This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Tickets to the studio tour went on sale on 13 October. The attraction opens 31 March 2012


ABOUT WARNER BROS STUDIOS LEAVESDEN


Hagrid’s hut is among the set pieces that visitors will be able to see in all their original glory


he tour is set at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden, 20 miles North-West of London, UK, where all of the eight Harry Potter fi lms were made. Originally built as an airfi eld in 1940 after the outbreak of World War II, the site was sold to Rolls-Royce after the war, which operated there until 1994. Leavesden Studios was created in 1995 to make the James Bond fi lm GoldenEye. Other fi lms made at Leavesden include Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, The Dark Knight and both of the Sherlock Holmes fi lms. Films will continue to be made at Leavesden and new sets may, in the future, become part of the tour, but The Making of Harry Potter is completely separate from the studio.


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during fi lming and the heavy oak and pine tables and benches were fi rst aged with chains and axes, then later etched with the child actors’ graffi ti for authenticity. Only two of the four room-length dining tables are in place, to allow for access, and security will be high, as the knives and forks have also been dipped in gold. Relevant costumes are displayed along


each side of the hall – as they are through- out the attraction – and the headmaster’s table features the giant ‘point system’ egg timers fi lled with hundreds of beads in the different house colours. So many beads were sourced to fi ll the jars that it caused a national shortage in the UK. In the fi lms, the ceiling of the Great


Hall changed constantly with the weather outside and candles fl oated overhead. As this can’t be recreated, banners dress the roof and TV monitors in the next part of the tour reveal how the ceiling was created using blue screen technology. On-screen


AM 4 2011 ©cybertrek 2011


interviews with the crew and cast further explain how the fi lms were made. Our behind-the-scenes insight continues as we see the exposed back of the Great Hall set, revealing steel scaffolding and plaster plus backdrops of the hills that surround Hogwarts behind some of the windows.


HEAD TURNER Dumbledore’s circular offi ce is another iconic set. The sorting hat, Sword of Gryffi ndor and pensieve (an object used to review memories) will be instantly recognis- able to fans, but a beautifully crafted solid brass telescope may not be. Despite being the most expensive prop made, it only fea- tured in the background of one shot. It’s details like this that made the Harry


Potter fi lms so incredible. A traditional fi lm set has just two sides, but complete rooms were built for the Harry Potter series. Even the drawers of Dumbledore’s desk and those in the Weasley’s kitchen were


fi lled with items that you’d expect to fi nd, despite the fact the drawers would never be opened during fi lming. That painstak- ing detail has been continued throughout this tour. Production designer Stuart Craig says: “Visitors can get as close as they want to everything on the tour and it will look just like it does in the fi lm.” Craig is one of the many department heads who’s been brought in to ensure every minute detail in the tour is consist- ent with the way it was in the fi lms. This includes a staggering 200 crates of props, many of which will be on display. For logistical reasons the Gryffi ndor common room and dormitory will be dis- played alongside one another rather than one above the other. Everything else will be as it was in the fi lms however, right down to the tapestries and paintings – many of which feature members of the fi lm crew. Other highlights include 4 Privet Drive, Hagrid’s hut, the potions classroom,


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ALL PHOTOS: TM & © WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC 2011. HARRY POTTER PUBLISHING RIGHTS © JKR.


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