Norm Newberry on Stuart Craig, production designer, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”

Once again, Stuart Craig has immersed us in the world of Harry Potter. With this last installment in Harry’s story, he has beguiled us with his magical visions, inspired by author J.K. Rowling and the directors and writers of this series of engaging films.

It is the role of the production designer to conjure the environment of a story and to help realize that story by engendering a cooperative effort with all the creative members of the film crew so they can deliver the writer and director’s dream. This latest Potter film is one proof of Stuart and his team’s ability to do just that — and pull us along and immerse us in the suspenseful conclusion of this long, exciting story.

In the movie we experience many different places, including Shell Cottage, Diagon Alley, the richly grained marble and glittering golden interior of Gringotts, the somber and foreboding giant trees of the Forbidden Forest, and every nook and cranny of Hogwarts before and after its near destruction by evil forces.

Wow! Craig’s vision of this world is far more awe inspiring than anything we imagined as we read the book. Potter fans, film buffs and plain filmgoers have all enjoyed the enveloping adventure. The film’s last treat, a visit to King’s Cross Station, was not only a coda that reflected the beginning of the story (eight films ago); it’s a great illustration of Craig’s ability to immerse us in reality or the fantasy of the mysterious, transparent, white “King’s Cross Station” of Harry’s final crossroads.

Norm Newberry’s credits include “The Polar Express,” “War of the Worlds” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Tightening the definition
Designers on design
Production designers and art directors comment on the ADG-nominated work of their peers
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