Some of the most extraordinary scenes in Harry Potter start and finish on the quidditch pitch – but how they made them isn’t as magical as it may seem.
To shoot the scenes for Quidditch – a sport we should all be familiar with by now – as well as other flying scenes, the production team for the Harry Potter movies had a few tricks up their sleeve.
While the filming methods were different depending on the scene, one of them involved the very non-magical skill of jumping up and down on a trampoline in front of a green screen.
Skip to 14:10 to see how Rupert Grint aka Ron did it:
Grint said: “You go about 30 foot in the air. I was holding a broom and they were throwing balls at me. It’s quite scary.”
As the video explains, it all gets very complicated. Every actor is filmed seperately, so even if they appear to be talking to each other in the scene, they’re probably not in real life.
As for the brooms, a computer program determines where it moves, so even though it looks like the actors are steering it, they’re acually just trying to hold on.
And because the shots are made to look like they’re thousands of feet in the air, the lighting can get a tad tricky. Everyone is shot at different angles so that, when the scenes are stitched together, the lighting is controlled and works for each separate person in the same frame, Business Insider reports.
Because it’s all shot in front of a green screen, the special effects artists also need to create a digital environment and atmosphere that all looks cohesive. Basically, the effects guys are the real wizards.
And remember this scene?
Well, this is how it was done:
But while the actual on-set green screen props may not look very magical, the way they put it all together to create the finished scenes we see in the film definitely is.
Way to go, special effects team, for creating one hell of a movie.