The last weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Harry Potter’s Studio Tour in the Warner Bros Studios, London. It was not only an incredible experience for me, as a fan of the story, but also as a Set designer.
Around the 4 hours of visiting the different sets, you can appreciate the enormous magnitude of the job that all the team accomplish during ten years of production, even when you only can see a small part of all the sets that they design for the eight movies.
Checking the sets
It was interesting to know why the design style was changing during the years. During the first and second movie the majority of the scenes of inside Hogwarts were film in real locations, as Harrow Hall, Alnwick Castle or the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
However, with the success of the films, the rise of investment and the advances in CGI, for the next movies the Art Department chose to build some parts of the castle and transform it with the digital technology, in order to make some scenes more spectaculars, for instance the moving staircases.
Moreover, it was remarkable the size of the sets, especially the Hagrid’s Cabin and Weasley’s kitchen. They were really small comparing with others sets as the Potion’s Class.
I didn’t have the opportunity to appreciate if the Hagrid’s set was compose with Floaters walls, but I suppose that it is the case, because in the movies we can see different shot angles. However, the Weasley’s set was built with three walls in order to have enough space for the crew to film, as well as the Dumbledore’s office or the Gryffindor common room.
Weasley’s dinning room set
Props and treasures
On the other hand, it is important to take into account, that during the first movies the principal actors were children with a little experience. Therefore, it was important to create as much props and animatronics as possible to make easy for them to visualise the concept of the scene, for instance the Basilisk in the second movie.
Example of props used at the films
If you are a true HP fan, I would absolutely recommend you to check the tour in London. It is a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes and appreciate all the design effort.
If you have check it already share your pictures with me on Instagram; and let me know how your experience was.