The Witch House, Beverly Hills
Not quite fashion jewellery related, but a fun day nonetheless!
I am a lover of Harry Potter, a fact that amongst my friends is quite well known – if I could, I’d be a magic and I’d live in the Witch House, Beverly Hills!
At school and university I was gripped by the books and when the films came out they were fab. Granted, the films may have missed parts of the story, which is always annoying of film adaptations, but the visual effects brought the wizarding world to life. I have to admit I was a little glum when the last book was release knowing that there’d be no more, and the same can be said of the most recent film.
For my birthday this year I was surprised with two tickets to The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Brothers Studio’s in London (www.wbstudiotour.co.uk). I was quite excited to say the least! We got there for our allocated 11:30am entrance slot and I had a face of wonder from the moment I got out of the car.
The Making of Harry Potter, Warner Brother's Studio's, London
I was under the impression most of the films would have been green screen but they really did bring the books to life…
You arrive by passing Harry’s cupboard under the stairs and from there you are ushered into the great hall. Once you’ve passed through the great hall you are free to take as long as you like looking at the selection of sets (including classrooms, common rooms and teachers offices), costumes and thousands of props. The attention to detail is amazing and everywhere you look there is something new. While in the first studio you can also ride on your own broom and fly in Mr Weasleys car.
You then come to the outside lot where a number of outdoor sets and props are on show, including the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and the Potters home, before entering a second studio which houses the animatronics and concept work for sets. Some of the models look a little too real and the remote controllers have way too many buttons! You then have the chance to walk through a complete Diagon Alley. Like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, the cobbled street is full of rickety shops with unusual window displays. Everything is old and dusty looking, as if it has always been there.
Once you’ve passed through Diagon Alley you come to the concept work; the number of technical drawings, paintings, sketches and paper models is quite unbelievable. Every possible thing had been thought of and documented before any work on the final set has begun. The final parts of the tour bring you to a scale model of Hogwarts Castle. The amazing model was used for any close-ups in the film and therefore is a perfect scale model – the lights in the castle even turn on when the room gets dark. The last part takes you through what looks like Ollivanders wand shop. Each of the thousands of wand boxes has a name on it, every name is someone who was involved in making the film. There is a man on hand to tell you where a specific name is if you need to find one – clearly he’s magic. From there you make your way to the gift shop – which is just as amazing as everything else, you’ll find it hard not to buy even just a chocolate frog!
The good thing about The Making of Harry Potter is that it celebrates the behind the scenes work involved in making the films, from the concept artists to the set makers to the dress makers to the animatronics department. All this makes it interesting for those who might not be that keen on Harry Potter… it must be good because even my parents are keen to go as they both love creating and the skill that involves.
Despite a stressful ‘OMG, I can’t take any more photo’s, I’m going to cry!‘ moment (due flat battery on camera followed by flat battery on one phone and limited battery on the other phone (second phone held out)), I cannot recommend it enough – it was the best day ever and I am now a proud owner of my very own wand!
(I’ve pruned the 600+ pictures down to the below gallery.)