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Summer Activities at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Posted by Megs

This summer, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter invites visitors to enjoy two special activities over the holiday period. From 7th July until 26th August, Harry Potter fans will be able to watch their favourite films at the series’ production home each Monday and Tuesday evening as the Studio Tour launches its first ever Harry Potter Summer Screenings. Then from Friday 18th July to Monday 1st September, the Studio Tour will reveal how magical sports and wizarding games came to life on screen during its first Bludgers and Broomsticks feature.

Harry Potter Summer Screenings:

Harry Potter fans will be able to watch their favourite films at the series’ production home as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London launches its first ever Harry Potter Summer Screenings.

Every Monday and Tuesday from 7th July until 26th August, visitors to these exclusive screenings will begin by exploring the Studio Tour (which includes a chance to taste Butterbeer), before grabbing a hot snack, popcorn and a drink and then settling down in the Studio Tour’s cinema to watch their chosen film*.

Authentic sets, props and costumes from all eight films are showcased at the Studio Tour, including Harry Potter’s very first set of school robes, the wizarding shopping street Diagon Alley and the breathtaking model of Hogwarts itself.

Tickets must be pre-booked at www.wbstudiotour.co.uk and are priced at £45 per adult and £37.50 per child. The package includes a ticket to the Studio Tour, a Butterbeer, a film ticket, a snack, popcorn or sweets and a soft drink.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th July
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th July
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd July
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th July
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th August
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th August
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1: Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th August
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2: Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th August

Bludgers and Broomsticks:

This summer, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will reveal how magical sports and wizarding games came to life on screen during its first Bludgers and Broomsticks feature. From Friday 18th July to Monday 1st September, visitors will discover how a combination of special and visual effects were used to create the illusion of flight and to make chess pieces move – and will get the chance to test green screen technology for themselves.

Head Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna’s team will demonstrate the techniques used to hand-craft broomsticks throughout the Harry Potter film series. After the debuts of the Nimbus 2000 and the Firebolt, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets respectively, brooms were made to match their owners’ personalities – Arthur Weasley’s even features pedals and a seat from a Muggle bicycle!

The life-size wizard chess pieces from one of the many chambers that Harry encountered as he tried to find the Philosopher’s Stone will be on display in the Studio Tour’s backlot and a pawn will move across a checked board. A board game homage to Quidditch, entitled Snitch Snatcher!, was designed especially for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Graphic Designer Miraphora Mina and this will be on display for the first time. Featuring a miniature replica of the Hogwarts pitch, the game includes cardboard models of the spectators’ stands for all four houses.

Some of the attraction’s knowledgeable staff members will don authentic Quidditch robes used in the Harry Potter film series. Visitors will get the chance to examine the costumes of Gryffindor and Slytherin players up close and fly on a broomstick in front of a green screen like a member of the cast.

The rattling ball crate, built by the Special Effects Team and used in the scene where Harry is first introduced to Quidditch by Gryffindor Captain Oliver Wood, will be showcased and the Bludgers will move as they did on set.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour, Movies
Video: Fourth Clue for Today Show’s Diagon Alley Sweepstakes
Posted by Megs

The fourth clue for The Today Show’s Diagon Alley Sweepstakes has been shared by Al Roker. To enter, visit this sweepstakes website, and answer the question Al gives  (you don’t have to get the answer right to be eligible to win.)  25 winners (with 3 guests each) will win trips to the Grand Opening of Diagon Alley, which is expected to be in June.

View the video, showing some footage of the goblins in Gringotts, below:

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
Reminder: Wand Week is Coming to WB STudio Tour
Posted by Megs

Just a quick reminder that Wand Week is approaching for those visiting Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter. Wand Week takes place from Friday 23rd May – Monday 2nd June so get your tickets now! The activities are included in your admission ticket.

Discover first-hand how fight scenes were developed and see original moulds, concept art and wand designs as well as the iconic duelling table from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We’re also welcoming Death Eaters back to the Studio Tour, giving you the chance to test your wand combat skills by challenging them to a duel. Head Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna’s team will be in residence to showcase some of the techniques they used to hand-carve wands for the Harry Potter film series and you can see a special effects demonstration in Diagon Alley created by BAFTA-winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson.

More details from a previous press release may be read below:

[...] visitors will discover first-hand how duelling scenes were developed and the incredible amount of planning that went into each wand movement. They’ll get the chance to duel with a Death Eater after learning wand battle choreography with an interactive experience created by expert Paul Harris. Paul composed the battle scene between Dumbledore and Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is the world’s only Wand Combat Choreographer.

Those exploring Diagon Alley will be able to see a special effects demonstration created by BAFTA-winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson. By pointing a wand, visitors will be able to cast a spell that will make the sign above Potage’s Cauldron Shop bang and flash as if by magic.

Original moulds, concept art and wand designs will be displayed in the attraction and members of Head Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna’s team will showcase some of the techniques they used to hand-carve wands for the Harry Potter film series.

The iconic duelling table, as seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will also be on display in the iconic Great Hall set.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
Wand Week Returns to Studio Tour Starting May 23rd
Posted by Megs

We reported last week about Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter’s 2014 events. Today they have sent a press release discussing the return of Wand Week from May 23th – June 2nd. Visitors will discover first-hand how duelling scenes were developed and the incredible amount of planning that went into each wand movement. They’ll get the chance to duel with a Death Eater after learning wand battle choreography with an interactive experience created by expert Paul Harris.

By popular demand, Wand Week will return to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter this May and visitors will be invited to delve into the world of wandmaking and wizarding duels.

From Friday 23rd May – Monday 2nd June, visitors will discover first-hand how duelling scenes were developed and the incredible amount of planning that went into each wand movement. They’ll get the chance to duel with a Death Eater after learning wand battle choreography with an interactive experience created by expert Paul Harris. Paul composed the battle scene between Dumbledore and Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is the world’s only Wand Combat Choreographer.

Those exploring Diagon Alley will be able to see a special effects demonstration created by BAFTA-winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson. By pointing a wand, visitors will be able to cast a spell that will make the sign above Potage’s Cauldron Shop bang and flash as if by magic.

Original moulds, concept art and wand designs will be displayed in the attraction and members of Head Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna’s team will showcase some of the techniques they used to hand-carve wands for the Harry Potter film series.

The iconic duelling table, as seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will also be on display in the iconic Great Hall set.

Spellbinding secrets:

  • In the first and second films, the wands looked quite plain. This was drastically changed in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when the wands were given distinctive shapes and carvings, reflecting the owners’ personalities. For example, the wand of Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) is inlaid with silver slug trails and has a slug-shaped handle.
  • Prop makers designed a series of wand holsters for the Death Eaters that would attach around their waists for easy access. The Death Eater wands were also more showy and aesthetic than the other characters’ – to match their extravagant masks which were made of filigreed silver.
  • More than 3,000 wands were produced for the Harry Potter film series, including the elaborate wand that was created for Professor Dumbledore before the Prop Making Team discovered its importance as the Elder Wand.

Tickets must be pre-booked and all extra activities are included in the ticket price.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
Report: Photos and Q&A from Feathers and Flight Launch Event
Posted by Megs

This past Friday, our correspondent Maura (of fantasticbeastsmovie.net) attended the launch for Warner Bros. Studio Tour London‘s Feathers and Flight event.  This special feature for the Harry Potter tour will run until April 27th and shows fans how animals were trained for the films.  At the event Julie Tottman and Guillaume Grange, the head animal trainers for the films, answered some questions from those in attendance.  The full Q&A can be read here, and photos may be seen over at fantasticbeastsmovie.net.

What is the strangest animal you’ve ever worked with?

Julie – The strangest animal? Well, I guess, on the third film, Alfonso, the wonderful director, kept coming up with the oddest ideas and we never quite knew what he was going to pick so we had armadillos, we had we had bats, we had baby ostrich, we had whipped scorpions, all kinds of different animals, and we did in one of the films have a baby hippo!

Did the actors who played the owners of the animals get any time to bond with the animal they had and did anyone get close with a certain one that they then had to leave?

Julie – Before we start any filming we have about four months of prep so we can get ready so nothing’s a big surprise for the animals and within that prep I’d say we try have the actors work with us as much as possible – sometimes we can get them one or two times a week, but particularly Daniel had to work so much, cause he was small on the first – he’s still small isn’t he! – he was small on the first film, and it was a big bird for him to learn to carry so we had to spend a lot of time with him with the animals.

Emma loved Crackerjack, the main Crookshanks. She’s a massive, massive cat lover so she was waiting until the third film to have her own animal so as much time as she could spend with him, she was there. She saw him just before Christmas when we were here she came and saw him.

Are any of the animals going to be working on the new movies? The Fantastic Beasts ones?

Julie – Not these particular – well, actually, I can’t say for sure but most of the original Harry Potter ones are retired apart from the birds, so possibly some birds, but haven’t had that call yet, waiting for that!

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
WB Studio Tour London Events Coming in 2014
Posted by Megs

This past weekend, Graphic Designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima visited Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter to celebrate the second anniversary of the grand opening.  This is one of many exciting events slated to take place at the Studios this coming year.  The Studio sent over a release with the various events planned so far:

Feathers and Flight (we reported about this here and will have a correspondent at the event)
Friday 4th April – Sunday 27th April
Let your imagination take flight this April at the Studio Tour’s first Feathers and Flight feature. For three weeks, the attraction will host the feathery actors that played Hedwig, Pigwidgeon and Errol, as well as ravens and crows who will demonstrate their flying skills in the backlot. Visitors will be able to pose for pictures with the famous owls and learn some of the training processes involved in bringing their performances to life on screen.

Wand Week
Friday 23rd May – Monday 2nd June
Delve into the world of wandmaking and duel with a Death Eater as Wand Week returns to the Studio Tour by popular demand. Visitors will be able to discover firsthand how duelling scenes were developed and explore the incredibly detailed process behind each wand movement. Original moulds, concept art and wand designs will be showcased in the attraction as well as the iconic duelling table from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Bludgers, Board Games and Broomsticks
Friday 18th July – Monday 1st September
Learn how magical sports and wizarding games came to life on screen at the Studio Tour this summer. Authentic costumes from Quidditch scenes will be on display as well as the rattling ball crate from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Visitors will discover how a combination of special and visual effects were used to make cast members fly and chess pieces move – as well as getting the chance to test green screen technology for themselves!

Dark Arts
Friday 17th October – Monday 3rd November
Secrets behind the Dark Arts will be revealed this October half-term at the Studio Tour. For two weeks only visitors will learn how the Dark Arts were brought to life on screen, get the chance to duel with a Death Eater. Something wicked this way comes.

Hogwarts at Christmas
Friday 14th November – January 2015
The most magical snowfall of the season will take place at the Studio Tour this November as the breathtaking Hogwarts castle model is covered in a blanket of snow. Some of the attraction’s intricately-detailed sets will also be given a festive makeover using the actual decorations and food props seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Eight Christmas trees will line the Great Hall, along with festoons of holly, mistletoe and golden wreaths.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Leavesden Tour
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