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Harry Potter: Film Wizardry by Brian Sibley

1/12/2010. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Harry Potter: Film Wizardry in the USA - or Buy Harry Potter: Film Wizardry in the UK

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pub: Bantam Press. 160 pages large hardback. Price GBP25.00 (UK), ISBN: 978-0-59306-648-5.

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My first recommendation would be a spell to hold this book up for you whilst reading in bed. It is a substantial, what might be termed a coffee-table book, though I fear you will need good legs on the coffee table. The cover has a rather sweet picture of Harry Potter when he was just a little wizard. He looks suitably scared although it is not from the first film where as an eleven year-old he mainly just looked confused. Harry is all grown up now, by the time you read this he will have killed many bad wizards, you may have seen the film and be ready to see it again.

This book, ‘Harry Potter: Film Wizardry’, is here to sustain you before the DVD comes out and before the final part of ‘The Deathly Hallow’ reaches the big screen.

I was prepared to be cynical about this book but I started flicking though it and was soon hooked back into the whole Harry Potter phenomena. I have no idea whether this material was all put together for the book. I think some of it is gleaned from previous interviews and it does acknowledge sources. This is not just however about the content of the book but also its design which makes it special. Where else can you get a reproduction of the programme of the Quidditch World Cup complete with its list of sponsors? Contained within these pages are some small mementoes of the epic journey the franchise has made. There is an invitation to the Yule Ball, a set of four proclamations made by Dolores Umbridge when she takes over Hogwarts in ‘Order Of The Phoenix’ and there is a catalogue for Fred and George’s Wizard Wheezes. It is a small sample of how much goes into making effects and set dressings that are a fleeting part of the movie but add so much to the richness of design. There are very few actual artefacts, no Philosopher's Stone or basilisk fang for instance but who could fail to thrill to reading the very letter sent to Harry from Hogwarts all those years ago. Indeed, I have to report that despite my efforts, the Marauders’ map does not work but then I’m not at Hogwarts and I’m a Muggle.

Overall, then there is much of interest to dip into and it makes a good accompaniment to a review of all the DVDs before watching the next epic instalment. I would say it was aimed at the older teenager or collector but there is something for everyone within the pages with some superb artwork and photographs in a beautifully set-out book. I don’t expect the reproduced props will remain within the pages for long those as the pesky kids might want to make up their own adventures.

Sue Davies

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