If you or anyone in your family has been bitten by the Harry Potter bug, I urge you to stop by ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ Warner Brothers studios in Leavesden, UK. Even if you don’t go weak at the knees at the mention of wands or wizarding but have an interest in the process of film production, this studio tour is an extraordinary experience. I’ve read about the making of Star Wars, but I don’t think I ever really understood how much like orchestrating a military campaign the process of making a film is really like until yesterday. Thousands of people!
A large number of the sets are there, laid out as they were during filming, including the burrow, the Gryffindor common room, Harry’s cupboard under the stairs, Dumbledore’s office and the Great Hall at Hogwarts, to name but a few. There are costumes, stories, props, the Knight Bus, 4 Privet Drive and much, much more. There’s a chance to ride on a (static) broomstick, against a green-screen, get a filmed introduction to the animatronics department and you can buy Butterbeer (a bit too sweet!).
The highlight of the tour for me and my family was the art department and the scale model of Hogwarts. The art department displayed some of the sketches, drawings, architectural plans, white card models and artists impressions of certain scenes and dragons etc. It’s really breathtaking work where imagination begins to turn ideas in J.K. Rowlings texts to reality. The penultimate room is huge and houses the 1:24th scale model of Hogwarts and it has to be seen to be believed! It’s truly breathtaking!