Harry Potter: 10 Behind The Scenes Secrets That Will Blow Your Mind

From the halls of Hogwarts to the depths of the Black Lake. Prepare yourself for the next HP quiz.

Harry Potter Wand
Warner Bros.

It's been almost two decades since moviegoers were first introduced to the magical world of Harry Potter. Lasting around ten years and consisting of an impressive eight films, the franchise has been responsible for establishing one of the biggest fandoms of all time, making it the optimal choice for movie marathons and themed quiz nights alike.

And since the series has been adapted from the critically acclaimed novels of J.K. Rowling, it goes without saying that the Harry Potter universe comes packed with an incredible amount of lore that has continued to grow even after the franchises end.

Just sign into Wizarding World and you'll know exactly what I mean.

But what makes Harry Potter one of the most incredible movie experiences of all time is the sheer amount of effort that was put into making each of its films. Where magic is essentially the focal point of the franchise, you'd be surprised at just how many practical effects the production team relied on to ensure actors were experiencing the scenes as the viewers eventually would.

From the creation of full-sized models of fantastic beasts to the ingenious use of prosthetics, let's explore the secrets of everyone's favorite school for witchcraft and wizardry.

10. Creating On-Set Magic For Harry's First Wand

Harry Potter Wand
Warner Bros.

Diagon Alley is the place to be if you're a wizard in need of some school supplies, and no shop is more important than Olivanders where wizards and witches alike collect their wands for the first time.

Since Harry is essentially chosen by a wand that shares its phoenix feather core with that of "he who should not be named", the production team had to make sure enough was done to make this moment feel as magical as possible.

And Being only 11 years old, producers decided to use as many on-set practical effects as they could to help the young actor with his overall reaction to the moment.

A well-placed fan, smoke machine, and overhead lighting were all that were needed to bring this wondrous scene to life at a fraction of the cost of doing the same with the use of virtual effects.

On top of that, some post production magic was used to set the correct tone. The flickering candle seen in frame was isolated and changed to a rate of 120 frames per second. Only then were the production team happy with the eerie environment of Olivanders, making the effect of the overhead light and smoke far more effective than before.


A self-proclaimed geek with an interest in video games, movies, series, comic books, and tabletop games. Some would say I spend far too much time overthinking irrelevant things. I agree with them, then do it anyway.