Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Hogwarts In The Snow

As most of my friends and family know, I always have and probably always will love Harry Potter with all my heart. In fact, I think it was the first series of books I read at the eager age of Seven! So when the Warner Brothers Studio Tour was announced two (?) years ago, I knew I had to go. It was as magical and perfect as I thought it would be, but nothing could have prepared me for the announcement of Hogwarts In The Snow!

 We actually visited the Studio Tour on January 6th, so this post is a tad late. I hope you don't mind as I really wanted to show you all how magical and christmassy they had made it. Luckily for us, we managed to see the last day of the Christmas set up in the great hall, before it just transitioned into Hogwarts In The Snow (which is in fact still featured until February 2nd!) I was overwhelmed enough by being in the great hall the first time round, so seeing it all festive made my inner 7 year old squeal with excitement.

The decorations were just perfect, all of the place settings had matching house Christmas crackers, surrounded by ceramic and real (much to my surprise) seasonal food, with all of the trees colour co-ordinated to the right houses. It was just incredible to see how much detail the set designers went to in order to give it that festive feel - it was 'snowing' outside the windows, and to make the Christmas Trees just that bit more magical, they had flying witches circling the top!

One of my favourite things about Harry Potter is the costume and hair variations, so seeing all the wigs and prosthetics that they used in the films was wonderful. To know that Evanna Lynch's hair wasn't that long or flowing or perfect, it was  a wig, made my envy of her just slightly reduce! I'm fascinated by how makeup and hair and costume can change a character completely so seeing all the sketches and costume ideas is one of my favourite things about this tour.

I have to say, my favourite costumes of the whole film are definitely the Malfoys collection. They're so dark and plain, yet so iconic and powerful. It's funny how you can just glance at their costumes and know which characters they belong to, yet another awesome thing that the HP crew managed to achieve.

One of the cool things about this tour is that they've left the Privet Drive set so you can visit the street and take pictures, something I've actually always wanted to see. I didn't actually realise it wasn't a real street until I visited the tours...

I have to say my all time favourite set from the whole tour is the potions room. The fact that all the bottles surrounding the walls featured hand written labels, or that the potions books were hand written show just how much care and intricacy have gone into the whole film. Even the minor details are treated as if they are a key part of the scene. All the cauldrons in this set have stirring spoons moving constantly to make it feel like you're actually in Hogwarts yourself!

Now back to the Christmas side! The Gryffindor boys dormitory was surrounded with tinsel EVERYWHERE. Wrapped around all the boys individual beds (you can suss out who's is who due to the things on their bedside tables) and taped to the walls. If you got a chance to go and look closely, you would have seen that on every table their featured various hand made Christmas cards from student's, all with magical themes. I like the fact that the decorations are homely and juvenile, it meant they fit in perfectly with Harry's idea of hogwarts being his home.

Last but definitely not least, the Hogwarts castle. Fun fact for you all, the first time I went, the castle actually made me shed a tear. It's actually quite overwhelming to see something so spectacular and close to your heart. 
This time was no different, in fact, it was better. The entire castle is covered in snow, with snowmen and footprints everywhere.  The picture really doesn't do justice to how festive this makes you feel. And this, for me, was the thing that showed me how much care and effort was put into these films. The castle has all individual windows, turrets, doors and gateways and it features every part of the Hogwarts grounds - from Hagrids Hut to the Boat House in which snape died (*crys*). It's bigger than I had imagined it to be, and to truly take in all of the detail, I imagine you'd be there for hours!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

All photos taken by my friend, Elysha Richards