Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Brave Little Illustrator Goes to Europe PART 3

Harry Potter Studio Tour part II:

Snape's classroom! Some of the spoons in the cauldrons were stirring themselves too and changing colors.

Oh snap! I found the Chamber of Secrets!

This was one of the coolest parts of the whole tour - the Magic Is Might Statue from the Ministry of Magic scenes. It really was a masterpiece, even if it isn't made from real stone.

Getting up close to the statue was incredible - each figure was detailed and being crushed in anguish. I swear, I must've walked around the whole thing several times just to make sure I looked at every muggle under the slab.

Professor Umbridge's outfits from the 5th movie! I found out that throughout the movie, her outfits got progressively pinker as she rose in power.

The tapestry for the Black family tree - you might not be able to see it, but the name right under that burnt part in the upper left corner is Sirius'. The middle bottom is Lucius and Narcissa and the bottom right is Draco's spot. Just above Draco's on the banner without a portrait near the middle is Bellatrix's name.

The giant chess pieces from the first movie!

Didn't know this either, but I guess in a ton of shots Hagrid's head is actually an animatronic face mounted on a large stand-in actor...


The head of the Hungarian Horntail

And at the very end of the tour they had THE Hogwarts castle in all of its modeled glory... It took them 40-some weeks to set up the whole castle inside the room of the studio tour. This thing was fantastically huge and breath-takingly beautiful. You could walk around the whole model on a spiral walkway and see every spire, every tree, every window. They had screens where you could see the shots they would take with the castle in front of a green screen, where they matched it up with shots of water (for the Black Lake) and/or the actors for those zoom-out shots of them walking around the castle.

The lighting would change between daytime brights and nighttime blues and they whole time they played this inspiring music in the background that made you want to cry... because you were seeing the actual Hogwarts. I gotta say, this was the icing on the cake and the part that totally blew me away after everything else that I had seen.

After the castle, the only room left of the tour was the inside of Olivander's Wand Shop where they had thousands of the hand-decorated wand boxes stacked with names of the studio employees that had worked on the movie during the last decade. In the middle was a screen that said this: "The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." - J.K. Rowling.

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