Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Making of Harry Potter - Warner Bros Studio Tour

The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour sign

Having been to the Warner Bros Studio Tour around a year ago, I was beyond excited when I got the chance to visit again. The first time had been incredible, but I knew that with so many details to take in, it would be one of those experiences from which more could be gained with each repeat visit. A little like the Harry Potter books really. Besides, I'm someone who could never get enough Potter. I even wrote my dissertation on the books! This post is incredibly photo-heavy, and of course, awash with spoilers. If you've never been, and you don't want the surprises ruined, look away now! 

The Great Hall at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour including Dumbledore's Lectern

I think that the first time I visited, I just took in the size and scale of the sets and pieces there, but this time I was able to more closely focus on the details. I realised the extent of this when I saw it reflected in the photos I took. The Great Hall is an amazing set, with so much to look at. Details like the Hogwarts crest are just magical to see. I loved the fact that the then-new tables had to be made to look old for the films, so on the first day of filming the children on set were asked to bash them a bit with their cutlery. Naturally, I managed to find the word 'sex' carved into one of them - that's eleven-year-olds for you!

The Potions Classroom Dungeon at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Advcanced Potion Making book at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour

The potions classroom is breathtakingly detailed, with every jar lining the walls filled with some oddity and completed with a handwritten label. 


Props at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour  including gold skull and philosophers stone
Sirius Black's Prisoner Number at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour

I was just as mesmerised and fascinated by the innumerable supply of props to be spotted all around this time. They are so very detailed, and it's incredible to think that someone had to source or make every single one of them. Every item is like a work of art, and there are so many of them. It delights me that so much love was put into bringing this world to life.  

The Mirror of Erised at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Knight Bus and Magic is Might

Around every corner is something truly iconic - how many films/series have really produced so many instantly recognisable images?

Outside at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour  including Number 4 Privet Drive and Potter's Cottage at Godric's Hollow

It may just be me being a bit weird about those books, but I find it genuinely a little moving, and really special seeing Harry's first two homes side by side. The burnt out cottage looks so old and eerie, especially contrasted with the suburban familiarity of a house like 4 Privet Drive. It feels so strange to stand outside the Dursley's house, and even knock on the door!

The Creature Shop at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour inc. Monster book of Monsters and Mandrake
Kreacher at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour

The creature shop is full of strange and amazing sights, and I loved seeing the animatronics like the mandrake and what I call Voldebaby. Everything looks so real! 


Diagon Alley at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour

Diagon Alley is a real highlight, I only wish it was bigger and less dark, so I could more clearly see all those fantastic details. Again, it's just wonderful to see how much effort and work went into to making everything just right, like the individually hand-labelled wand boxes in Ollivander's. 


Set designs at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour

The designs and concept art on display are beautiful. Remember the lectern in the Great hall photos? Here's the design for it. One design, several huge pages long, was just for the side of Dumbledore's chair. Later, you can see a paper model based on that design which was constructed before they made the real thing. Just like in secondary school DT lessons!  


Hogwarts Model at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Hogwarts close ups at The Making Of Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour

 I'd actually had this model of Hogwarts 'spoiled' for me before my first visit, and though I thought it looked cool, didn't see it as a huge deal. How wrong I was. It's truly magical. Every tiny detail made me gasp, and with the beautiful soundtrack playing I was honestly moved almost to tears. On both visits. It's that spectacular. The lights also change to show the castle at night, and all the little windows light up. To see the full thing, you have to go down a level to see the bottom part of the castle, including little trees made of real plant roots. Seeing things like the tiny Herbology greenhouses and the Astronomy tower created so painstakingly is just wonderful for someone who loves the books as I do. It's worth watching the little information screens, as they show loads of fascinating facts and exactly how the model was used. 

Have you been on the tour? I'm already working on the boyfriend to take me back at Christmas! Let me know if you'd be interested in seeing what I bought at the shop (which is almost as good as the tour itself!) in a kind of Harry Potter mini-haul! 





4 comments:

  1. Seeing your pictures makes me want to go back again! I would love to go around Christmas time!

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  2. I soooo want to go here one day! I've wanted to go for ages. Love these pictures :)


    Yazmin xx
    www.yazzyscorner.co.uk

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  3. It's amazing, you should definitely do it! x

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  4. It would just be even more magical! x

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