Last night I managed to overcome the snow and the crowds in the West End of London to meet the people at Framestore. These are the people who provided Dobby and Kreacher for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and who were coincidentally celebrating the forthcoming release of the latest Narnia film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which they also worked on.

I sat down with Christian Manz, the VFX Supervisor with credits including The Golden Compass, Nanny McPhee and previous Potter and Narnia films, and he explained how he and his team were tasked with bringing the Potter house-elves Dobby and Kreacher to life.

The visual effects company inherited Dobby from the earlier Potter films which had come from the famed Industrial Light and Magic in the US, Framestore won the work for the Deathly Hallows based on a demo that they created and that it had then taken 16 months of work by a team of 60 to complete the project. He also mentioned that they were also still working on some key scenes for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2  and were due to finish that sometime around March next year.

One behind-the-scenes fact he passed on was that for the final scene with Dobby on the beach Daniel Radcliffe was holding a midget, three times Dobby’s size, who then had to be digitally removed from the frames so that Dobby could be inserted. Another Framestore contribution to Part 1 of the Deathly Hallows was the storybook sequence from the film, a sequence which has been celebrated and venerated in critic’s reviews, which came from the department that normally handles commercials rather than films.

In that vein they showed us their latest piece of work, the new Coca-Cola advert, which is to be shown in 90 countries worldwide with music by the band “Train”. Filming for the live sequences took place on set in Bulgaria, to give the look of New York, and when you see it keep in mind that the whole sequence with the trucks is CGI and when Santa picks up the snow globe everything other than the wooden base is also CGI.

Oh, and for those in the UK who can put up with “I’m A Celebrity” then on Thursday evening there’s going to be a new Andrex puppy advert, but that one was definitely under wraps.

If you want to learn more about Framestore and their work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  then go here and I hope to be able to talk more with Christian sometime soon so stay tuned!