Props respect to ace Hannah

The prop-maker who created wands, brooms and Death Eater masks for the Harry Potter films has given the Gazette a demonstration of how she works.

Hannah Getley, 38, of Bourne End Lane, Bourne End, made us a mini skull in the green and black colours of the Hemel Hempstead Gazette.

The mum-of-two has worked on big-name productions like the Pirates Of The Caribbean and both of the Batman Dark Knight films.

She began her career at a small model-making company in Mortlake, London, where she was talent-spotted and called to work on James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.

But her major break came when she began work on the Harry Potter films – and made props for them for more than 10 years.

She worked with 10 others in its prop department – but only two others were allowed to make them with her.

Hannah said: “All the characters had a wand basically, so we had to make one for each of them.”

About 20 different versions were made of the film’s ‘hero wands’ – which were used for close-ups in major scenes.

These included rubber wands that could bend, wands that could break and others that were rigged up with lights.

Hannah is giving demonstrations of how she made the wands to visitors of the Harry Potter Experience at the Warner Brothers Studio, formerly Leavesden Studios, until Sunday.

Hannah also made the Hogwarts school brooms for the Potter films.

She said: “We had to go and forage the sticks in an orchard, strip back the bark, shape the wood, and make the handles. We made the broom head out of specially-ordered twigs.

“And in Hogwarts, everybody had a school broom.”

To create Death Eater masks, a cast was taken from the faces of the actors playing them.

The masks were sculpted over the casts from copper. Then the masks were silver-plated before designs were added to them with paint and acid etching.

As well as all this, Hannah helped educate the young stars of the film, who were tutored on-site in-between their acting.

She said: “Daniel Radcliffe was lovely.

“He was always popping in to see what we were doing and was really interested in everything.

“We had a lot of the stars come for work experience in our prop workshop, because they were normal schoolkids and had to do everything normal schoolkids would.”

Daniel, who played Harry Potter, and Rupert Grint, who played Harry’s best mate Ron Weasley, were among those to visit Hannah’s workshop.

Hannah also met her husband Adrian, 45, while making props for the film series, and the pair now have two children – Honey, three, and Pearl, one.

Hannah now runs a face-painting business called Starface. To learn more, phone her on 07944 154361 or visit www.starface.co.uk