Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Knight buses, Sorting Hats & Butter Beer

On July 24th, I ventured out to the Warner Bros. Studio, London, for a tour of the REAL Harry Potter sets. I cannot stress enough how much I love the Harry Potter movies and books; I was one of those nerds that dressed up and watched all the midnight premiers. These films are part of what motivated me to become a film editor so I am not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best things I have ever experienced in my life. At first I was worried that seeing all of the sets would ruin the magic this movie holds; It takes a lot of fake to make something look real. But fake is what the movie industry is and if I am going to be apart of it then I better get used to the idea what is seen on screen is “real life”.  
The second I walked into the Great Hall, all of my previous worries had faded away. The set was absolutely glorious. The floor was made of real stone, the tables were made of rich and real wood, the walls were hand painted... it was perfect. These set designers deserved every penny they made off of the films because it was better than I could have ever imagined. Knowing human hands could reproduce something dreamt up (especially when it has been an image in your own imagination) is unreal, it made the movies I grew up loving even more special. While I'm sure it may have ruined the magic for some, (the beautiful ceiling was not present because it was obviously computer graphics) It made it so much more magical for me. 

As you exit the great hall, you are greeted by 1,000s of handmade props and remaining sets. Many of the sets were destroyed soon after they were made (thats just how it works in the movie biz) but the ones that remained were the most iconic. A few included the Hogwarts Common Room, Hagrid's Hut and Professor Snape's Potion Room. Each room was so carefully decorated. When you see them on the screen they look how you think a class room, or hut should... but when seeing them up close, you get to appreciate the details put in every rooms, see the individual knick nacks, and really live what you saw in the movie. Sets that may have only been seen for a split second in the movie look as if they took hours to decorate. It was a film nerd's dream.

What changed my understanding of the movie the most however was the inside of Ollivanders Wand Shop. In the movie it is a tiny places jam packed with thousands of leather 
wand boxes. On the end of each box is a hand written name. You would think they would be names of wands, but they are not. They are the names of the thousands of talented British film crew that worked on the set for all eight of the Harry Potter films. With out them, the magic wouldn't be possible. I never though of it like that before. With out the thousands of people I am surrounded by I wouldn't have wanted to edit films, with out them I would not be here admiring these sets. Through this tour I realized Harry Potter was more than just a movie, it was a home to creative genius.

(this post is late because I didn't go on the tour until after the due date)

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