Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"It even has miniature owls in the Owlery and hinges on the doors."
March 5, 2012 6:55 PM   Subscribe

A 50 foot wide miniature of Hogwarts used in all of the Harry Potter films will be going on display in London this month. The miniature was designed and built by production designer Stuart Craig.
posted by brundlefly (42 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
What is this, a school of witchcraft and wizardry for ANTS?
posted by elizardbits at 6:57 PM on March 5, 2012 [38 favorites]


I thought everything had gone to CGI. I love that this is a model.
posted by Mavri at 7:04 PM on March 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Wait. All of them? I could have sworn they went through at least 3 or 4 Hogwartses as the directors got bored with the old sets, or needed to add new architectural elements to support plot developments...
posted by schmod at 7:06 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Weirdly it reminds me most of all of the refinery model from Alien.

Oh, and there's an ace Lego set.
posted by Artw at 7:09 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


This makes me really want to go to Durham cathedral.
posted by vacapinta at 7:19 PM on March 5, 2012


schmod: "I could have sworn they went through at least 3 or 4 Hogwartses …"

This.

But you've got to love the randomness of the Daily Fail's comments. Using an article about a production model of Hogwarts to post your rant against Tracey Emin?
posted by Pinback at 7:21 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Weirdly it reminds me most of all of the refinery model from Alien.

Where's the Lego model for that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I go I'm totally going to pretend I'm a giant.
posted by philipy at 7:31 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


ok wait actually those would be some huge and terrifying ants.
posted by elizardbits at 7:32 PM on March 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Lord of the Rings movies by Jackson did an awesome job of using miniatures. Very cool to see it used in the Potter films.
posted by Atreides at 7:44 PM on March 5, 2012


It's a school of witchcraft and wizardry for Dryococelus australis!

I also thought it was a CGI castle and am delighted to have been proven wrong. That time-lapse video of its construction thrills my dollhouses-and-miniatures-loving inner child to her teensy core.
posted by bewilderbeast at 7:47 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


God i wanna play Warhammer on that. ;)
posted by usagizero at 7:53 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I ran across this video of the fortress from Inception (and its detonation). Hooray for practical effects!
posted by zardoz at 8:17 PM on March 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


YOU'RE A WEE MINATURE HARRY
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on March 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


first thing i thought of when i saw that first image
posted by fuzzypantalones at 9:32 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I want this so bad. It's bigger than my house, and much of my neighborhood, for that matter. I have no where to put it, but I want it so much, simply to gaze at for hours on end.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:33 PM on March 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I could have sworn they went through at least 3 or 4 Hogwartses

I wouldn't be surprised if they added elements and details as the series progessed. compare how it looks here and here. In particular, a lot of the roofs on the right half of the castle are different. (as an aside, man that still from the first movie looks like crap! so flat and cut out! ouch)
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:38 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that still from the first movie really a finished frame? I mean, it's been a few years, but that looks surprisingly... shit. The buildings' contrast is wrong and it's very obviously a miniature. I mean, a very good and detailed miniature, but still.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:39 PM on March 5, 2012


oh, and I totally want to see this! I used to work at a VFX company that had a model shop on the ground floor and it was always awesome to see the work they did. they had a mimniature notre dame from this movie that was my favourite
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:42 PM on March 5, 2012


"Troll in the dungeon!"
"There's a giant in an Eddie Bauer shirt at the eastern wall!"
posted by blueberry at 12:34 AM on March 6, 2012


No mention of the anonymous fictional architect?
posted by rongorongo at 1:36 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


You'd ideally need about 25 of those Lego sets, artw, to do Hogwarts justice.

And Brandon Blatcher, here's a start for your Aliens refinery Lego dreams...
posted by Harald74 at 1:52 AM on March 6, 2012


Happened to catch the end of a 'report' (ie massive plug) for the Harry Potter tour on The One Show last night... interesting point was made that a lot of things that people might think were CGI (for example the door to the chamber of secrets) are actually old skool physical effects and models as it allows greater realism and flexibly for the director
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:57 AM on March 6, 2012


That is very cool!
posted by OmieWise at 5:06 AM on March 6, 2012


The only thing that would be better than seeing this in person is being able to bring your Harry Potter action figures with their brooms so that you could fly them around the turrets while going "vroom vroooom".

I don't have any Harry Potter action figures

YET


Also, speaking of laboriously-constructed works of art (in a way), this also from the Daily Fail. There's probably a cute Harry Potter reference or two to be made, but I'm still reeling a bit.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:37 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


ok wait actually those would be some huge and terrifying ants.

Huge and terrifying ant wizards and witches.
posted by eriko at 5:41 AM on March 6, 2012


Thank God for the model Hogwarts, you know? If they didn't have the model Hogwarts they wouldn't have gotten the idea for the big Hogwarts.
posted by gwildar at 6:28 AM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lego Nostromo - "The Nostromo is a heavy towing ship used to pull mobile refineries between distant mines and Earth, a journey that takes many months. It is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 feet long, and the refineries pulled are several miles square. I have made my model as small as I felt I could while preserving the essential details, because I plan to build the refinery it pulls at this scale as well."

That was 2009. I imagine we'll hear from him sometime again in 2029.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on March 6, 2012


I could have sworn they went through at least 3 or 4 Hogwartses

As usual, the internet is on the case with very detailed information and photo comparisons from film to film. Now let's all argue over which slightly different building is obviously the best one.
posted by Winnemac at 10:23 AM on March 6, 2012


Mavri: "I thought everything had gone to CGI. I love that this is a model."

You know, I think that people underestimate the amount of models still used in big budget effects films: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Batman Begins (I don't know about The Dark Knight), Pirates of the Caribbean. Even the Star Wars prequels made use of them (Fifth image in the slideshow, and check out who's working on it!), and most people assume that those are pure CG from top to bottom.
posted by brundlefly at 10:49 AM on March 6, 2012


Fun Prequels fact: The crowd in the stands during the podrace are dyed cotton buds.
posted by Artw at 10:51 AM on March 6, 2012


rongorongo: "No mention of the anonymous fictional architect?"

My theory is that Hogwarts was designed by Bloody Stupid Johnson.

Nothing about the castle's location or construction makes any sense at all. Even if you could use magic, it looks like it must have been a pain in the ass to build.

Sure! Let's build the castle into the side of a huge bloody mountain in a country that is otherwise covered in rolling hills and verdant pastures. Build the school in London's wizarding enclave? Nope! How about near the only wizarding village in the country/world? (n.b. England=The Whole World, except for when it doesn't) Nope! We'll build it 5 miles away from there too!

Where did they find geography like that in England anyway? I mean...maybe in Scotland (which is where a lot of the movie was filmed), but even Scotland doesn't really have any ridiculous fjords like the one that suddenly appeared next to the castle around the fourth or fifth movie.

How is anybody supposed to get to the quiddich field?

People with virtually no magical training can open almost any lock in the building. Why were locks installed in the first place?

The castle is the size of a small city, and has one groundskeeper (two if you count whatever it is that Filch does)? I know, magic, and all, but the series establishes elsewhere that housechores still require some effort and attention when using magic. At that, the sadists in the Hogwarts HR department hired the only two people in the wizarding world (that we know of) who can't perform magic to carry out these duties.

On that note, who is making the hiring decisions over there? The school has some rather dire personnel issues that never seem to be addressed or resolved, including the hiring of numerous imposters, slaves, people with seemingly no magical background, not to mention the guy who had Voldermort's face grafted onto the back of his head. Shouldn't that have come up during the interview?

The moving floorplan is cool, but wouldn't you want to be able to control it? After a while, the building's behavior would just seem....catty. Assigning personalities to art and architecture has never worked well.

The bathrooms (particularly the prefects bathroom) actually do sound remarkably similar to the magical loos that Terry Pratchett described (albeit in better working condition). Maybe it's time to set up a "Magical Bathroom" page on TVTropes....
posted by schmod at 2:25 PM on March 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


n.b. England=The Whole World, except for when it doesn't

Well, we are magic.
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on March 6, 2012


Schmod, you forgot to mention that the scoring system in Quidditch is rather silly and probably doesn't conform to game theory or something.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:37 PM on March 6, 2012


You mean the complex points system rendered irrelevant because you do one thing and it automatically wins the game?
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on March 6, 2012


I'm assuming that the architect didn't also design Quidditch, but, yeah, it's a completely nonsensical game. Might as well be Calvinball.
posted by schmod at 2:43 PM on March 6, 2012


Well it certainly explains why HP has been so unsuccessful.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:47 PM on March 6, 2012


Guys, I think a wizard did it.
posted by The Whelk at 2:55 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your Muggle logic don't work 'round here, mister.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:28 PM on March 6, 2012


Artw: "it automatically wins the game?"

Strictly speaking, no. It ends the game. If your team is down 160 points or more, you will lose the game if you catch the snitch.

Obviously, the game's one interesting gameplay dynamic is never made relevant in the books, so we don't really know if a team would ever want to deliberately end the game with a losing score. Some have hypothesized that teams are ranked by points scored rather than games won, so that it's therefore advantageous for a losing team to catch the snitch so that it can mitigate its losses against a formidable competitor.

Otherwise, you'd need to aggressively try to prevent the other team from catching the snitch until your team was able to recover its deficit. This could lead to an exceedingly long and drawn-out match, which Rowling actually did allude to in the books (although the reasoning for the long matches was never given AFAIK).

That said, this is Quidditch. We're talking about the castle. I get that this is fiction, and to suspend disbelief of some things. However, the movies made suspension of disbelief difficult when they kept modifying the sets, and inadequately explaining things that did not need to be explained. Also, I'm a nerd and an engineer, and wonder about the poor soul who was tasked by the insane architect to build the castle.

And, really, the more I think about it, Unseen University is a perfect parody of Hogwarts, despite the fact that it was conceived years before JK Rowling dreamt up Harry Potter. Are there any other precedents for this kind of reverse-parody? ook
posted by schmod at 8:50 PM on March 6, 2012


Show me your patronus, and I'll show you mine...
posted by Zed at 10:27 PM on March 6, 2012


So is there a word or term for not actually liking the source material (I have yet to finish one of the books and have seen like, only three of the movies) but really liking the Fandom around it and thinking they do neat, fun thing? Like I watched A Very Potter Musical and laughed my ass off and I'm sure I was missing a ton of jokes but I got the basic idea and it was fun so I end up with a good opinion not of the work itself but of the stuff encrusted around the work. There should be a word for that.
posted by The Whelk at 10:49 PM on March 6, 2012


« Older They make Girl Scouts tougher these days....   |   Mick Jones, co-founder of semi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments