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Videos: Fiona Shaw at Special Preview of Privet Drive at WB Studio Tour
Posted by Megs

The WB Studio Tour Facebook shared a few videos of Fiona Shaw at a special preview event of Privet Drive at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London last night. The Privet Drive set will be open to the public from May 27th – June 6th.

For a limited time only, as part of our celebrations of the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone film release, we are offering you the chance to step inside number four, Privet Drive and peer into the Dursleys’ living room. Hundreds of Harry’s Hogwarts letters created by MinaLima, the graphic designers for all eight Harry Potter films, will be suspended in the air as though they’ve flown through the fireplace!

Also on display for the first time will be the Dursleys’ costumes which proved to be a rich source of inspiration for Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky. She remembers them being the most fun to dress, creating clothes that appeared out of date and pretentious for Mr and Mrs Dursley, as well as hideous jumpers for young Dudley.

In addition to the opening of number four, Privet Drive, we will be showcasing the equipment that was used to shoot Harry’s Hogwarts letters through the letterbox. The machine, which was specially created for the film by award winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson, will be on display in the Studio Tour during the feature between 27th May – 6th June.

A video that was recorded live at the opening my be viewed below:

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
Spring Cleaning at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Posted by Megs

The first day of Spring has come and gone and it’s Spring Cleaning time at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. Creature Effects Artist, Sarita Allison, was found spring cleaning props from the Harry Potter film series at the Warner Bros Studio Tour ahead of the Easter holidays. You can see photos of Sarita at work in the gallery!

Click to view full size image

This Easter, a huge surprise is in store for film fans as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London reveals the colossal efforts taken by producers, costume designers and the special effects teams to create Hogwarts’ famous groundskeeper – Rubeus Hagrid. The character who reveals the wizarding world to Harry Potter is celebrated during a special feature where lovers of the film series can understand what went into bringing this half-giant to life on screen.

From March 25th to April 17th 2016, visitors to the Studio Tour will see the costumes worn by Harry’s gargantuan guardian and find out how they turned 6’1” Robbie Coltrane into the half-giant Hagrid. During production two costumes were created for Hagrid, one which was worn by Coltrane and the other which was made 25 per cent larger and used by 6‘10’’ England rugby star Martin Bayfield who appeared as Hagrid in scenes where he needed to be bigger than the setting around him.

We have also been sent a video where Sarita talks about her role on the Harry Potter film series:

The press release from WB also gives some insight into the work that goes into keeping the props looking their best!

Sarita, who was instrumental in creating the hundreds of prosthetic Goblin masks for the Harry Potter film series, has been called in to restore and clean some of the weird and wonderful props such as the intricate Gringott’s Goblin masks and Hagrid’s larger-than-life sized animatronic head. All this is ahead of the three week celebration of Half-Giant Hagrid, a new feature opening in time for Easter and running between 25th March and 17th April 2016.

From re-curling each eyebrow hair to repainting every wrinkle, Sarita painstakingly gave each individual mask the ultimate treatment to ensure they are in top shape ready for the beginning of Easter. Hagrid’s animatronic head received particular special attention with his famous bushy beard preened to perfection.

After beginning her career as a hair and makeup artist, Sarita was personally invited by Nick Dudman, Head of Creature Effects team, to join the 140-strong group of special effects artists working on the Harry Potter film series, that were involved in creating and applying Goblin masks. This meticulous work involved individually punching eyebrow hairs into the masks and creating hairlines, inserting one hair at the time. Sarita later returned to work as part of the team that curated the Harry Potter creations at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.

Goblin facts:

  • Full Goblin head masks were only used for background characters, whereas the hero characters would wear full prosthetic pieces that move with the face, allowing the actor to express more character and personality.
  • It took 140 makeup artists to apply goblin prosthetics to 60 people in order to create the Goblins for the Gringott’s Bank sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – part 2.
  • From start to finish, a whole Goblin head would take six – seven days to complete.
  • It can take an entire day just to punch eyebrows on to the mask, as each hair is punched through the mask individually and the eyebrow hairs were even pre-curled.
  • The Goblin hairlines were created through a painstaking process of inserting each hair individually.
  • It would take the Creature Effects team two – four days to paint a Goblin mask and it could take up to four hours to fully apply the Goblin prosthetics.
  • Eight full Goblin head masks were created for the first film compared to an incredible 45 for the last film.
Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
WB Studio Tour London Announces Valentine’s Day Event
Posted by Megs

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has announced a special event for Valentine’s Day on February 13th and 14th. It’s the next best thing to having a date with Harry (or your chosen character) at Madam Puddifoot’s. A full itinerary of the event may be found on their website.

You are invited to attend a bewitching banquet this February for ‘Valentine’s Dinner in the Great Hall’. You’ll be greeted on arrival with welcome drinks and canapés (including a special Love Potion cocktail), before taking your seats on the authentic Great Hall set.Sitting at individual tables for two decorated with flowers and candles, you and your partner will enjoy a delicious three-course dinner including a starter, main course and assiette of desserts to share. You’ll then be given exclusive after-hours access to the Studio Tour with the chance to see sets such as the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office, the Weasley kitchen at The Burrow and the Malfoy Manor dining table, before enjoying a drink on Platform 9 3/4.

Following a tankard of Butterbeer in the backlot cafe, you will be able to wander up the wizarding shopping street of Diagon Alley, before arriving at the breathtaking Hogwarts castle model for after-dinner tea, coffee and chocolates. The evening concludes when you return to the Studio Tour lobby to collect your chosen wand.

Tickets are priced at £247.50 each, available to purchase in pairs for £495 from Wednesday 13th January. Booking details to follow.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Announces Lineup for Hogwarts in the Snow 2015
Posted by Megs

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As they do every Winter, Warner Bros. Studio Tour has announced their special feature for Hogwarts in the snow. Harry Potter fans are invited to discover how special effects experts make snow that never melts, how set dressers transform locations for Christmas scenes, and how flames are created without fire, as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London opens the doors on its most magical makeover yet. Hogwarts in the Snow will run from Friday 13th November – Sunday 31st January 2016. Tickets must be pre-booked and all extra activities are included in the ticket price.

This festive season, film fans are invited to discover how special effects experts make snow that never melts, how set dressers transform locations for Christmas scenes, and how flames are created without fire, as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London opens the doors on its most magical makeover yet.

Launching on Friday 13th November and running for a limited time only, Hogwarts in the Snow will offer visitors the opportunity to see the Harry Potter film series’ most iconic sets decorated for festive scenes. Eight Christmas trees will line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room will be dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow will be meticulously applied to the majestic Hogwarts castle model.

In the Hogwarts Great Hall, visitors will spot wreaths and garlands, trees decked with golden baubles and topped with witches on miniature broomsticks, as well as a replica feast. One side of the Great Hall will be dedicated to savoury props, featuring roast turkeys, hams studded with cherries and bowls of potatoes, while the other will be devoted to sweet treats including flaming Christmas puddings and iced cakes.

For the first time this year, the Goblet of Fire will emerge from its original jewelled casket, rigged by special effects experts, and will be ‘lit’ with flames that change from blue to red. Featured in the fourth film, the impressive goblet was used as a way to select champions for the Triwizard Tournament. During production, the picture-perfect hero version was sculpted from a single piece of wood by the Prop Making Department, while a special effects replica was moulded in fibreglass and painted to look identical to its wooden counterpart.

The Hogwarts castle model will be transformed for the occasion by a team led by Model Effects Supervisor José Granell, who worked on the Harry Potter film series. The snow is hand-sprinkled onto the incredibly-detailed model and is made from a combination of granulated paper and grains of salt – chosen because it clumps like real snowflakes and catches the light like ice. Visitors will be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light.

The scale model was first built for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with a team of 80 model makers working for almost seven months to create the original version. The crew updated it over the years when the story required it (the bridge was added for Prisoner of Azkaban, the Owlery for Goblet of Fire, and the Astronomy Tower for Half-Blood Prince), and the model was used for nearly every exterior shot of Hogwarts seen in the first six Harry Potter films. The specialist work was so detailed that it would have taken one person more than 74 years to complete!

Fireplaces throughout the attraction (including those in the Leaky Cauldron and Great Hall) will be ‘lit’ with special effects fire, created by filmmakers using a combination of water vapour and lighting effects. The Gryffindor common room and Weasley kitchen will also be dressed for the occasion with streamers, Christmas crackers and oranges.

Festive facts:

  • The food featured in the feasts throughout the early films was real; however, the Set Decoration Department later used artificial food created from powder and resin.
  • While the film series’ Christmas scenes feel very festive, many of them were actually filmed at unexpected times of year (even during summer) depending on the production schedule.
  • Christmas puddings were rigged with real flames for the Great Hall’s Christmas feast, with gas pipes hidden along the floor and running up into the tables. This special effect will be recreated at the Studio Tour this year, especially for the attraction’s festive feature.
Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
Attend Dinner in The Great Hall This December at WB Studio Tour
Posted by Megs

Dinner in the Great Hall

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has announced an exciting activity they planned for this Winter. On December 3rd fans will be able to have a holiday themed dinner in the Great Hall! Tickets for this exclusive event cost £230 (roughly €311 or $349). You can book your tickets here and read more information about the evening below.

Join us this Christmas for our first ‘Dinner in the Great Hall’ and experience something extra special as you’re greeted on arrival with welcome drinks and canapés, before dining in the iconic set that is the Great Hall.

The Hogwarts dining room will be dressed for the occasion with the original props used in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, including flaming Christmas puddings and hams studded with cherries. A wand will be waiting for you at your table and you’ll enjoy the first two courses of a delicious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings on the authentic set (vegetarian option also available).

First featured in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Great Hall was home to Hogwarts’ famous feasts and the setting for many other memorable scenes such as the Sorting Ceremony in the first film where Harry is placed in Gryffindor house and the arrival of the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

After dinner, you’ll be able to:

  • Explore the Studio Tour, admiring sets such as the Gryffindor common room and the Weasley’s kitchen at The Burrrow, which will also be dressed as they were for winter scenes.
  • Enjoy a selection of three festive dessert bowls on Platform 9 ¾, alongside the original Hogwarts Express.
  • Drink Butterbeer in the backlot café and walk up the wizarding shopping street, Diagon Alley, before taking in the breathtaking Hogwarts castle model (covered in a layer of filmmaking snow especially for the festive season).
  • Finish the evening with music and dancing, with a bar provided for those who wish to purchase additional drinks.

Our first ever ‘Dinner in the Great Hall’ will take place from 6pm until midnight and is open to over 18s only.

Guests will be seated at tables of 10.

Please read the terms and conditions before booking.

A few other tidbits that may be of interest from the event FAQs may be read below:

  • To choose your preferred wand, please contact the Events Team (options include Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Professor Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort).
  • Upon booking, you will receive an email confirmation which will direct you to contact the Events Team with your dietary requirements.
  • Smart, casual and evening wear are all encouraged for this event, however we are also looking forward to seeing some of your Hogwarts attire!
Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
WB Studio Tour London ‘Sweets and Treats’ Begins July 20th
Posted by Megs

From Monday 20th July – Sunday 6th September Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will be having a special Sweets and Treats feature.

From Monday 20th July – Sunday 6th September, you’ll be able to watch delectable demonstrations on how jelly snakes were moulded, sugar skulls were decorated and ice-cream sundaes were piped during production.

Expert prop makers will be based in the Ministry Munchies kiosk from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and will challenge you to spot the difference between real bakes and prop fakes as you see edible delights being created and get up close to original artefacts.

You’ll be able to:

  • Learn how props such as the floating pudding from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (that Dobby drops on the Dursleys’ guests) were made
  • See the Gryffindor common room set decorated as it was for the Quidditch victory scenes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, complete with decorations, sweet wrappers and a barrel of Butterbeer
  • Discover how towering ‘frozen’ desserts were assembled outside Florean Fortescue’s ice-cream parlour on the Diagon Alley set
  • Take a look at some of the graphic designers’ original sketches and designs in our Art Department (they were tasked with creating dozens of unique sweet boxes and wrappers from Honeydukes and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – in the end they created more than 120 different items for the Weasley twins’ shop alone!)

Butterbeer ice-cream will also be available to purchase in our backlot café this summer as well as frothy tankards of the drink which is reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch.

Book your tickets now and see if you can tell the difference between a real bake and a prop fake!

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
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