How the film "Harry and the Philosopher's Stone" was filmed: footage from the filming and 27 interesting facts about the film (31 photos)

Category: Movie, PEGI 0+
16 January 2024

Of course, the Harry Potter franchise is one of the most popular fantasy film series today. Therefore, I would like to tell you how this cult film was filmed, and also tell you some interesting facts about it.

1. In the first lesson, the formidable and emotionless Professor Snape (Snagg) asks Harry (and only him) what will happen if you mix the root of the golden flower (asphodel) and tincture of wormwood.

In fact, there is a hidden meaning in this question, because in the language of flowers, asphodel (one of the types of lilies) means regret about something or someone. And wormwood in the language of flowers means “the bitterness of loss.” If you put all this together, it turns out that Snape regrets that Lily Potter died, and he really misses her.

That is, already at the very beginning of the film we could find out that in fact Snape is a great guy, and not some kind of scoundrel.

By the way, only Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape, knew all the ins and outs about his character, about his love for Lily Potter and that in fact he does not hate Harry, but is only trying to protect him, since he is his child beloved woman. That is why Rickman was able to work on his character in more detail.

2. The author of the original book, JK Rowling, demanded that only British actors should play in the film. And this requirement was fulfilled, but with some exceptions. For example, the role of Dumbledore was played by Irish actor Richard Harris, and the role of Madame Trick was played by American actress Zoe Wanamaker.

Joanne Rowling

Well, another less significant role, namely the role of the goblin who accompanied Harry to the vault, was played by the American dwarf actor Verne Troyer, known for his role as Mini We in the Austin Powers franchise.

Verne Troyer

Also, Robin Williams wanted to play the role of Hagrid, but Rowling strongly protested, which is why the actor had to refuse. But it is worth saying that Robbie Coltrane did a great job with this role. By the way, he was the first adult actor to sign a contract to star in the film.

Williams himself was upset by the refusal, but still hoped that someday he would be cast in a film in the Harry Potter universe. And perhaps he would have been given some role in Fantastic Beasts, but unfortunately the actor did not live to see this moment.

3. Well, since we are talking about non-British actors, it is worth mentioning one more actress. In the scene with the sorting hat, the girl Susan Bones, who was identified as Hufflepuff, was played by director Chris Columbus's daughter, Eleanor. But for this I had to agree to a small condition. Columbus's daughter was simply deprived of her lines.

4. The film was released worldwide under the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” while in the American box office the film was released under the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” The fact is that American distributors were afraid that their audience would not correctly understand the word “philosophical.” Moreover, the name “magical” for American distribution was suggested by the writer JK Rowling herself.

That is why the scenes where the name of the stone is pronounced were filmed twice. In the first case, the actors said “philosophical,” and in the second, “magical.”

5. It was originally planned that Steven Spielberg would direct the film, but he refused for a number of reasons. First, he wanted to cast American actors, which was not Rowling's requirement. And secondly, he was not too interested in this project creatively, despite the fact that the success of the film was practically guaranteed. As a result, the director became Chris Columbus, who once directed the cult film “Home Alone.”

6. Richard Harris initially turned down the role of Dumbledore, but when his 11-year-old granddaughter learned of her grandfather's refusal, she said she would not speak to him again unless he played Dumbledore. In the end, Richard Harris had to agree.

7. Young actor Tom Felton admitted that he had not read a single book about Harry Potter, but nevertheless he decided to audition for the role of the main character and his friend Ron Weasley. But the young actor was not suitable for these roles, but he was just perfect for the role of Draco Malfoy.

True, JK Rowling herself was not very happy with the choice of actor, since the book Draco was a homely boy, while Tom Felton made Draco a charming, handsome villain with whom many girls, including Emma Watson, were in love.

8. According to the plot of the book, Harry, like his mother, should have had green eyes. To do this, Daniel Radcliffe was given green lenses. But in the end, the young actor was unable to wear them due to a severe allergic reaction, so this idea was simply abandoned. As a result, Harry Potter had blue eyes in the film. Many film resources classified this moment as a film blunder, although of course there is no blunder here.

9. Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, showed as a business card a videotape in which he rapped about why he should get the role of Ron Weasley. It was so funny that he was cast in the role.

10. Tim Roth (British by birth) could have gotten the role of Severus Snape, but he turned down the offer because he decided to star in Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes film. As a result, the role was given to Alan Rickman, whose candidacy was personally approved by JK Rowling.

11. Since the game of Quidditch is an integral part of the series, the authors decided to work on the creation of this element of the game as thoroughly as possible. Several models and sketches were made, from which it was necessary to choose the most successful and interesting options.

12. Platforms 9 and 3/4 were supposed to be located at King's Cross station between platforms 9 and 10. The only problem was that the real platforms 9 and 10 at this station were separated by a railway, which is why the passage between them would be impossible. As a result, this scene had to be filmed between platforms 4 and 5.

Rowling admitted that it was her fault and she simply confused Kings Cross station with Euston station. But there was also a discrepancy here, since at Euston station platforms 9 and 10 were also separated by railways. In general, the writer messed up.

But now at King's cross station there is platform 9 and 3/4. It is located in a pedestrian area and was made especially for tourists who come here to take photos. True, for this you will have to stand in a huge queue, as to this day this place is very popular.

13. In one of the shots on the stairs, you can see a painting of Queen Anne Boleyn hanging on the wall. This is a very cool reference, because at one time the queen was accused of witchcraft.

14. As planned, Harry, Ron and Hermione tied their Gryffindor scarves in accordance with their character. Hermione's scarf was tied neatly, Harry's was simply thrown over his shoulder, and Ron's was simply hanging untied around his neck.

15. It is known that most filmmakers shoot scenes out of order. Few people shoot scenes according to chronology. Although, Riddley Scott filmed the film "Gladiator" strictly in chronological order. But in the case of Harry Potter, the final scene was shot first, when Harry says goodbye to Hagrid, leaving Hogwarts on the train.

And by the way, in this scene you can notice that Harry Potter's eyes are green, not blue. Here we return to those same contact lenses that the actor could not wear. It was after this scene that his allergic reaction manifested itself, which is why it was decided to abandon the lenses.

16. A poltergeist named Peeves was cut from the final film. He was played by actor Rik Miall. It is noteworthy that scenes were even filmed withthis character, but in the end it was decided to abandon them.

17. The chess pieces we saw towards the end of the film were made to be life-size. Computer graphics were used only during the active actions of these same chess.

But the chess movements were real. The chess pieces were set in motion using radio control. This was not easy to do, since the figures themselves were heavy due to their size. But the specialist managed to do the almost impossible.

18. To make the Dursley family even more repulsive, the filmmakers furnished their home with the ugliest furniture and other items they could find.

19. Professor Flitwick and the goblin Griphook were played by the same actor - Warwick Davis, who gained considerable popularity thanks to the film "Leprechaun". It is noteworthy that in subsequent parts the images of Flitwick and Griphook were reworked beyond recognition, but they were still played by the same Warwick Davis.

20. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone became the second highest-grossing film in the world after James Cameron's Titanic. True, the film did not last very long in second place.

With a budget of $165 million (125 million for filming and $40 million for marketing), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone earned $974 million at the worldwide box office.

21. Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, was a fairly tall actor (185 cm), but this was not enough for a half-giant. Therefore, in some scenes he was replaced by a stunt double, namely the 209-centimeter rugby player Martin Bayfield.

Because of this, we even had to create Hagrid's hut in two scales. Hagrid was filmed in one version of the hut, and the children were filmed in another, as well as Robbie Coltrane's stunt double. This created the illusion that Hagrid was so big that the children sitting on his sofa seemed like midgets.

22. The food shown in the film during the banquet is the real thing. Chris Columbus hoped to achieve maximum realism in this regard. However, after several hours of filming, the food began to emit a rather unpleasant smell.

23. While Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, is a natural redhead, actors James and Oliver Phelps, who played his brothers Fred and George, have dark hair, which is why their hair had to be dyed.

24. The scene with the boats during the arrival at Hogwarts was filmed on a green background, after which the “green” (chromakey) was removed and a separate background was superimposed on it.

25. To create the illusion of the first flight on a broom, the actors were lifted using a special crane, after which they were moved up and down.

26. To make the game of Quidditch look more dynamic and the audience to appreciate the speed of the players' flight, it was decided to add high towers, and of course this was done using a computer.

27. The film is filled with various details that the audience hardly paid attention to. For example, Hermione is dressed in a school uniform already on the train, which shows her diligence and thirst for knowledge.

And at the very beginning of the film, we can notice that Harry is wearing clothes that don’t fit. This indicates that he is wearing Dudley's old things, because his aunt and uncle do not want to spend extra money on an unnecessary child. Moreover, Aunt Petunia is soaking Dudley's old school uniform in the kitchen, which is intended for Harry.

Remember when Hermione fixes Harry's cracked glasses with the Oculus Reparo spell? Few people noticed that she repairs not only cracked glass, but also glasses in general, because at the beginning of the film Harry wore glasses taped together with tape around the bridge of his nose.

In one of the scenes, Neville is the only one sitting without a manta rayii. Thus, we are hinted at the boy’s absent-mindedness and forgetfulness.

Also, one cannot help but remember that Warden Filch, who did not attend Hogwarts because he is a Squib (a Muggle born of wizards), is a fan of the Slytheren Quidditch team.

And of course, one cannot help but remember the most important detail. From the very beginning, the viewer is told that Snape is the main villain and servant of Voldemort. But in fact, the audience was left with several clues that it was Professor Quirrell who was the main villain. Firstly, he did not shake Harry's hand when they first met (for him this is fatal), and secondly, it was he who cast the spell during the Quidditch match, and it was after Mnape accidentally pushed him away when his cloak caught fire that Quirrel fell, causing the spell to stop working. But we didn't notice this, as we were focused on Snape.

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