I’ll just start by saying that today was one of the best days I’ve ever had. If that doesn’t set the tone for a preview, I don’t know what does. Yes, I’ve been excited to check out The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros Studios for months, but I was also expecting all of the problems that typically come on opening days – bad parking, inadequate tour bus shuttles, stressed out staff, big crowds etc etc. I got NONE of them. The staff were not only incredibly helpful and pleasant, but also genuinely know their stuff – from cracking jokes about Fawkes (those jokes that are lame, but the teller knows they’re lame so it’s fine) and discussing the intricacies of models to pointing out areas that you could easily miss.
That same care and attention has clearly gone into reassembling the sets – it’s a bit of a cliche, given that it’s obviously the desired effect, but it does feel like you’re stepping into one of the movies. It also feels smaller than it does in the movies…another cliche, sorry. Well, except for the clock tower (picture below); that was MASSIVE.
The tour is incredibly well structured in that you take in all the sets, costumes and props before moving on to check out the creature workshop, animatronics and model section. I know, I know, this sounds as if it could be really dull but I promise it’s not. From the creepy Voldemort foetus and Luna’s lion mask to a replica of Hagrid’s head and a terrifyingly realistic Buckbeak that moves around, there’s no shortage of things to see.
One of the final rooms in the tour (yes, I know I’m skating over things, but that’s only because photos and a few words really can’t do the tour justice) holds an enormous scale model of Hogwarts Castle that is simply stunning. Unfortunately, it’s probably the closest most of us will ever come to arriving at the castle for the first time. Wow, could I be any more of a geek…?
I was also lucky enough to meet some of the cast, who were attending for a special red carpet event that I’d been invited to, and get my childhood copy of Philosopher’s Stone signed by Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, Evanna Lynch (who kissed me on the cheek, thus making my life complete), Warwick Davis, David Thewlis and Bonnie Wright. The cast were all incredibly charming, each one signing enough autographs to give them a bout of RSI and chatting with the crowd. I made Tom Felton laugh and everything.
We also talked about shoes – apparently this was the only part of his outfit he had assembled himself, so he was happy that I complimented them. I’m not sure why I complimented them – apparently being around celebrities makes me so nervous that I start complimenting their shoes.
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, film or art, I can’t recommend checking out the studio tour enough. At around £25 it’s not a cheap day out, especially given you have to leave through the gift shop, but it’s a magical (wow, almost got through this post without making a lame magic pun) way to spend a day. It occurs to me that this whole reads like a sponsored post, but it’s actually not; it’s actually that much fun. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat my chocolate frog.