OK, so today was the day I went on the Harry Potter film studio tour. I had a really awesome day there, it would have been a tiny bit better if I wasn't feeling a bit distracted (by the usual things!), but apart from that it really was good!
Having not all that long ago reached the age of 21 it's fair to say I grew with Harry Potter. Sure there have been other books and films that I have enjoyed over the last 10 or so years, but nothing has come close to Harry Potter. When I turned 11 I was waiting for my letter to invite me to attend Hogwarts and since then it's often been a world I could immerse myself in. The day after my operation last year, what did I do all day to recover? Watch Harry Potter DVDs!
I know there are plenty of people that are in to it more than I am, but I know a fair amount of trivia, I'm into double figures with the amount of times I've read the first few books and I've watched the films more times than I care to mention as well, so I'm definitely a "fan". And I was very excited!
Although there is always the risk of seeing something like this "spoiling the magic", you would hope that by age 21 I know that it is most definitely a work of fiction and not real! Although it was still disappointing to see how they did quidditch etc.!
As promised I was amazed by the level of detail that had gone into all the sets and props, some things that you just wouldn't really notice when watching the film, and others that never even made it on screen! I enjoyed seeing it all, but there were a few highlights.
This was the favourite set of one of the directors/producers and I can see why. Apparently it was quite an architectural challenge but it just looks amazing. The only thing that let it down for me was the fact that a lot of the items filling his glass cabinets were duplicates of each other. Fair enough for a film set though as no one is ever really going to see them. What I liked the most though, was his telescope. The big orb thing which you can see up the stairs under the arch, it was only ever in the background in the film so didn't really get seen but it is a great piece of kit - it's a big telescope so built in to the stand is an armchair to sit and watch the stars in comfort!
The other big highlight for me was Diagon Alley. Unlike the other areas, when walking down the path here it really felt like you were there, and not just looking onto a film set. I could hear bits of the film being replayed in my head, like the boy crying "it's the Nimbus 2000" as he looks into the broom shop. It's a close as I'm ever going to get to living my "childhood dream" of joining their world...
I could go on for a long time, talking about all the photos, but I won't because it'll bore you. Or spoil it should you ever go yourselves.
I was really surprised/impressed by the work that went in to designing many of the sets and props too. A lot of the drawings and prototypes were on display, even some of the relatively small things were designed down to the last detail. Amazing stuff. And surely a fun job too?!
And don't get me started on the animatronics...
I do need to share 1 more picture though...
Yes, that's right. I got to dress up and fly a broom!
And that's it. It's almost like a piece of my childhood has ended! I must watch the films again...