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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
WB’s Josh Berger Talks Fantastic Beasts and Potter VFX
Posted by Megs

Warner Bros. Entertainment U.K., Ireland and Spain president Josh Berger recently spoke about how Harry Potter helped the VFX business in Europe as well as some new tidbits on the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films. On visual effects he says:

Berger noted that with the first Harry Potter film in 2000, less than 15% of the VFX work was done in the UK. By the final film’s production in 2010, more than 85% of the effects were done in Britain. “There was an expansion of the skill base, the assets, the sheer numbers of people working in the industry.”

It was that base of skills and talent that Warner could again tap into for the groundbreaking Gravity, with London-based Framestore leading the VFX.

He then mentioned a bit about the Fantastic Beasts films:

The film is set to be released in Nov. 2016 and is expected to be followed by further movies. Fantastic Beasts is set in 1920s New York and features U.S. and British wizards, he told his audience, but didn’t discuss the status of the script.

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films, Movies
‘Fantastic Beasts’ Gets Release Date
Posted by Megs

Variety is reporting that the first film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series will be released on November 18th 2016. Cast and a director still have not been announced but as we’ve reported in the past, J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay and David Heyman is producing.

Warner Bros. topper Kevin Tsujihara revealed in March that the studio was following in the footsteps of “The Hobbit” franchise with three “megamovies” for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Tsujihara persuaded Rowling last year to revive the Harry Potter movie magic by adapting her Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for the big screen. Rowling wrote the 54-page book in 2001 between publication of the fourth and fifth Potter books.

Set initially in New York about seven decades before the start of the Harry Potter story, the films will follow magizoologist Newt Scamander. They’re not prequels or sequels, but an “extension of the wizarding world.”

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films, Movies
Video: Graphic Design of the Harry Potter Films with MinaLima
Posted by Megs

Graphic Artists Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina, who own the company MinaLima, had a panel at A Celebration of Harry Potter and today we have the footage from that session. The two designers discussed how they went about designing all the props for the Harry Potter films and even shared some pieces that didn’t make the final cut or weren’t fully shown in the films. They also teased that some of their designs will be found in the new Diagon Alley expansion.

Filed Under: Celebration of Harry Potter, Harry Potter Theme Park, Movies
Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection Film Set Releasing in February
Posted by Megs

Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection

Amazon and Warner Bros. are releasing a Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection DVD/BluRay set this coming February 25, 2014.  This seems to be a more light-weight version of the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection set released last year. It is priced at $174.99 and contains all eight Harry Potter movies on Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet and more than 37 hours of special features including the Creating the World of Harry Potter documentary series. All the features are as follows:

Creating the World of Harry Potter documentary:

  • Part 1: The Magic Begins – Explore the early decisions that impacted the entire series, and follow the search for the young leads.
  • Part 2: Characters – Learn about the casting process and how the actors brought J.K. Rowling’s beloved characters to life.
  • Part 3: Creatures – Meet a new group of wizards: the artists who created the monsters and marvels in Harry’s world.
  • Part 4: Sound & Music – Hear how the composers and sound experts used their craft to magnify the series’ emotional journey.
  • Part 5: Evolution – Join the filmmakers as they discuss how the creative vision for the films evolved throughout the series.
  • Part 6: Magical Effects – Watch how technical wizards conjured up an amazing alternate reality using CGI and practical effects.
  • Part 7: Story – Listen in as J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves discuss how the books were adapted for the screen.
  • Part 8: Growing Up – See how the young stars’ ideas of acting, fame and themselves have changed over ten years.

PLUS A BONUS DISC with over 3 hours of features including:

  • “The Harry Potters You Never Met” – Meet the stunt doubles for Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as they demonstrate how they balanced major stunt work with seamlessly mimicking the actors they represented and share their favorite moments.
  • “Designing the World of Harry Potter” – Explore how production designer Stuart Craig and his creative team brought J.K. Rowling’s imagination to life on the screen.
  • “When Harry Left Hogwarts” (Extended Version) – Hear candid and emotional stories about the final days on set in this extended behind-the-scenes look.
  • “50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments” (Definitive Version) – Take a look back with cast members who share their on and off-screen memories.
  •  “Secrets Revealed! Quidditch” – At last, the secrets behind the special effects required for the breathtaking Quidditch scenes are revealed!
  • “Secrets Revealed! Hagrid”- See the camera tricks, towering stand-in and voluminous body suits behind the beloved Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.
Filed Under: Movies, Products
David Heyman Producing ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’
Posted by Megs

It has been announced this morning that Harry Potter producer David Heyman will indeed be producing the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series!  He confirmed the news to Entertainment Weekly at the premiere of his film, Gravity, yesterday evening.

[...] said that Rowling hasn’t turned in a finished script just yet, but that “Jo is at work” and tremendously excited about the project. “She’s not doing it for any other reason other than she loves the world and she had a story that she wanted to tell,” he said.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” he continued. “She doesn’t have to go back to this world, but something pulled her back. This is not Harry Potter. This is not Harry, Ron, and Hermione. This is a separate story within a universe related to the Potter universe.”

When asked about which creatures we might see in the film — you better believe I brought up quintapeds and lethifolds — Heyman demured. “We follow Newt on his adventures,” he said, grinning.

The producer said Rowling has no shortage of plot ideas for Fantastic Beasts because she knows Newt Scamander’s history so thoroughly — after all, she created him. “The fact that she’s going to this world means there are stories to tell,” he said. “When I was doing the Harry Potters, what was clear to me is that Jo’s knowledge of this world is infinite. What you read in the books was just the surface of her knowledge. She had notebook upon notebook of stuff. I would call her and say, ‘What’s the sixth use of dragon’s blood?’ and she’d have it at her fingertips.”

Filed Under: David Heyman, Fantastic Beasts Films, JK Rowling, Movies
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