Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey by Bob McCabe

Harry Potter Page to Screen by Bob McCabe - Lauren Mayhew AuthorHarry Potter Page to Screen – Bob McCabe – 4.5 Stars

Blurb: “Harry Potter: Page to Screen” opens the doors to Hogwarts castle and the wizarding world of Harry Potter to reveal the complete behind-the-scenes secrets, techniques, and over-the-top artistry that brought J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed novels to cinematic life. Developed in collaboration with the creative team behind the celebrated movie series, this deluxe, 500-plus page compendium features exclusive stories from the cast and crew, hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and concept illustrations sourced from the closed film sets, and rare memorabilia. As the definitive look at the magic that made cinematic history, “Page to Screen” is the ultimate collectible, perfect for Muggles everywhere.

I got given this book just over a year ago for my 23rd birthday, and it took me a very long time to get through it. I like to think I’m one of the biggest Harry Potter fans in the world, and yet even I couldn’t read this book in a few days. There’s so much information in here, I felt the need to savour it all!

The illustrations in this book make it a work of art. I enjoyed seeing how the design team created some of the magical creatures. It’s incredible how simple sketches can be turned into animations that look real. I’ve always loved the art of filmmaking, and seeing the process of my favourite books being turned into a film was truly magical.

As I’m quite a big fan, there was a lot of information in this book that I already knew, like some of the little stories told by the cast. However, I did learn a bit more whilst reading that will make me look more carefully when watching the films next. Basically, whenever Hagrid is on screen, I’ll be checking to see if it’s Robbie Coltrane or not. Hagrid is one of my favourite characters, so looking at his concept art was great.

I loved that each page had a watermark on it related to the Harry Potter series, though at time it was difficult to read the words on the page when the light shone on the book at certain angles. Basically, this book is a piece of art.

I don’t know if it’s just that I’m a very emotional person, but I definitely cried at some points while reading this. It was towards the end when they were talking about the last day of filming, and when they were talking about Richard Harris. He will always be my Dumbledore!

I have one big issue with this book, and it’s something that niggled at me the whole time I was reading it. Every time the first book or film is mentioned, McCabe calls it the ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’, not the ‘Philospher’s Stone’. Early on in the book he makes reference to that fact that the original story is ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. That’s what it’s called, so why not call it that through the whole book? I could have accepted the use of the American title, had McCabe not changed the quotes from the English actors. I’m sure at one point there’s a quote from Daniel Radcliffe calling it the ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’. Radcliffe would have said ‘Philospher’s Stone’, and yet McCabe decided to change it. It might be only a few words in the whole book, but it really annoyed me, can you tell?

Other than that, it’s a must read for all Harry Potter fans. It’s a bit pricey, so it might be best to ask for it as a Christmas or birthday present. The link below is one of the cheapest places you can find this book, other than Costco.

http://www.theworks.co.uk/p/film-television/harry-potter—page-to-screen/9780857687753

There won’t be another book review from me for a while, as I’m currently re-reading the Harry Potter books. It’s obvious how much I love them, so reviews aren’t that necessary!

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