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New Details Revealed for “Discovering Hogwarts” at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Posted by Megs

New details about the “Discovering Hogwarts” event at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London have been revealed this morning. To celebrate the Studio Tour’s 11th year we will be invited to experience Hogwarts as Harry did in his first year. From 2nd May – 4th September 2023 fans can take part in new experiences like creating an origami Sorting Ceremony chatterbox, an opportunity to practice and learn the movement behind casting the Wingardium Leviosa spell, taking a seat in a new photo opportunity of Harry’s first boat journey to Hogwarts and a live demonstration of how Hagrid’s body double was fitted with stilts and a prosthetic head.

Just like a Hogwarts student would, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London will celebrate its 11th year with an invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Brand new for 2023, visitors will be invited to explore Harry’s early years at Hogwarts with some of their favourite scenes brought to life at the Studio Tour for this special feature.
For the first time since filming, over 400 floating candles will adorn the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall, giving visitors a chance to step into the set just as the cast would have seen it during Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. During filming over twenty years ago, real, lit candles were used for the scene. However, for the safety of the cast and crew, Producers decided to add them later during post-production. For this special feature, the candles (which have been adapted by the talented Special Effects Department to use a light effect instead of a live flame) have been hung with over three miles of wire.
During the feature, fans will be welcomed into one of Harry’s first experiences of magic; Professor Flitwick’s Charms class. A new set depicting the iconic scene in which a young Harry, Ron and Hermione learn to master Wingardium Leviosa will be revealed, sharing the filmmaking secrets behind the floating feathers. Created using practical effects, rather than CGI, the magic was as simple as stringing a feather onto a fishing line. A technique described by Special Effects Supervisor, John Richardson, as ‘’going back to the silent movie era.” Fans will also have the chance to practice their wand skills as they learn the movement behind casting the famous Wingardium Leviosa spell.
Among the first wizards Harry meets was beloved half-giant Hagrid. While actor Robbie Coltrane stood at 6ft, he was not quite tall enough to portray a half-giant. During many scenes, 6ft 10” England rugby player Martin Bayfield was used as a body double fitted with stilts and a prosthetic head to achieve Hagrid’s towering height. During Discovering Hogwarts, a live demonstration of this process will show visitors how the half-giant was brought to life right in front of their eyes.
Interactive experiences throughout the feature will tell the story of Harry’s first experiences in the wizarding world. Fans of all ages are invited to get hands on and create an origami ‘Sorting Ceremony’ chatterbox to take away, as well as taking a seat in a new photo opportunity depicting Harry’s first boat journey to Hogwarts.

Filed Under: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
Hogwarts Legacy Official Launch Trailer Released
Posted by Megs

A launch trailer for Hogwarts Legacy has been released ahead of it’s February 10th release! The upcoming open-world, action RPG releasing for PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on February 10, 2023. The Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One will be available April 4, 2023. Finally, the Nintendo Switch version of the game will be released July 25, 2023. Pre-Order the game at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon or Gamestop.

Hogwarts Legacy invites players to embark on an epic journey as a fifth-year student at Hogwarts, gifted with a rare ability to tap into ancient, powerful magic. Guided by the Wizard’s Field Guide and unique instruction from professors and other characters, fans will uncover a compelling storyline filled with thrilling challenges and mysteries.

Faced with perilous dangers, players will defend Hogwarts against deadly enemies and uncover the secrets of the wizarding world’s forgotten past.

Filed Under: Hogwarts Legacy, Portkey Games
New 4 Privet Drive Room Announced for Magical Mischief feature at WB Studio Tour London
Posted by Megs

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has announced a brand-new room inside 4 Privet Drive, showing the scene where Harry met Dobby the house elf for the first time, as part of their Magical Mischief feature. From 21st January – 18th April 2023 fans can enjoy special exhibits all featuring Mischief and Magic!

Fans can learn about the filmmaking techniques used to bring Dobby to life on-screen, created by the Creature Effects Team, which visitors will be able to see during their visit. Returning for a second year, other highlight scenes in this feature include: 

  • Fans can get hands-on to make their own origami howler, just like the one Mrs Weasley delivered to Ron in the second film
  • The Great Hall dressed for the Weasley prank on the peaceful O.W.L.s exam 
  • The secrets behind the disappearing effects of the invisibility cloak and Harry’s flying acceptance letters are revealed 
  • Dolores Umbridge from The Order of the Phoenix in her infamous pink two-piece suit

The full press release may be read below:

Returning for a second year, filmmaking trickery, magical pranks and wizarding mishaps will be revealed as part of the Studio Tour’s Magical Mischief feature. 

Brand new for 2023, visitors will be able to take a look inside Harry’s bedroom at number 4 Privet Drive, as the fan- favourite scene in which Harry meets the mischievous house elf, Dobby, is on display. Fans will recall Harry and Dobby’s first introduction at the Dursley home during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as Dobby attempts every trick to stop Harry from returning to Hogwarts. A variety of filmmaking techniques were used to bring beloved Dobby to life on-screen including the creation of models, used to give actors a reference point on-set, lovingly created by the Creature Effects Team, which visitors will be able to see during their visit. 

Demonstrations will take place throughout the Studio Tour uncovering secrets behind the disappearing effect of the invisibility cloak and Harry’s flying acceptance letters. Visitors will even be able to get hands on to make their own origami howler, just like the one Mrs Weasley delivered to her son in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

Visitors to the Studio Tour will also learn how their favourite mischievous moments from the films were brought to the screen in this exciting feature. Entering the Great Hall, fans will recognise the set dressed for a Weasley prank on the peaceful O.W.L.s exam, complete with the swinging pendulum under the watchful eye of Dolores Umbridge. From the fan-favourite scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the infamous pink two-piece costume of Dolores Umbridge will be centre stage and visitors should look above to see the playful Weasley twins’ costumes on their broomsticks suspended from the Great Hall ceiling. 

Filed Under: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
Cinematic Trailer for Hogwarts Legacy; Wizarding Wednesdays Giveaways Announced
Posted by Megs

Warner Bros. Games have released the cinematic trailer for Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming open-world, action RPG releasing for PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on February 10, 2023. The Nintendo Switch version of the game will be July 25, 2023. Finally, the Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One will be available April 4, 2023.

The cinematic follows an owl carrying the coveted invitation as it soars across the castle rooftops and over the heads of students in The Great Hall, providing an overhead view of some of the iconic Hogwarts locations that players will be able to explore. As the owl glides through the castle, fans will recognize some familiar names and faces, including Nearly Headless Nick and Professor Weasley. The owl’s journey also highlights some of the hidden dangers that players will face, as it narrowly avoids a horde of giant spiders in the Forbidden Forest, a deadly blast of Avada Kedavra from a masked wizard and a dragon’s fiery breath. 

Fans will be able to celebrate the release of Hogwarts Legacy with Wizarding Wednesdays! The four Wednesdays leading up to the game’s release by entering to win exclusive prizes, including a Universal Parks & Resorts vacation at either Hollywood or Orlando to experience the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Pre-Order the game at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon or Gamestop.

Previously, new voice cast, including Simon Pegg, were announced for the game. Pegg will be voicing Hogwarts Headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black.

In Hogwarts Legacy, actor Simon Pegg plays Phineas Nigellus Black, the cantankerous Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. From a long lineage of Slytherins, Headmaster Black is hated by the students, for whom he also has a great disdain. Wildly ill-suited to his job, his goal is to do the least amount of work possible and avoid exposure to the student body – preferring to focus on his status in the wizarding world and his surgically manicured beard.

As fifth-year students entering Hogwarts for the first time, Sebastian Croft and Amelia Gething play the two voice options for the game’s playable avatar, which can be highly customized, enabling players to choose the witch or wizard they want to be.

Lesley Nicol voices a key character in the game, Professor Matilda Weasley. A Gryffindor, she is the Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts who aids the player in catching up with the other students by giving them the Wizard’s Field Guide and showing them the Room of Requirement. Kandace Caine plays Professor Onai who was once a Divination teacher at Uagadou, the largest wizarding school in the world, and a gifted Seer whose faith in her sight was shaken by the fact that she did not foresee the loss of her husband. Deciding to leave those painful memories behind, she accepts an invitation by Professor Weasley to teach Divination at Hogwarts. The professor of Astronomy, Professor Satyavati Shah, is voiced by Sohm Kapila. Raised in the Muggle world, Professor Shah is devoted to the sciences and tends to talk down to her students in winding and pretentious aphorisms.

And longtime franchise fans will be thrilled to recognize Luke Youngblood, who played Lee Jordan in the film series as he returns to provide the voice of Everett Clopton, a Ravenclaw and an underachieving rule-breaker and prankster. Asif Ali voices another Ravenclaw student, Amit Thakkar, a bright and well-read student who would leap at the chance to help a friend in need, though, once in the thick of things, often realizes he might be better off reading about certain adventures than experiencing them. 

Jason Anthony voices both Nearly Headless Nick and the Sorting Hat. Nearly Headless Nick, the Gryffindor house ghost, also known as Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, is friendly and entertaining, if a bit pompous. He may be the key to helping the Gryffindor player find answers crucial to solving a significant mystery – if they are willing to do him one small favor involving a bit of rotten roast beef! And finally, the iconic Sorting Hat, a sentient, magical hat, uses knowledge from the student’s past along with input from the player to determine which Hogwarts house will be the right fit.

Filed Under: Hogwarts Legacy, Portkey Games
Universal Parks Announce 13 New Interactive Wands to be Sold at Ollivanders
Posted by Megs

Universal Parks and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter have announced that 12 new Interactive Wands will be available for purchase at their theme parks around the world. There is also a 13th wand exclusive to each park!

A brand-new collection of authentic, interactive Ollivanders wands has arrived at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal theme parks around the globe, bringing 12 all-new wands  – plus an additional one that is exclusive to each destination – to Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan and Universal Beijing Resort. 

Each original wand within the new assortment pairs a wood type with one of the three powerful cores preferred by master wandmaker Garrick Ollivander from the Harry Potter film series – unicorn hair, dragon heartstring and phoenix feather – and comes with a first-ever “wand lore” insert that details the distinct properties of that specific wand and the attributes of its ideal owner. Guests can also use the new wands to cast spells and reveal magical surprises with the right incantation and a gentle flick of the wrist at select locations within the spectacularly themed lands.

The new collection also brings a unique wand to each Universal park that is exclusive to that destination and not available anywhere else, including: 

larch and phoenix feather wand at Universal Orlando Resort

walnut and dragon heartstring wand at Universal Studios Hollywood

cherry and unicorn hair wand at Universal Studios Japan

red oak and unicorn hair wand at Universal Beijing Resort

Universal Orlando Resort & Universal Studios Hollywood shared videos of the wands, including their exclusive options.

Universal Studios Japan shared a photo of their wand:

Filed Under: Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hogwarts Legacy “Overture to the Unwritten” Music Video Features Orchestral Performance
Posted by Megs

Warner Bros. Games and Avalanche Software released an orchestral music video to “Overture to the Unwritten” set over gameplay footage from the Hogwarts Legacy game. Hogwarts Legacy is scheduled to be released on February 10, 2023 on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. The Nintendo Switch release date will be confirmed at a later time.

“Overture to the Unwritten” features local studio musicians from Avalanche Software’s home state, Utah, including choir and orchestral members from the University of Utah, BYU, Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra and featuring renowned recording artists Nicole Pinnell, Nicole Klossner, Ryan Shupe, Abe Kaelin, Bart Olson, John Knudsen and Dune Moss. The video, filmed on location at big idea music studios in Sandy, Utah and Media Grabbers in North Salt Lake City, Utah, features the original composition by composers chuck e. myers “sea”, J. Scott Rakozy and Peter Murray and performed by a 54-piece orchestra conducted by Nathan Hofheins.

Projected behind the orchestra and interspliced throughout the music video, the original gameplay footage traverses throughout the Hogwarts Castle and the expansive surrounding areas including Hogsmeade, to reveal the vastness of the world. The orchestral song conjures a magical melody reminiscent of the Wizarding World fans are accustomed to while evoking an older descant from ancient lore. 

As of today, fans are now able to stream or digitally purchase “Overture to the Unwritten.” All of the additional music from Hogwarts Legacy will be available on launch day on the Hogwarts Legacy (Original Video Game Soundtrack). Additionally, songs from Hogwarts Legacy will be featured on a second album titled, Hogwarts Legacy (Study Themes From the Original Video Game Soundtrack), an album focusing on more ambient, chill, relaxing music that is ideal to listen to while studying for classes at Hogwarts or any school. Both albums will be released by WaterTower Music and will be available at all digital streaming services.

Update: A behind the scenes look at tha making of the music video has been released

In “Making the Music,” the team of composers and audio producers for Hogwarts Legacy take fans behind the scenes into some of their decision-making process and the complexity of creating new orchestral pieces set in the 1800s wizarding world. Composer chuck e. myers “sea” describes his experience working on Hogwarts Legacy over the last four years as a project that was truly a once in a lifetime. Audio Producer Nathan Ayoubi discusses how the music in Hogwarts Legacy enhances the overall experience for the player, being simultaneously new and fresh while also nostalgic. Composer Peter Murray shares how the team balanced this new original composition with the music of the films, while composer J. Scott Rakozy describes the music as childlike awe and wonder.

To create the ancient melody of Hogwarts, the team brought in unique instruments such as the “thunder sheet”—a giant piece of sheet metal—and a waterphone to make the sounds of magic. Since music accounts for every movement the player makes in the game, the composers were challenged to balance the darker side of the game with slow emotional strings to help guide the player and enhance the overall experience. Exploring the common rooms in each of the Hogwarts houses, the team infused different dynamic personalities through their use of music. The original score serves as an additional character in the game, immersing the player in the complex 1800s wizarding world. 

Filed Under: Hogwarts Legacy, Portkey Games

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