Sunday, 21 October 2012

A Truly Magical Birthday Outing

My own photography has taken a back seat to other commitments recently, but today was the day of my "mystery" birthday outing: to the Warner Brothers studio where the Harry Potter films were shot.  A wonderful day out, and the whole show has been superbly organised.  Considering how many people were there, the only place which felt at all crowded was the shop, which was full of HP merchandise at inflated prices.  Otherwise it was pretty good value, with the only other rip-off being the "Butterbeer", at £2.95 for a small helping of what was, basically, liquid toffee!

The studio was guarded by three of the giant chess pieces from The Philosopher's Stone.

The three principal characters had all made hand-prints when the studio was opened, and Izzi was pleased to discover that she had exactly the same sized hands as Daniel Radcliffe.

The entrance hall was pretty impressive in itself, with some superb portraits of various members of the cast.  It also had the obligatory Starbucks, who appeared to have the refreshments franchise.

Photography was definitely allowed in the studio, but the light levels were low and the colour was constantly changing.  I suspect that this, along with the ban on flash and tripods, guaranteed that virtually nobody got a shot they could use professionally.  Here are a few pictures I've managed to process since I got back from the outing.  Many are monochrome, as the mixed original colours were otherwise totally horrendous.

Dumbledore's office.

The Potions classroom.

The Potter house, in Godric's Hollow.

Diagon Alley (and, yes, the entrance to Gringotts really is that bent).

 The entrance to Hogwarts Great Hall.

An exhibit from the make-up department, with Timothy Spall on one of the shelves!

The Gryffindor bedroom.  One of the few areas where the colour is anything like accurate.

Finally, the 1:24 scale model of the entire Hogwarts Castle, which is truly astonishing.  There are some people visible in the first picture, which gives some sense of the size of the model.

Definitely a Grand Day Out, and thoroughly recommended for anyone who likes Harry Potter or who is interested in the minutiae of film making.