Warner Bros. UK, alongside an incredible breadth of Wizarding World behind-the-scenes talent, present Imagine Creative Careers, a new programme of activity designed to inspire the next generation. This new initiative shines a light on the wide range of roles available within the creative industries.
The first piece of activity kicked off this week focusing on the world of filmmaking, where there are hundreds of different behind-the-scenes roles. And, of course, when it comes to the Wizarding World, there are roles that most of us can’t even imagine, each one working to bring magic to life in a special and unique way.
During a special evening hosted by BBC presenters Mobeen Azhar and Katie Thistleton, a group of students were invited to learn more about the film industries and listen to talent from across the Wizarding World share their experiences and wisdom. The evening was called Making the Magic: From Story to Screen, which you can stream on BBC Teach now.
The panel was held in the set of the Great Hall at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – the Making of Harry Potter and featured Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, Junior Costumier Rianna Charles, Graphic Designer Miraphora Mina, VFX Supervisor Christian Manz and Brooke McGowan, a Compositor on the Fantastic Beasts films.
Whilst we were there, we had the chance to quiz the panel on their favourite things about working in the Wizarding World and asked them to share a few tips for aspiring film-makers.
Miraphora Mina said – who has a long professional history designing props for the Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts films – that her favourite thing about working in the Wizarding World was “the people”: Mira has worked with the likes of set-designer Stuart Craig, alongside her partner Eduardo Lima for many years and believes that the team she works with is every bit as important as the work she creates.
As for advice?
“My one piece of advice for anyone looking for a career in the film industry is, when you find an opportunity, whether it’s work experience or meeting someone, to really run with it, because even though it might not seem interesting at the time, just that first door that opens could unlock all sorts of other doors later.”
Colleen Atwood, award-winning costume designer for Fantastic Beasts, spoke about her process when it comes to designing characters’ costumes, especially fantastical ones.
“If I know who will be playing the part, I think about the actor and I think about the whole story and how they are as real people inside, before they become like a fantasy character,” she said.
Rianna Charles has recently joined the Fantastic Beasts family looking after the continuity of the characters’ looks.
“When I was younger, I didn’t have that much direction, and I thought I had to be a doctor or a lawyer or accountant. I always had a passion for theatre, costume, dance and musical theatre. And there’s so much work out there.”
“It’s hard work, but it’s fun, and if you have a passion and a drive, I say go for it.”
“My most memorable moment working on the Wizarding World movies so far was seeing Newt [Scamander]’s case come to life after a year of working out what it would look like!” Christian Manz said, who takes charge of the VFX work on both Fantastic Beasts films.
And Brooke McGowan, who worked as a Compositor (“We seamlessly integrate CGI with real life film footage,” she explained) on the first Fantastic Beasts film, gave a piece of advice that truly summed up what this great night was all about.
“Watch the films that you love and look at the credit list, go through what’s involved in the film, find the job that you want in that film, and go get it.”
Making the Magic: From Story to Screen is streaming now on BBC Teach’s website.
You can also read more from the panel of Wizarding World experts on the BBC Bitesize hub.
The Wizarding World Imagine Creatives Careers Portal will launch just in time for the summer exam results season, diving into over 100 creative roles across film, theatre, game development, publishing, touring exhibitions, theme parks and more.