Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Behind the Scenes

  • Director

    David Yates

    David Yates gets stuck with an enormous task in this film: take J. K. Rowling's massive seventh novel, split the narrative arc across two films, and still make each movie stand on its own.

    That's a huge undertaking, and we have to tip our hat to Yates (and Steve Kloves, too, of course) for being brave enough to take it on.

    Of course, Yates had already gotten his feet wet with the whole Harry Potter universe when he directed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, so that probably helped him prep for the behemoth effort to splitting up the source text for Book 7.

    (Psst: Feel free to check out our guide on that particular film for more on Yates and the filmmaking road that led him to the Potterverse.)

  • Screenwriter

    Steve Kloves

    Steve Kloves has been in the driver's seat (scriptwriting-wise, that is) for almost all the Harry Potter movies. Okay, sure, he took a powder on Order of the Phoenix, but he's back now and seeing Harry and the gang through to the (hopefully not-so-bitter) end.

    Dying to know more? We've already provided the deets on Kloves in our guide for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, so head on over there for the full(er) scoop.

  • Production Studio

    Warner Brothers, Heydey Films

    Consistency is the name of the game at the end of the series, Shmoopers. Have you noticed how these last movies have been sticking with the same director and writer? Well, same deal with the production companies.

    Warner Brothers and Heydey are total Harry Potter veterans. In fact, they've been involved in all of the HP films.

    So, yeah, perhaps you've already read about them when cruising another HP guide. Not so much? Well, then check out the details on these guys by going to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

    Or…yep, you guessed it, any of our guides on the Harry Potter series.

  • Production Design

    The Magical (Digital) World of Harry Potter

    This is a movie with wizards, beasts (fantastic ones, you might say), and all kinds of other things you wouldn't typically be able to film, so it's safe to say a lot of green screen/special effects were used to make this world possible. The result is beautiful visuals and magical circumstances (broom chase sequences!) and beings (house elves!) that you'd never get to see otherwise.

    As far as P.O.V., as usual, we stick pretty close to Harry's knowledge of and perspective on the world. When Harry goes into hiding with Ron and Hermione, we know as much (or as little) as Harry knows about what is going on with the people they've left behind…which pretty much leaves everyone frustrated, we have to say.

    But hey, you can't say it doesn't build suspense, right? Also, it definitely increases our stakes as viewers in the whole "finding Horcruxes" thing. The sooner they find the Horcruxes, the sooner we'll be reunited with the rest of the Hogwarts gang and can stop hyperventilating into a bag about their safety.

  • Music (Score)

    Alexandre Desplat

    The Harry Potter series has been pretty consistent, in terms of score: overall spooky, but with soaring, fast-paced moments when Harry and his friends are involved in some kind of chase or other exciting happenings.

    What hasn't been so consistent? The guys responsible for these scores. Prior to this film, we had Nicholas Hooper, John Williams, and Patrick Doyle running the strings and horns behind Harry's adventures, and now it's Alexandre Desplat.

    With so many cooks in the kitchen, you'd kind of expect there to be a lot of variation in the soundtracks, right? Well, surprisingly, not really: the score always amps up the mood of the movie's happenings, whether they are exciting, frightening, spooky—you name it. And even though the different composers definitely have their own styles, they all are on the same page in using the music to impose or heighten a mood.

    This is it, though, guys—no more changes. Desplat finishes out the series in the next installment.

  • Fandoms

    We wouldn't say Harry Potter has "fans" so much as…devotees? Followers? Worshipers? Apostles?

    You get the drift: The folks who love Harry are intense about it, as we've already discussed (a lot) in our guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

    And hey, they're still making movies (and plays !) inspired by the Potterverse, so it doesn't look like the fandom is dying down any time soon.