Making a Prophet

The fiction: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, released 2001. Director: Chris Columbus. Props master: Barry Wilkinson.

The newspaper: Daily Prophet

Journalism doesn’t really start to be important to the Harry Potter series until around the fourth book — not coincidentally, this is after JK Rowling became famous and the newspapers started writing about her. But Rita Skeeter, bugging and Rowling’s testimony to the Leveson Inquiry are some way off, because the Daily Prophet was still around in the Potterverse from the start. So, how do you make a newspaper stand out in a world where pictures can already move?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Sex, spies, salacious front pages

The fiction: London Spy, 2015 television drama. Director: Jakob Verbruggen. Props master: Jim Grindley/Ewan Robertson.

The newspapers: Daily Express, The Independent Times

Where once a conspiracy thriller’s hero would be a tenacious reporter, or an ordinary man who would approach a reporter to blow the lid off the grand deception, anybody with a USB stick and a laptop can get onto WikiLeaks. So what role is left for newspapers in the BBC’s latest such thriller, London Spy? Well, to menace the hero in a way that would make Lord Leveson tremble.

Continue reading