alexander, visual effects supervisor; Nicolas Aithadi, visual effects supervisor; John Richardson, special effects supervisor

Part of the challenge in presenting “Half-Blood Prince” is simply making sure the voters understand how much of what they see onscreen is visual effects, including background replacements ans set extensions standing in for location shooting Tim Burke says, “It’s not obvious this has all been vfx work.”

The attack on London, for example, is digital. “People don’t quite believe we did that. That overall is the main angle,” Burke notes.

Major scenes to be showcased include the “pensieve,” which retrieves memories with an ink-in-water effect, and the cavern sequence where Harry and Dumbledore face death to retrieve a “horcrux.” “That’s a major technical achievement,” Burke emphasizes.

“We’ve managed to blend the effects into the story and the drama in such a way that the whole world is a believable place. But when you stop and think about it, you go, ‘Wow, how did they do that?’ “

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