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Pierre Bohanna, prop maker
Travis Hodges

Things you only know if you’re a prop maker

Danielle Goldstein

…according to Pierre Bohanna, 47.

Wizarding wands get recycled

‘When you’re in a franchise like Harry Potter – which I worked on from start to finish – things like wands get repeated. We’re probably looking at 2,000 to 3,000 wands over a 15-year period, and we did reuse some of the background Potter wands for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – though every scripted character had a new wand.’

The littlest props can be the most difficult to make

‘In the early days of Harry Potter I made the Golden Snitch, and I had to do a miniature Snitch for Dumbledore’s office. It was a bronze ball about the size of a large pea that I acid-etched with a magnifying glass. Sometimes it can be just as much work to do the tiny things as the big pieces.’

Silicone is a prop maker’s best friend

‘We tend to make several versions of everything we create, so our technical moulding department produces lots of silicone moulds. Probably the single biggest material order we make is for silicone.’

JK Rowling is surprisingly hands-off

‘The design of a prop goes through many channels before it gets made physically. An important piece will court Jo’s attention, but she’ll sit back and allow the filmmakers to do their thing. She’s got great curiosity in the process, but she’s not a dictator.’

Directors always want something new

‘Every filmmaker wants to do something different to what’s been done before. It’s not about the scale of the film, it’s about how mad the story is. That sets us on a voyage to be constantly novel.’

Find out the things you only know if you’re a firefighter or read our review of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.


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