Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Making of Harry Potter Leavesden Studios Tour, Part 1: Studio J

On Tuesday 3rd December 2013, I got the opportunity to accompany 50 media students at my college to the Making of Harry Potter tour at the Warner Bros. Leavesden studios, just outside London. I'm far from the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world but was excited to take a look behind the scenes of this mammoth franchise nonetheless. It certainly did not disappoint with awe-inspiring sets, props, costumes, concept art, designs, plans, and a wealth of stuff to admire for both Harry Potter fans and film fanatics alike.

This is the first part of the tour and the photos I took within the first of the two giant studios that visitors get to wander around. There are studios J and K (see what they did there?) and in between is the backlot that also has some special treats in store.

It all starts with a wander into the Great Hall of Hogwarts. After walking through the gigantic doors, you are met with the lines of tables and the costumes of the teachers at the head of the hall. It was all decked out for Christmas when we went, hence the Christmas trees and turkeys lining the tables.

Entering the Great Hall

The staff watch over the students

Empty and ready for the next group of visitors

After being ushered through the Great Hall to allow for the next group to enter, the tour gets serious with the main part of the studio dedicated to a huge amount of sets, props and decor from the films. There is also the opportunity to have a go riding a broomstick with a green screen behind you so you can then buy an extortionately priced souvenir of your time at the studio. You can get a DVD or just a photo of your time riding a broomstick through the streets of London and over a variety of landscapes.

The best of the directors

Drinks served at the Yule Ball

Inside Hagrid's hut

Opening the Chamber of Secrets

Dumbledore's office

Quidditch costumes

The Ministry of Magic

Studio J is filled with so much to take in, it should take you at least an hour to get through. I could have spent hours looking at the sets and the attention to detail that has been so painstakingly crafted by all the people who have worked on these films. The kids will love having a go on the green screen stuff and also having wand wielding lessons. However, what I was not expecting is it gets even better.

The Making of Harry Potter Leavesden Studios Tour, Part 2: Backlot
The Making of Harry Potter Leavesden Studios Tour, Part 3: Studio K