Production designer Stuart Craig considers his years with the Harry Potter films to be wonderful and continues the streak with Fantastic Beasts.
Famed production designer Stuart Craig has been on the Harry Potter movie journey since 2000. Working on the original 8 Harry Potter movies over the span of 10 years, Craig has never left the magical wizarding world.
After the initial series, Craig put his design talents to work with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London and Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the US. Now he’s “delighted” to be tapped to work on Fantastic Beasts, hopefully for all 5 movies.
“For this film, you start on essentially the same premise as the Potters: the magical world hidden from the Muggle world; invisible, one from the other. It is the same premise but wonderfully different. For a student of architecture, which I am, it’s just fantastic to build a section of New York in this slightly romantic, exaggerated way.”
Initially, he was an architectureal draughtsman sketching buildings for 12 years before diving into the film world. Skills gained in his previous careeer have been carried by Craig into his fantastic movie design work. His sketches go to concept illustrators whose artistic talents help flesh everything out in detail.
After so many movies in the Potterverse, Craig still loves working in that world:
“The thing that surprises and delights me is the variety. I never, ever feel trapped. There’s always something fresh and new and challenging. It’s certainly kept me professionally content… Well, not content exactly – I was worried a lot of the time, staring at a blank sheet of paper thinking, ‘What the hell am I going to do with this?’ That sort of fear never leaves you. But it has been very sustaining. J.K. Rowling’s constant achievement has been to make each new book significantly different. Underwater, or whatever it was, she certainly kept us challenged.”
Here’s to hoping that Craig’s challenges become our visual delight over the course of the Fantastic Beasts quintet!