OSCARS: Production Designer Stuart Craig — ‘Harry Potter’

By | Monday February 20, 2012 @ 2:35pm PST

Anthony D’Alessandro is a contributor to AwardsLine

When it comes to staging an epic, leave it to production designer Stuart Craig. As the set architect behind the entire Harry Potter series, his work on Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 called for blueprints displaying the remnants of a near-apocalyptic battle, specifically one that took its toll on Hogwarts Castle. Given those ambitious demands, the VFX artists took over, rendering the first complete virtual rendition of Hogwarts over the sets constructed in earlier films. “My work required the same drawings, but instead of giving my designs to the carpenters, I gave them to the VFX team instead,” Craig says. Read More »

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Art Directors Guild Winners: ‘Hugo’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Dragon Tattoo’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Hugo, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo took the Art Directors Guild Awards for period, fantasy and contemporary movies tonight in ceremonies hosted by Paula Poundstone at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Production Designer Tony Walton received the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Hall of Fame inductees were Robert Boyle, William Darling, and Alfred Junge. Teams from the Harry Potter films were recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery: Executive Producer David Heyman, Producer David Barron; directors Christopher Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, and David Yates; creator and author J.K. Rowling; screenwriters Steve Kloves and Michael Goldenberg; production designer Stuart Craig; art director Neil Lamont and set decorator Stephenie McMillan.

The Guild also screened two short films by Cindy Peters. The first was a behind-the-scenes look at preparations for the show. The second, 75 Years of Inspirational Design: A Personal Reflection in Eight Chapters featured production designers Albert Brenner, Terry Marsh, James D. Bissell, Jeannine Oppewall, Rick Carter, Rick Heinrichs, Roy Christopher and Guy Hendrix Dyas. The ceremonies were produced by Tom Wilkins and Greg Grande. Full list of winners follows:


Period Film
HUGO Production Designer: Dante Ferretti

Fantasy Film

HALLOWS PART 2 Production Designer: Stuart Craig

Contemporary Film

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Production Designer: Donald Graham Burt


One-Hour Single Camera Television Series

Television Movie or Mini-Series
MILDRED PIERCE Production Designer: Mark Friedberg

Episode of a Half Hour Single-Camera Television Series
Episode: Express Christmas – Production Designer: Richard Berg

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Final ‘Harry Potter’ Movie And HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ Win SAG Stunt Awards

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 29, 2012) – The stunt performers and coordinators from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and “Game of Thrones” are recipients of this year’s Screen Actors Guild Honors for Outstanding Action Performances by Film and Television Stunt Ensembles, it was announced today from the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet by Screen Actors Guild Awards Committee Chair JoBeth Williams and Awards Committee Member Scott Bakula.

Screen Actors Guild’s Stunt Ensemble Honors commend work within the stunt community during 2011 and recognize stunt performers and coordinators.

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‘Final Destination 5′ Is First For UltraViolet In The UK; Will British Users Have Clearer Picture Than In The U.S.?

On December 26, Warner Bros’ Final Destination 5 will become the first UltraViolet-enabled title to be released in the UK via DVD, Blu-ray and Triple Play. From then on, all of the studio’s future home entertainment releases in … Read More »

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Tesco Launches Digital Locker With ‘Deathly Hallows 2′ DVD Release

Continuing to ramp up its interests in the movie biz, UK supermarket giant Tesco is launching its own version of a digital locker with an initiative that will allow customers who buy a physical DVD or Blu-ray in-store to also … Read More »

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Big Media 3Q Corporate Earnings Roundup: Are CEOs Really Worried About Recession? Or Just Looking For Convenient Excuse?

Three months ago, when Big Media CEOs wrapped up their 2Q earnings, they were still relentlessly upbeat about the business. Any worries about the economy? Not then. But the messages they delivered over the past few weeks, as they discussed 3Q, were different. Although they’re still optimistic — remember, they’re paid to be salesmen — now and then you could hear expressions of concern about where things are headed. It stood out when Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman noted that “ad sales growth will face some headwinds.” Other CEOs who are known for speaking bluntly warned that other shocks may bedevil the business. For example, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said that his satellite company — and others in pay TV — have to fight harder against rising programming costs because “there’s a limit to the price increases that could be passed on to consumers.” Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt warned that premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz “are clearly impacted by the economy as consumers try to cut back.” Either they’re genuinely worried, or they want a scapegoat to blame for things that are going bad, or may soon do so. Whatever the case, we can expect to hear a lot more about the economy when it’s time for the post-mortem on the all-important 4Q earnings.

As for industry performance matters, parents of movie studios had their usual mixed results to brag about or explain away: Time Warner benefitted from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Viacom was up on Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. And News Corp beat its chest about Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and X-Men: First Class. But Disney’s Cars 2 was no match for last year’s Toy Story 3. Comcast’s Universal Pictures had nothing to compare to last year’s Despicable Me. Lionsgate suffered from Conan The Barbarian and Warrior. And DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2 didn’t contribute as much in the quarter as Shrek Forever After did in the same period last year.

Over at the TV networks, Comcast’s NBC underperformed the Street’s already modest expectations. Execs at almost all the companies were eager to talk about the cash they expect to collect soon from political ads — as well as their favorite new ATM machines: retransmission consent deals and digital streamers including Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. Speaking of Netflix, CEO Reed Hastings once again tried to reassure investors that he’s focused on “building back our reputation and brand strength” after his decision in July to slap a 60% price increase on customers who wanted to continue to rent DVDs and stream videos. In 3Q Netflix lost 57.7% of its market value and 800,000 subscribers. And since that customer loss was bigger than projected, Netflix shares continued to fall — they’re now down 67.3% since July 1.

Here are some other themes from the latest earnings reports:

Ad sales: They’s good, but for how long? Most television networks report that scatter prices are comfortably above the upfront market from this past summer. CBS chief Les Moonves says prices in 4Q are up by “mid-teens” on a percentage basis, while Discovery says it sees least high single digit percentages. But Disney’s Bob Iger noted that scatter prices have “slowed slightly these last few weeks.” Kurt Hall of National CineMedia — the leading seller of ads in movie theaters — was far more direct when he spoke to analysts after ratcheting down his company’s financial forecasts. “I’m sure that the broadcast and cable guys are sitting there now counting their lucky stars they got their upfront done before August,” he told analysts. “There’s a lot of uncertainty.” Read More »

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UPDATE: Time Warner Tells Skeptical Investors That Cable Nets Will Improve

UPDATE, 8:45 AM: Time Warner shares are down 2.5% in early trading: Investors already knew that Harry Potter was a hit, and expected more from the cable networks. Time Warner tried to show the Street some love by accelerating its share repurchases — it spent $1.1B in 3Q — which enabled the company to raise its earnings-per-share growth estimate for 2011 to “high teens” from the previous “at least low teens.” But CEO Jeff Bewkes used his conference call with analysts to cheer-lead what he says will be a company-wide benefit from the growing global interest in high quality content. He says that CW (which Time Warner co-owns with CBS) recently cut “game-changing” deals with Netflix and Hulu. “It adds money to the ecosystem,” he says, especially as the digital services license old and serialized shows that are hard to syndicate. “There’s plenty of room for us to do deals if the people who want to buy (shows) can afford it.” Although the company acknowledged that it’s been disappointed by recent ratings at TBS and TNT, it expects that to change. In the first two weeks, re-runs of The Big Bang Theory have raised ratings at TBS, which Bewkes says should lead to “big improvement” in 4Q and 2012. “We think it’s going to continue to build and help the lead-in to Conan.” He says that the cable nets have had a hard time finding successful sitcoms to buy, although that’s changing. Warner Bros has four of the top seven now on TV. “We’ve never had so many successful comedies on the air at one time,” he says. The company says the loss of NBA games in 4Q will be immaterial; although it won’t have their big audiences, it also won’t have the big costs. Bewkes says he’ll look at adding NFL football to the mix. “We would not do it as a loss-leader” he says but adds that “it would be a giant move, if we made the move.” Time Warner says that ad prices in the scatter market are up high-single to low-double digits over upfront.

PREVIOUS, 4:55 AM: The entertainment giant will be talking a lot about its movies and TV shows today after Warner Bros’ record-setting quarter helped to make up for a slowdown in cable network growth and a decline in publishing. Time Warner had net income of $822M, up 58.1% vs last year, on revenues of $7.1B, up 10.8%. Earnings at 79 cents a share were well ahead of the 76 cents that the Street expected. Filmed entertainment revenues were up 19% to $3.3B powered by Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 and license fees from The Big Bang Theory, although home video was down. The cable networks, which include Turner Broadcasting and HBO, saw a 7% increase in revenues to $3.2B. Read More »

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Movie Ticket Prices Are Up, But People Spent Less In 3Q For 3D

Is the price of movie tickets falling? Of course not. It may not look that way in 3Q: The average amount that consumers spent was $7.94, down from $8.06 in 2Q, the National Association of Theatre Owners reports today. But … Read More »

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Latest ‘Transformers’ Passes Last ‘Lord Of The Rings’ As #4 Box Office Film of All Time

So the Top 5 order now for all-time box office worldwide grosses (but not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices or 3D premiums) is:

1. Avatar 2D (Fox – 2009) $2.7B

2. Titanic 2D (Fox/Paramount – 1997) $1.8B

3. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 3D (Warner Bros – 2011) … Read More »

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Warner Bros Crosses $2B At International Box Office

Warner Bros Pictures International said today that it has eclipsed the $2 billion mark in overseas box office, the fourth time the division has surpassed that benchmark. Last year, the unit grossed a record $2.93 billion — this … Read More »

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Harry Potter Finale Now 2011′s Biggest Film

BURBANK, CA, August 9, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 has now become the top-grossing release of 2011 in all categories: domestic box office, international box office and worldwide box office.

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Report: Plummeting Disc Sales Depress Home Video Business in 1H 2011

A spokesman for DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group says the trade organization didn’t deliberately choose a Friday afternoon to release its dreary new report about consumer spending on home entertainment in the first half of 2011. But from a PR perspective it probably doesn’t hurt to bury news that shows VOD and electronic distribution still can’t make up for the collapse in sales of DVDs. The headline number is that consumer spending on all forms of home video — including DVD and Blu-ray disc sales and rentals, VOD, and online — fell 5.1% vs the first half of 2010 to $8.3B. Last year, spending fell 3.3% in the first half of 2010. DEG says this year’s drop isn’t so bad because last year included Avatar. (It seems that the blockbuster was good enough to include last year when it made sales look strong, but is supposed to be treated as an anomaly now that it makes comparisons look weak.) Still, there’s no getting around the steep decline for DVDs. Consumers bought nearly $3.9B worth of DVD and Blu-ray content, down 18.3% vs the first half of 2010. At this time last year, disc sales were off 7.1% vs. 2009. DVDs are the culprit: Although DEG only reports figures for “packaged goods,” it notes that Blu-ray sales are up more than 10%. Read More »

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More Records For ‘Harry Potter’ Finale

‘Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2′ Crosses $1B

Warner Bros announced today that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is now the highest-grossing WB film of all time internationally after … Read More »

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‘Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2′ First To Cross $1B In Warner Bros Franchise

BURBANK, Calif. — Continuing its record-breaking run, Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” has surpassed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, becoming the first in the series—and just the ninth film in cinema history—to reach that benchmark. The announcement was made today by Warner Bros. Pictures President of Domestic Distribution, Dan Fellman, and President of International Distribution, Veronika Kwan-Rubinek.

Adding to the records already achieved, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” tied the record for the fastest climb to $1 billion. The finale of the blockbuster motion picture franchise crossed the billion dollar mark on Sunday, July 31, only its 17th day in release in North America, as well as most international markets. The film has now earned an estimated $318.46 million domestically and an estimated $690 million on the international side for a worldwide total to date of approximately $1.008 billion, already making it, globally, the top-grossing film in Warner Bros. Pictures’ history.

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UPDATE: RealD Shares -14.5% In After-Hours Trading Even As CEO Michael Lewis Talks Up Prospects For 3D

UPDATE, 3:05 PM: The Street doesn’t seem to be buying CEO Michael Lewis’ claim that all’s well with RealD and 3D. RealD shares have lost 47.3% of their value from May 19, when co-founder Joshua Greer resigned as president, to the end of trading on Thursday. The stock will have its lowest closing ever tomorrow if it doesn’t improve from today’s after-hours trading price of around $15.75. Although Lewis says that “the economy’s under duress” causing consumers to second-guess the high 3D ticket prices, RealD will be fine if exhibitors and studios decide to charge less. “Our fees are locked for the term of the contract,” he says. He avoided answering a question about whether 3D tickets will typically account for between 40% and 60% of domestic box office — in June he said he didn’t see a trend when Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2 opened close to that range. Lewis did say, though, that the numbers could improve as theaters have additional 3D screens and releases don’t open “on top of each other.”

PREVIOUS, 1:18 PM: The leading provider of 3D projection technology reported net profits in the June quarter of $9.4M, down 4.6% vs the same period last year, on revenues of $59.6M, down 7.7%. Earnings at 17 cents a share far exceeded the 4 cents that Wall Street analysts expected. But they also thought that RealD would end its fiscal 1Q with $78.9M in revenues. Read More »

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IMAX Blames Bad Films For Dramatic 2Q Earnings Decline

UPDATE, 6:40 AM: In a conference call with analysts, CEO Rich Gelfond continued to talk up future opportunities while acknowledging that “like you we’re not happy” with recent box office sales. He’s talking to studios about making … Read More »

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NO WEAKLING: ‘Captain America’ $65.8M; But Is He Summer’s Biggest Superhero? Harry Potter #2, ‘Friends With Benefits’ #3

SUNDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE: Wait a minute — aren’t all the superheroes in San Diego at Comic-Con? With so much news from the Con coming hourly all weekend, it’s been tough to keep up with North American box office where yet another superhero pic unreeled this summer. … Read More »

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Hammond On Oscar: Can ‘Harry Potter’ Finally Crack The Best Picture Race?

Pete Hammond

This weekend Harry Potter proved he can rule the worldwide box office in a big way but can he wave his magic wand at the Academy and get a Best Picture nomination to put a cherry on the Potter pie? … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2′

The 2nd trailer for the final Harry Potter film was released today. (Here‘s the first one from April.) Warner Bros is releasing the film in the U.S. on July 15.

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