Saturday, February 24, 2024

MinaLima brings the world of Harry Potter to Lucca

MinaLima brings the world of Harry Potter to Lucca

The magical world of Harry Potter had its space at Lucca Comics and Games 2023 thanks to the presence of MinaLima, the mind behind the look we have learned to love of the Wizarding World.

MinaLima brings the world of Harry Potter to Lucca

If many spectators from all over the world love it Harry Potter and the WIzarding World created by JK Rowling some of the credit also goes to MinaLimaa collective creative mind that was responsible for creating the graphic universe of all the films produced by Warner Bros, in other subsequent parallel projects and now at work for Salani and Ippocampo to repeat the magic in the illustrated editions of the British writer’s books. A unique and much loved work that the Lucca fair has enhanced and conveyed in a dedicated immersive exhibition, which includes more than 114 original props and concept art from the filmswhich include the iconic Hogwarts acceptance letter, the magic wands of the various characters, Quidditch brooms, Godric Gryffindor’s sword, the Marauder’s Map and many other props that have sentimental value, as well as the artistic one, for millions of fans from all over the world.

The souls behind the name MinaLima

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Lucca Comics and Games 2023: an image of the MinaLima exhibition

But who are we talking about exactly? Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, who began working in 2001 to imagine and give shape to the magical universe of the Harry Potter films, simultaneously creating their own strong, shared and unique artistic vision, which resulted in a design studio in 2009 graphic designer, supporting the entertainment and publishing industries. That’s how it was born Studio MinaLimawho worked on other films that marked the last decades of the film industry, from Sweeney Todd a The Imitation Game o The Golden Compasscreating, at the same time, a series of illustrated books of great classics.

A precious partnership

A precious partnership, therefore. Magical, we should say, born of “an instant connection” as Miraphora Mina told us, “which has also increased over the years. We understood our respective strengths, qualities and elements in common. As in the best marriages, we understood when it was appropriate to argue and when not.” Plus when they started it was just the two of them working “and it stayed that way until Harry Potter 6” said Eduardo Lima, “today we are a big family and there are 63 of us at work.” Because the breadth of commitment has increased, the involvement on multiple fronts, not just related to Wizarding World and not just films.

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Lucca Comics and Games 2023: an image of the MinaLima exhibition

A world, that of MinaLima, which is well represented in the book The Magic of MinaLimawhat Eduardo Lima defines “the object that most represents us”beyond the individual props created which somehow characterize their work over the many years of their career, from Malandrino map al Daily Prophet.

Serving history

Many objects, many sketches and projects, with only one goal in mind: put yourself at the service of history. “At the center of all the graphic decisions made there was a single idea” Miraphora Mina told us: “it had to serve the story. If we are drawing the Marauder’s Map or Snape’s book, we have to get into the character of the character and the meaning of the scene. Because sometimes we only have two seconds on scene to communicate the personality of a character or a object, so we need to think and understand first how it should look and what it should convey.”
Indeed “I wanted to wear the characters’ stage clothes when we had to design the props” confirmed Eduardo Lima, jokingly. But up to a certain point.

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Lucca Comics and Games 2023: The Malandrino’s Map in the MinaLima exhibition

A story that was necessary to serve even when the leadership changed, passing from Chris Columbus to Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, David Yates. “Each director comes with their own set of characteristics” Lima explained, “Newell was more focused on acting, Cuaron brought a narrative voice and a very strong change of tone. With Yates there was a naturalness of communication that helped us a lot. He gave us carte blanche, he let us go further in creating props compared to what was needed for the film.”
There was never any input from Rowling. Almost, at least. “Because in some cases we had to ask” to truly put yourself at the service of history. As in the case of Harry and Sirius Black in front of the family tapestry, because “We needed to know who we should include.” An important prop about which they also reveal a curiosity: they and part of the Studio MinaLima team are also present in the part not in the frame.

A new declination of magic

Regarding the work on JK Rowling’s work, the team was not limited to the films of the original series, but expanded into theme parks, merchandising and publishing, culminating in the parallel saga of Fantastic animals. A journey full of great satisfactions, obviously, but also difficulties? “I can’t think of a difficult prop” Eduardo Lima specified, “but a boring one. We were so immersed in the wizarding world that we didn’t want to go back to the Muggle world”so they were bored with the part of the work relating to the non-magical world present in the Wizarding World.

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Lucca Comics and Games 2023: an image of the MinaLima exhibition

Nor was it difficult to return to this universe of magic for the next saga of Fantastic Beasts. “The biggest difference” explained Miraphora Mina, “It was the need to focus on a specific period, like the 1920s and 1930s, but it was interesting to immerse yourself in that era and do research. Other than that, the work was the same, it’s about taking a reality and modify it so that it becomes an invented magical world.” But basically the workflow is always the same: “We start with a visual search and try to guide it to serve the story.”
A work expressed in a slightly different way for the illustrations of the Harry Potter books, where it was necessary to do something different, both because it is not a Warner Bros project and because “in the film we have a very specific task, while in the book we cover many different roles. And all in a very small space.”