Behind The Magic: Deathly Hallows FX Supervisor Explains Your Favorite Scenes

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There’s definitely something magical about the world of Harry Potter brought to life on film, and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with wizardry. The man behind the magic is actually Tim Burke, visual effects supervisor for Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part One, in theaters now.

Burke has worked on every film in the Harry Potter franchise since Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets (the second in the series), acting as the lead supervisor for the fifth, sixth and seventh installments (parts one and two). Recently, Techland caught up with Burke to reveal the real work behind the “magic” of some of your favorite Deathly Hallows scenes.

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The Death of Charity Burbage

“It’s actually the real actress (Carolyn Pickles) suspended in a very uncomfortable position. (Director) David Yates wanted it to be like invisible torture, like she was bound with invisible ropes. We actually bound and suspended her with ropes that we digitally removed later. She was shot separately on a green screen stage later on and then she’s complicited into the shots with the death eaters.”

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“It was very important that we create a very believable, scary character. Nagini is a servant to Voldemort, but also a very evil creature in her own right. In the past she never had a large role, but in this film she was going to have a lot of chances to scare the kids.

We actually redeveloped her character a little bit. For this one, we based her on a real python, but gave her more scary characteristics, so she’s is slightly different from previous films. I felt that when we’d last seen her, she wasn’t quite a real snake. She was a hybrid of a python and an anaconda – 20 feet from tip to tail. This time her design is based on a real python, but we gave her the eyes of a viper.”

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