Sunday, 24 August 2014

Harry Potter Studios and a Magical Day!!!

The other day me and Issy went to Warner Bros Studios for a magical day exploring the wizarding world of Harry Potter. We LOVE all things HP so this was pretty much the perfect day. Read on for a few pics and some of the trivia we picked up along the way. But if you're thinking of heading there yourself at some point (and you should!) maybe hang fire as there are some spoilers. If not, just give that mouse of yours a swish and flick and read on…

 First things first we came to the doors of the Great Hall and the detail on all of the stone, wood, flooring etc is insane. The floor of the Great Hall is made out of real Yorkshire flagstone as they knew the set would need to withstand 8 films.

Next up we came to the Gryffindor Common Room which is said to be most of the cast and crew's favourite set as it was so comfy to lounge around in between takes. The threadbare rug and intricate wall hangings were beautiful… I wanted to recreate it at home!

Then we came to Dumbledore's office where we were able to see the Pensieve and the Sword of Gryffindor. I could see my Grandad feeling right at home in an office like this!

  Next up is the Potions Room which also featured mannequins wearing Slughorn and Snape's clothing. Apparently the set designers had real trouble filling up the potions jars with lotions and potions. They started by buying fake reptiles and things from the London Zoo and individually adding fur and hair on before one of their designers visited a butchers and asked for boiled bones to fill the vials and jars with… Nice.

Then we came to Hagrid's Hut. There were two Hagrid Hut's made. One was made with oversized furniture to make Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint look small and one was designed with miniature chairs and tables to make Robbie Coltrane look big so depending on the angle Hagrid continued to look like a Giant!

 Next up was The Burrow's complete with the family clock (that featured the 7 hands with the face of each Weasley Child), the magical knitting and the self-cleaning pan featured in the film. The Burrow was deliberately made to feel ramshackled and so none of the edges line up the roof is wobbly, the floor is uneven and the surfaces are at odd angles. But you've got to love The Burrow's right?

Then we came across The Black Family Tree. The tapestry is massive and each member of the family was individually hand painted onto the canvas using a photo of the actors.

Then we saw Umbridge's Office. The amount of work that goes into each set is crazy. The china plates feature images hundreds of images of kittens painstakingly taken by the set designers. The table is complete with every little knick and knack imaginable. The whole ministry/atrium set was incredibly detailed. The green tiling of the vast atrium itself is massive and made up the biggest set of all the films and the Magic is Might statue was carved out of foam but up close looks as if it could be the centre piece of Trafalgar Square. It looks so real!

Outside we were able to see the Knight Bus, The Hogwarts Bridge and The Potter's Godric's Hollow Home. This set is only a facade, so there's no inside to it, the front half of the house is supported by steel poles. But we also saw Privet Drive which is a fully built house. Again the detail is amazing from the antiquated front door, the tudor beams and the brick wall (which is not made out of bricks!)

Back inside all of the Goblin masks and other clever prosthetics are on show to see up close. Plus there's a video where the makeup artist talks through the process of making the Goblins come to life. This mask was for Warwick Davis as Griphook. 

Crazy merpeople…

Then we came to the set of Diagon Alley which is where I got super excited. You're a wizard Harry! Here is Gringotts.

Here is the view up the Alley which features Olivander's, Eeylops Owl Emporium (where Hagrid bought Hedwig), Madam Malkins (the robe shop) and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes amongst others…

And as an English Lit grad I couldn't help take a picture of Flourish & Blotts, the bookshop.

Finally, the jewel in the HP Studios crown is the small scale replica of Hogwarts, which despite being small scale, fills a whole room. The detail is insane from the window panes to the teeny tiny hinges on doors and Hogwarts students placed about the castle.

Despite all of the pictures I've shown you, there was still soooooo much more to see. If you love all things HP then this is the place to go. It was an incredible day. Me and Is got our nerd on and swatted up on all the info we could get our hands on. It was amazing to see how things were made and the methods they used to bring JK Rowling's world to life. I'd recommend it to anyone and I can't wait to go again in the future!

Love Elle xo 

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