I love watching the special features included in the DVDs of films because I get to learn and see so much of what goes behind the scenes. Filmmakers are able to make their film “real” because of all the attention devoted to “smaller” things (eg. the design of a door, furniture, costume, scenery, etc.). At this Warner Brothers studio, you get to explore and see the details of the sets, props and conceptual/design drawings that were…
used in the making of the films. For those who are interested in film-making or the “legendary” Harry Potter film series, this Warner Brothers studio in Watford Junction (not too far from London) is a pretty cool place to visit.
The studio tour is immensely popular. We were only able to get a 6:30pm entry ticket when we booked 3 weeks in advance. Also, expect a queue to get in at your entry time because the first stop of the tour is a short introductory film about this place.
It’s a self-guided tour. You can pay extra to get an audio guide or follow a guide in there. But I think most of the people just wonder off to take their own pictures and read about the sets from the display boards.
After a short introductory film given by the main actors and actress, the screen was lifted to reveal a real door that led us to the world of Harry Potter.
In the Great Hall where many scenes were filmed. This is dining hall of Hogwarts.
As you walk into the studio, you’d see lots of sets and costumes from the various Harry Potter films.
What’s so cool about this studio tour is that you can see all the intricate details of the props used in the film. Although some of them may only appear in a fleeing second on the film, the work that went into creating it is a big wow.
Recognize any of these props?
The tour around the studio takes about 1.5 hr (if you’re not reading anything and just snapping photos here and there). The guide said that the record holder for longest visiting time was 9 hours! That means, to beat the record, you have to be in there pretty early in the morning.
This is the classroom for potion making.
Dolores Umbridge’s office at the Ministry of Magic.
The Ministry of Magic.
Real size houses used in the film.
Remember all the big chess pieces on a board game in one of the films?
The special visual effects. There’s also a place where you can “part of the film” (but obviously you’ll have to queue/line up for it ’cause there’ll be a lot of people!)
A lot of technology was involved in developing these automated props.
The “real” Diagon Alley. There’s actually quite a bit to see and I only posted a small fraction of the photos I took.
At the end of the tour, you’ll pass through a door with lots of wands before you reach the souvenir store. Try to find your wand! :p By the way, I think the souvenir store was pretty cool too because it basically commercializes every possible thing you could find in the film. The entry ticket to this studio is not cheap but it’s a pretty interesting experience I think.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
A: Take a train to Watford Junction station and then from the bus stop outside of the train station, there’ll be a Harry Potter Studio Bus that takes you to the studio (£2 return ticket)