It’s all about the detail
My family enjoyed a visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at the weekend. We actually felt like fan frauds compared to some of the people in costume or visiting as a regular. It is as good as everyone raves about, but my main feeling was guilt.
Because most of the time I will watch a film for a couple of hours then leave the cinema thinking ‘not bad’ or other such critique. And yet the creativity, skill, talent, care and attention to detail that goes into any movie – let alone one as ground-breaking as the Harry Potter series is phenomenal. Over 4,000 people were involved in the making of the films for more than a decade. The techniques that were developed by the eighth film were only dreamt about when shooting the first. All so that I can have a couple of hours of escapism from reality and stand as an inexpert judgement on their endeavours.
And yet, I think it is often the same with what we do. With so many things commoditised and with fantasy film-makers making us believe that anything (including Quidditch and invisibility cloaks) is possible, as a society we rarely stop to consider how much craftsmanship and skill go into making blinds, shutters, awnings and curtains. The engineering for something like a ZIP blind for a roof lantern has to consider gravity, convection, thermal conductivity, thermodynamics and aesthetics. Our installers have to understand electronics, material strengths, shapes such as trapezoids and the individual quirks of each made-to-measure (to the millimetre) item.
So in the future, whenever I prepare a quote for my customers I am going to remember how much human ingenuity will be employed in making someone’s window stunning. Oh, and I will also stop complaining about the price of cinema tickets. Quite frankly, they are a bargain!