Hocus Pocus 2 Production Designer Reveals Biggest Challenge to Filming was Lead Stars Schedules
By Anthony Lund
January 11, 2022
Filming is almost complete on Hocus Pocus 2, the Disney+ movie that brings back Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters after almost 30 years. The highly anticipated sequel to 1993 hit Hocus Pocus will arrive on the streaming platform in time for Halloween, and thanks to the eagle-eyed residents of Rhode Island, a number of behind-the-scenes stills and videos have found their way onto the internet. With shooting drawing to a close, there has been just enough time for a new image of Kathy Najimy getting ready in make-up and a video chat with production designer Nelson Coates to appear online.
The new image of Najimy, who reprises her role as Mary in the sequel, shows the actress with three of the make-up artists that have been working with her during the shoot, getting her into character ahead of filming. Shared by hocuspocusguide on Instagram, the image is one of many that have been taken during the shoot since it began at the end of last year and thanks to the make-up and hair team wearing masks, it will certainly act as a reminder of the tough times that the cast and crew had filming around changing pandemic rules.via hocuspocusguide on Instagram
In a video shared by the account, production designer Nelson Coates was asked about the challenges that have been faced during filming, and it seems that the biggest issues faced were linked to the tight schedules of the film’s three lead actresses, who were available for a lot less time than was really required. Coates explained:
“I would say actually the biggest challenge is schedule and then budget. Let’s say Hocus Pocus 2 we are doing right now, each of the ladies had such a crazy schedule. They were only available for six weeks. Well we needed twelve weeks to do the movie so all of a sudden everything for me is front loaded. I’m having to build all the sets for the entire movie so we can shoot any scene or any part of a scene without them, and then come back to those locations and sets and shoot their part of those scenes. Usually your biggest builds are toward the end, so you have time to design them, you have time to actually construct and dress and do whatever you need, and this was whacky because it was so front end loaded.”
Hocus Pocus 2’s Purpose-Built 1600s Village Was Heartbreaking To Tear Down
Previous videos from Chase Farm, Rhode Island, have shown the 1600s village built especially for the shoot, which is expected to feature in a flashback sequence that involved child versions of the Sanderson Sisters, and Coates went on to confess he purposely didn’t go back to the set after filming, as he couldn’t bear to see it dismantled. He explained:
“I just built a Salem 1650 village in a park just north of Providence, and it’s huge, all period accurate and some interiors and all that. It was very challenging to get it accomplished and to make it look right and it was so beautiful. After the last day that we were filming there I didn’t go back to see the strike of it because in my head it is still there, and I don’t want to see it gone because it’s one of those.”
With some months to go before Hocus Pocus 2 lands on Disney+ later in the year, fans are now ready to see some official footage from the movie after getting to see so many hand shot pieces from the last few months of filming. With a trailer not likely to arrive for a few months, it is going be a relatively short wait now until we see the Sanderson’s take flight for more magic and mayhem in a sequel that many had started to believe would never be made.
Anthony Lund is an author, songwriter, and puppeteer from a small village in the U.K. with an avid love of all genres of TV and film. As well as keeping up with the latest entertainment news and writing about it for MovieWeb, he works as a video editor, voice-over artist, and production designer. A child of the 80s, he is the owner of almost 2000 books, more toys than his children, three Warner Bros. Store Gremlins, and a production used Howard The Duck movie script.