Monday, June 30, 2014

The Making of Harry Potter

Anyone who knows me will know what an important role Harry Potter has played in my life. Yes, I'm a fan, but that doesn't even begin to cover it. I started reading the books when I was seven, and basically never stopped. I grew up with these characters, this story, and it is so indescribably a part of who I am.

So, when I had the opportunity to visit the Warner Brothers Studios site where Harry Potter was created and filmed, I jumped at the chance! The studio, located in Leavesden outside London is where the majority of the filming took place for all eight films across 10 years.

There was so much to see, so I'll just share it all! :)

Here I am! So excited!!!!!

The lobby has photos of many characters from the films over the years displayed up on the walls, and a few choice props like the Ford Angila.

The first part of the tour was the Great Hall. I made the same walk through the doors that Harry did before being sorted into Griffindor!

The statues guarding the entrance outside the hall.


Slytherin costumes.

Gryffindor costumes.

The Griffindor table.

Little Harry's costume he wore during the first film when he was 11.

House points.
Rubeus Hagrid 
Argus Filch

Me (dark but still worth it) in front of the Griffindor table.

Severus Snape

Albus Dumbledore

Minerva McGonagall

Sybill Trelawney

Mad-Eye Moody

Filius Flitwick
The rest of the tour in studio J (There are two studios J and K. Perfect.) was full of props, costumes and set pieces. Brace yourself. I was so excited I didn't know how to handle it!

Hermione, Victor Krum, Harry and Pavarti Patel's dressrobes.

Ron's dressrobes. Oh Ronald ;)

Drinks from the Yule Ball

The Mirror of Erised.  "It does not do to dwell on dreams Harry, and forget to live." 
Luna Lovegood's accessories, including the radish earrings. 
The trio during christmas in the first movie. Adorable! 
The Griffindor common room.

Dumbledore's office.
Dumbledore's office.

The trio's costumes from Deathly Hallows part 2.

Tonks, Sirius and Lupin.

The potions classroom.

Every bottle is filled and individually labeled. I love the details that made this world so real!

The door to the Chamber of Secrets

Arthur Weasley in the Burrow.

Ginny, Fred and George in the Burrow.

Molly Weasley and her self chopping carrots.

Harry's Quidditch robes.

 Ministry of Magic statue.
 Dolores Umbridge's office at the Ministry of Magic.
Floo powder fireplace at the Ministry.
 The dark side. The snatcher Scabior, Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort and Lucius Malfoy.
 The Black family tapestry, actually woven for it's place at 12 Grimmauld Place.
The Ministry of Magic.
 A death eater.

They also had a great display case of all of the graphics and details that were used throughout the films.

After studio J were the outdoor displays. 

 The Knight Bus! "Emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. My name is Stan Shunpike and I'll be your conductor for this evening."
 "Eh, take it away Ern, it's going to be a bumpy ride"

 The Riddle grave from Goblet of  Fire.
 The bridge on the castle grounds.

 The Potter house in Godric's Hollow from Deathly Hallows Part 1.
 Number 4 Privet Drive!


 Another Ford Anglia.
A chess piece from The Sorcerer's Stone.
Next, in Studio K, were the creatures.

 Goblin masks.
 Blown up Aunt March ;)
 Aragog. The employee behind me growled in a low, Aragog voice "Goodbye friend of Hagrid."
Who doesn't love Buckbeak?!

Poor Dobby. This was the actual, life sized model that Harry carried to bury at Shell Cottage. Rest in Peace you brave little elf. "A nice place, to be with friends."

Then we took a nice trip down Diagon Alley!
 Gringotts, the Wizard bank. "Ain't no safer place, 'cept o' course Hogwarts."

 Wonderful sign in the Apothecary shop :)
Ollivander's Wand shop. "The wand chooses the wizard Harry. It's not always clear why."
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes!

 Eelopys Owl Emporium.

The last part (before the amazing, expensive and crowded gift shop) was the art department, conceptual drawings and models of the sets. Each major set building had a fully detailed, to scale, paper model before it was built.
 Paper model of The Burrow.
The Hogwarts castle was not actually a real castle but an extensive model that was filmed with a green screen to create the different seasons and scenes. It took a crew eight full weeks to assemble it here at the studios. It's amazing to think that this model made the iconic castle we are all so familiar with from the films.

The very last stop was a room, filled top to bottom with wand boxes labeled with the name of every actor and crew member that worked on the films!

"After all this time?" 

1 comment:

  1. As I re-read your posts ...I have to go back to your day @ Harry Potter & Warner Brothers studio! I tried to comment the day you sent it, but didnt have my GOOGLE PLUS account established...NOT so anymore. I am conquering my lack of skills with Technology (and not without ALOT of help...special thanks to Jenn) so I can be in the conversation with you especially for these MONUMENTAL days of adventure, discovery and in this case of "going home "to the Harry Potter movie sets...with the wonder, delight and magic so close you could touch it!!! You will never have to wonder what it felt like to stand in front of Dobby...or Buckbeak...or how truely evil a death eater looks or what it was like inside The Burrow.. The Griffindor common room or Diagon Alley .Or how stunning Hermiones Pink Ballgown was..or .what its like to stand @ #4Privot Drive or how it feels to be in The Knight Bus or The Ford Anglia...BECAUSE YOU WERE THERE! ...BRAVO! BRAVO! :)