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PROJECT PREVIEW


PURE MAGIC


Harry Potter fans will be able to immerse themselves in the original fi lm sets, props and special effects when the studio tour opens next March. Kathleen Whyman gets a sneak preview of this spell-binding attraction


lying ahead, I feel as though I’m really at Hogwarts. Then I realise that I am. For this isn’t a fl imsy, plywood reconstruction of the famous wizarding school, but the actual, stone, four-walled building that was used in all eight of the Harry Potter fi lms. The Great Hall is part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry


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tanding at the doors to the Great Hall, with knights on guard around me and the vast dining room


Potter, which, when it opens on 31 March 2012, will be home to many of the sets, props, costumes, animatronics and effects used in the fi lms – nothing on display in the attraction will be a replica. Covering 150,000sq ft (14,000 sq m), the


attraction will not only be a treasure trove for Harry Potter fans to explore and a show- case for the incredible artistry that went into creating these sets, it will also be a fas- cinating insight into how fi lms are made.


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BEWITCHING ENTRANCE The entrance houses a café, shop and ticket collection point. Film stills adorn the walls and visitors get to see their fi rst set piece – Harry’s bedroom at 4 Privet Drive where he lived with the Dursleys, also known as the cupboard under the stairs. A pre-tour show reel features mem-


bers of the cast and highlights from the fi lms. The screen then rises to reveal the entrance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s Great Hall – the only part of the tour that will be guided. As I enter the iconic set, I experience a


mixture of excitement, respect and pride at this monument to British talent. The attention to detail is staggering. The doors have been painted with real gold leaf, as this was the only way of ensuring they looked gold on fi lm and the 37m (120ft)- long by 12m (40ft)-wide fl oor is solid York stone. The fl ambeaus that adorn the walls are blackened with soot having been lit


AM 4 2011 ©cybertrek 2011


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