Nobody’s perfect. That goes for filmmakers too. Making a movie is a complex and sometimes massive task taken on by studios and sometimes individuals with a dream. A movie requires so many different fields of art to go hand in hand and present a hopefully singular vision to audiences.
This can create problems. Beyond the director, actors, writers, producers, etc. there’s the sound guys, production assistants, craft service people, special effects people, prop masters; the list goes on and on and on. With so many people working different angles and attempting not to mess things up, they are bound to do what human beings do best: make mistakes.
Of course, movie mistakes are par for the course. There’s not a movie out there you can’t find errors in. The bigger the better, too. When you’re dealing with second and third units and growing bureaucracy, errors are usually abundant and glaringly obvious once spotted.
To highlight the wonder and humorous nature of the movie error, we will take a look at one of the most beloved franchises: The Harry Potter Universe. Many can find little to no fault in the star-studded movies or in the writing of the beloved J.K. Rowling. However, even the best of us drop the ball sometimes. Here are 10 Mistakes You Missed In The Harry Potter Universe.
10. What’s The Spell For Fixing Scoliosis?
Perhaps they should have chosen looser clothing. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you can clearly see objects jutting out of the backs of our lead actors, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
What they are is probably some sort of battery packs for microphones hidden somewhere else on the actors. The mistake is so obvious when the screen is put on pause, it’s a surprise no one digitally removed the bulky disfigurements later in production.
It’s also a surprise no one noticed that the actors’ backs looked like they had sported growths in the middle of the scene.
9. Legs Are Optional, Right?
There’s often a lot of digital effects work that goes on in the post-production of a movie, especially in something as big as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A movie with big fantasy scenes thought up by J.K. Rowling is bound to have thousands of visual effects shots.
Those shots are poured over for hundreds and hundreds of hours by professionals seeking to make every detail perfect, every line and swipe of the mouse ready to hold up to the worst scrutiny.
However, even the best professionals are bound to make a few oversights when so laser-focused on making everything look so flawless. Even if that oversight is getting rid of the lead actress’ legs and then leaving the glaring mistake for the whole world to see.
8. The Mystery Of The Orange Blanket
Shots in movies often have to be filmed in multiple takes. What this means is the scene may need to be reset or re-lit again and again until every angle is covered or the director gets exactly what they envisioned.
One such scene in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince occurred. Want to know how we know? Because in the scene, we can’t help but divert our attention from Daniel Radcliffe to the magically altering orange blanket behind him…or beside him…well, both.
Maybe he was using wizardry silently to freak us out, but what probably happened is someone failed to look back on the previously filmed scene and decided to put the orange blanket where they remembered it being. Oh how wrong they were.
7. Did Somebody Forget To Order A Side Of Scar?
Harry Potter was known in his world as “the boy who lived.” Surviving an attack on his parents as an infant, Potter walked away with nothing but a infamous scar. It was like a lightning bolt seen by anyone taking a gander at the young wizard.
However, in one scene of the sleeping young Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it appears the makeup department forgot exactly what the whole scene was about. One second the scar is there and the next second it is not. Did we travel back in time? No, it’s just a simple misstep, but a glaring one considering the huge and vital detail it missed.
6. Wait, Who Is This Guy?
The use of stunt doubles is not a mystery in movies. Even your favorite action stars need to use them for insurance purposes. This is what leads to some of the quick cuts we see in action scenes or the changing of camera angles. It’s to keep the illusion that we are still watching our favorite actor perform harrowing acts.
Sometimes, though, a moment in film is captured that is so quick we usually don’t notice. However, if we take the time to look back, we find that the stunt man became the leading man for just a moment. Movies can try their hardest to find stunt doubles that look like their leading actors, but they’ll never look exactly alike. Just take a look at this stunt man. I may not have the best vision in the world, but I’ll put my money on the fact that that’s not Daniel Radcliffe.
5. Cameraman Gets A Cameo
A scene has to be filmed from various different angles to give the director and editor options for cutting a scene. Usually, productions can be expected to at least keep the cameras from shooting each other.
Even if a scene is being shot from a handful of different angles, the director and director of photography will still work to make everything just right. This means keeping angles adjusted so only what the audience needs to see is shown.
This did not happen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It’s a rather large and glaring mistake for such a high profile movie. Yet, it happened anyway. One cameraman got another on film. Perhaps the other cameraman just wanted a cameo in the movie. However, he doesn’t seem to mix to well with the other actors.
4. Someone Just Pick A Style Already!
Emma Watson’s Hermoine character must know a secret trick for making her hairstyle frantically change from one second to the next without any effort. In the same scene in the movie, Hermoine’s hair goes from crimped to straight, and the audience is only left to wonder: “well, that was weird.”
A franchise as big as Harry Potter no doubt employs many stylists and hairdressers to make sure the actors look the best that they can, and that the physical vision of the characters is brought to life in every scene.
There had to be someone who laid out how they wanted Hermone’s hair to look. Either crimped or straight. I doubt on a movie this big they were debating mid scene which hairstyle looked better.
Maybe there was a vindictive hair dresser on set that day or someone just wanted to see if anyone would notice. We did. Thank you.
3. Tape Mark Visible
Tape is often employed on a movie set to mark where props will go or where actors need to stand or walk to in a scene. This tape is usually hidden from the camera or erased later in production. The tape can also be covered up by the actors since they are technically supposed to be standing on top of it when performing their scene. Hence, “hitting your mark.”
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a rather large mark was missed and completely thrown into the scene. It’s hard to see how anyone could have missed the glaring mistake and not fixed it later in post productio, but it happens.
The other question this image brings up is: if that mark is so out in the open for us to see, does that mean someone missed their mark? And how do you miss a mark that big?
2. Wow, Fall Sure Came Fast
This one is hard to figure. Maybe it was the set decorator or one of a million other people in charge of how a movie looks in front of us. Someone decided that from one moment to the next, it was going to be fall in the scene with moody leaves blowing every which way.
That’s all fine and dandy except for the fact that right before the leaves show up, the ground is completely clear. Who decided to bring fall in front of the camera out of nowhere and who decided continuity was to be thrown out the window for this scene?
Again, it’s a hard one to figure since this seems like an obvious mistake to fix in post production. Maybe that vindictive hair dresser got promoted to second or third unit director.
1. The Mystery Of The Floating Candles Solved!
Wires are used often in movies. They can be used to make things appear to be floating or even to make actors appear to be flying or dangling. There’s a lot of uses for cables in wires in movie productions. The one thing to remember is this: don’t forget to erase them in post!
The digital wizards (I don’t think they are allowed in Hogwarts) can erase many mistakes and touch up many scenes in post producton. One of their magic tricks is making things like wires and cables disappear. This makes it so when we watch a scene where candles are floating, we are aghast and taken with the magic of Hogwarts. It helps to transport us to that wonderful world of mystery and fantasy Rowling put to paper so many years ago.
When cables are left in the scene, we are simply allowed to look upon a movie production with the curtain pulled back. No mystery there. No floating candles. No magic. Just the bare bones of movie making.