Sunday, 8 July 2012

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

Sunday 1st July 2012 marks one of the best days of my life. As a trip out for my little sister’s birthday present, my family and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden.

I wanted to share a few pictures I took and mention what I loved most about the tour. With the exception of the 13 images I’ve inserted into this post, I’ve tried my very best not to spoil the experience, instead tell you reasons why you should go!

As the Harry Potter tour was only a twenty-minute journey on a clear motorway, I hardly had time to feel excitement growing. But the moment I stepped out of the car and saw the Harry Potter building, I was suddenly overcome by a wave of emotion.

I was excited, giddy but most of all scared. I was terrified to be perfectly honest and trying to explain why I was scared to my parents was quite difficult. I was basically scared that it wouldn’t be what I expected. The Harry Potter books and films were my childhood. I was only three when the first book was released, but I read it before I saw the first film and it meant a lot seeing something you’d read put onto a big screen. Then, almost every year for eight years, a film came out. Childhood.

Stepping into the queue, my Dad looked at me and asked, ‘Are you excited?’ I just nodded because I was in complete awe of the building. Around the entrance hall are pictures of the cast as themselves and in character, from the very first film to the last. The car is seen hovering in the sky, while Harry and Ron’s Hogwarts trolley is on another shelf. The magic begins as soon as you walk into the building.
After queuing for about 10 minutes, we walked into the room (past the cupboard under the stairs!) and entered a dark room with a few screens. After a very kind welcome from a tour guide, a video is shown involving David Heyman and the producers of the films, talking about how the Harry Potter films came to be and why they are just so special. After this, you’re taken to a cinema screen to watch a quick film before your tour.

The best thing about the tour is how well organised it is. At no time did I feel rushed to keep on moving or in a position where I couldn’t see anything or get to any place easily. Signs were everywhere to help navigate, as well as signs to the different artifacts and displays.

There is no time limit on this tour. You book a slot, but can then take as long as you would like to look around. There is a one way system between each of the different rooms though, so make sure you see everything or as much as you want in one room before moving to the next one. But other than this, you’re in control of your own Harry Potter experience!

Every now and then something fun pops up. Whether it’s Butterbeer (lush) or a TV screen where someone from the film gives a little bit more info on a few of the props or costumes, it’s something to interact with and take a little longer to look at. Oh and there may or may not be a few wands which you can use to clean pans or iron one of the Weasley’s jumper’s with.

Seeing the real costumes worn by the cast and the real props that were used in the film is can be quite overwhelming. The amount of detail that the crew members went into for the film is incredible. There wasn’t just a piece of paper with a squiggle on as Harry’s Hogwarts letter, no-no, the set prop department made sure the letter was written to the point it would be if it was real. And there were THOUSANDS of them, of course, for the letter scene. Even small props which were in the background of shots were created to the highest quality and detail. I read a letter from Lily Potter to Sirius Black that wasn’t looked at much in the film, but I felt tears rise to my eyes as I read it because of the insane amount of realism it holds.

Another highlight is the big surprise at the end…but I can’t go into that too much without giving it away!
I could easily go on about how incredibly amazing the Harry Potter Tour is, but the only way for people to understand what I mean is to go on the tour.

Below are a few pictures (25 out of the 360 I took!) of some of the moments from my tour. There is so much more to see than just this post and a few pictures.
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