In conversation with Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima
Famous for his creative hand in the Harry Potter and fantastic beasts movies, MinaLima is responsible for bringing so much magical art to life. The duo behind the scenes, Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima “were the official graphic designers” for Wizarding World content from the very first Potter film. The pair sat down with AlloCiné for discuss work in both franchises.
MinaLima’s recent creations can be seen everywhere Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets. Shop signs in Berlin’s cityscape, campaign banners held up by supportive citizens, and an ornately decorated Portkey, among other things, were all elements that had to be considered for the film. Miraphora Mina was the first to respond when asked which designs they prefer to create.
We had a lot of new worlds to imagine, but I think going to Bhutan – and having this completely new environment that was very local, very primitive in a way in its style and because it was so remote and separate from the cities, but also of all these dogmas to which we were accustomed in the world of Harry Potter – it was an opportunity to reinvent some of the symbols, figures, shapes and styles that could be found in this magical and sacred destination, which we had never seen before.
Eduardo Lima also continued with some of his most memorable designs.
Another big part of our work on this film was the elections. We had to create all the material for the fans of Santos, Tao and Grindelwald. And for me, precisely, having a bit of Brazil in this film is really close to my heart since I come from there. So creating the insignias of the Ministry of Magic and all the other Vicência supporters was fantastic.
There are always challenges when there are new areas of design to explore. Mina says recreating parts of Berlin for the film was tricky and required organizational skills.
When we went to muggle worlds in Harry Potter, it was a bit boring because it was contemporary. But in the fantastic beasts saga, it’s still great because you have to bring the streets of the 1930s back to life quite often. We’ve done it for New York, Paris and now Berlin. But because of the fantastic way these films are made, almost everything is done in the studio. Thus, the streets are all built in the studio. To create many, many streets that feel like part of an entire city, we need to condense everything into a smaller space, but use graphics to make that single space look like three or four different places. It’s a real challenge, because it becomes a kind of organizational logistics.
Lima notes, “It’s the magic of cinema!
A bit of digital cinema magic may have helped the creative duo finish the job, but it’s safe to say that it’s the original and unique quality of art that only MinaLima can create that really makes these movies. As Mina says so vividly during the interview, “The idea is always to make people feel like it’s magic rather than show them. We wanted to bring a spirit of magic, it was a joy to do.
While new artwork is always a treat for viewers, it’s also fun to revisit the classics. Asked about one of the MinaLima “the most emblematic creations”, the Marauder’s Map, they both agreed was a longtime favorite. The key to layout, Mina describes, is not just to draw a map in the style preferred by the designer, but to get inside the minds of the map’s original creators.
But to get there, you have to understand who made this map. And so, right from the start, we had to make sure that it wasn’t us drawing the map, but these four Marauders and we know a bit about them from fiction. And I think if you understand the personality of the person behind the piece, then you can start finding visual cues to help you. So in this case, they were a little cunning and creative and a little cheeky and naughty.
Check out more design content from MinaLima on the official site.