New Report Online from Location Filming for “Half-Blood Prince” (Updated)

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Nov 18, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
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There is a new report online today from location filming for the upcoming “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” film. Crews were due to film this weekend at a train station in a town outside of London. Marc from HarryPotter-Xperts.de let us know they have a report from this filming in Surbiton, and you can see a new photo of actor Michael Gambon filming a scene at the station. Please note, the report is in German, but the scene apparently involves Professor Dumbledore at this train station, gesturing and making some sort of greeting. If anyone can provide a translation, please send it in!

Thanks Marc!

UPDATE:Marc from HPXperts owled to clarify that Michael Gambon and OotP director David Yates were present at the filming, and he did not see Dan Radcliffe. Also, thanks to TLC reader Stefanie, we now have a translation of the entire (and very lengthy )location report below. Thanks to Steffi and everyone who mailed with their translations, it is most appreciated!

It’s true. The station in Surbiton really is a set in the 6th Harry Potter movie. Armed with my camera, a note pad and a pen (you never know ’ maybe one can get an autograph from one of the stars) I took the short walk from my flat to the filming location.

According to the online report of the local weekly paper, filming was supposed to take place specifically in Cafe Chaud on one of the platforms. The Problem: One only gets onto the platforms with a valid ticket. Having arrived at the station, I start skulking around outside the building, along the railings towards the car park, and behold: Lots of people in yellow safety vests and ’ even more important ’ filming equipment on the first platform. Bull’s eye!

Apart from that there wasn’t much to be made out, and I want to save my camera for more important photos. The display of my rechargeable battery is already flashing red¦ Since I can’t get onto the platforms, I start walking towards the back of the station. All those lorries that transport all of their filming stuff have to be somewhere! Via a passageway leading over the tracks I get to the other side of the station and when I come around the corner I encounter even more men and women in yellow vests. This part of the film crew is apparently just taking a break or isn’t needed with the filming on the platforms. There are hot drinks for all the members of the crew, but I just walk through the crowd and there they are: lots of white lorries. Unfortunately, they are not much use to me on their own either, so I position myself close to the crew, locate one of the many yellow vested people and ask away. “They are shooting a Harry potter movie here, aren’t they? Could you answer me a few questions?” ’ “Just wait for a moment; I’ll find you someone who can.”

So far, so good. With my note pad and pen in my hand, I observe the colourful hustle and bustle. Passers-by wanting to know what’s going on are being fobbed off with words like ˜They’re just shooting some TV series¦’ After some time the nice man returns and advises me just to try to get onto the platform. That should work somehow. Oh dear, without a ticket? Well, why not try¦ I go into the back entrance, past policemen, people in yellow vests and with buttons in their ears, and lots of security staff that stare at me ¦ but don’t stop me. [¦]

My eyes wander around and suddenly Dumbledore is standing in front of me ’ maybe 10 metres away. Michael Gambon in full get-up! His beard held together by some cord. His grey robe we already know from the previous films. His little hat. All fits together! From the opposite platform David Yates, the director, is issuing instructions: ˜No train! Action!’ The camera is running and Gambon starts. He is standing on the platform in such a way that he has a good view of the other platform. His head is slightly turning from one side to the other ’ apparently he is looking for someone. Then he raises his hand and waves in greeting.

Slowly the scene is taking on form. Café Chaud, in which filming had been reported to take place, is on the other platform, but it seems that it’s not going to be used as a filming location. [¦] A scene at a railway station is being filmed here, specifically one with Dumbledore on the platform (the camera is on the opposite platform). On the other platform, the crew has concealed the area in front of the cafe with black cloth. One can see steam rising up behind a glass pane- but what for?

The filming at the railway station is generally more difficult than in the studio, because there are constantly trains arriving and people getting on and off those trains. The security people direct them as quickly as possible to the exits, but it’s inevitable that Gambon is standing around with parts of the crew for most of the time. Because of the cold, he’s wearing a black down coat over the Dumbledore costume. Meanwhile I’m trying to find out more about the filming and talk to the station manager. Unfortunately his staff are not allowed to give me any information (provided that they had some), because only the press office of “South West Train Services” is authorised to do so. [¦]

Dumbledore is looking at the other platform. Then it’s starting to get hectic. This time, the scene is to be filmed with a train passing by, which is already advancing. Gambon is already back on his position. The train rushes past. He looks. He waves. Cut! The same thing is repeating itself for a couple of times, and each time they have to wait for a passing train. Yates gives Gambon different stage directions: “Michael, can we try a smaller gesture?” ’ As a result, Gambon doesn’t wave quite as noticeably any more, but only raises his hand in greeting. The next stage direction is that he should wait a few more seconds after the train has left the picture before he carries out his greeting.

Between the takes, Gambon keeps disappearing into the heap of crew members. They hide behind a board with placards during the takes, in order not to get into the picture. But what’s this? Suddenly I see double: There are two Dumbledores! While the real one remains with the crew, a genuinely similar double is standing there in his place. I talk to one of the security men, who is a lot more helpful than the station manager, and he tells me what he knows. The double is there so that the light and everything else can be adjusted before the actual filming starts. “The real Dumbledore is too old to stand around in the cold all the time, that’s why they have a second.”

He also tells me that the filming is supposed to officially continue until six o’clock in the morning. Apparently, at 1.30 am, another scene is going to be filmed, in which there will be other actors present, but nobody knows any details. [¦] A man is carrying a sign that has differently coloured stripes, with names on them like “Lupin”, “Tonks” and others. [¦] I walk around for a while and get behind some screens. Here, the crew is inspecting the results of what has been captured by the cameras. Since there’s no filming going on at the moment, they are watching the material they have already shot.

Now I’m also able to see more clearly how the scene that has just been filmed might ultimately look like in the movie. The focus is on Dumbledore on the opposite platform. The passing train can only be made out in a blurry way as it rushes through the picture. As soon as the train has passed, white steam comes swirling into the picture from below. Then I suddenly see someone trying to wipe clean a window with his sleeve, in order to get a better view of Dumbledore on the other side of the picture. Dumbledore waves.

Aaah, so the camera is situated in the area that is separated by black cloth, together with the strange fog machine that I had seen before on the other platform. Apparently, it’s supposed to imitate the steam of the train. Still, the whole thing doesn’t really make sense to me. Did I really see someone wiping the window? This would mean that the camera is filming from the inside of the Hogwarts-Express ’ at least it was supposed to look like it¦ In the movie, the Express could stop in the station, another train would pass by and Harry or whosoever could clean the steamed up window to see Dumbledore. Dumbledore would wave at him. Could it be that what’s being filmed here?

I remain skeptical. People continue to disappear behind or reappear from behind the black fabric. This allows me to sneak a few peeks at the separated zone, and there an adolescent is standing whom at first glance I take to be Daniel Radcliffe. But on closer inspection, I’m sure that it’s not him. But could he be the person wiping the window? One could only see that person very briefly in the picture and he was being filmed from behind. His clothes match Harry’s Muggle-style: Chucks, jeans and a sweater jacket like the one Harry was wearing a lot in the third movie. What’s certain is that the camera and the fog machine are in the separated area behind the black fabric. And the camera is filming a passing train and Dumbledore who is standing behind that train on the opposite platform. I keep on walking along the platform and now I’m able to look inside Cafe Chaud. [¦] There’s a chair with the label “Dan Radcliffe”. Hmmm, might he be around after all?

[¦]

Next to Daniel Radcliffe’s empty chair another boy is sitting, who could pass as a double of Harry. He’s brooding over a yellow piece of paper. Moments later he leaves the waiting room [¦] and disappears from the platform. When he returns, the Dumbledore scene is finished. David Yates declares that everybody has a 1 ½ hours break now (˜lunch’, although it’s midnight) and that another scene will start shooting at 1 o’clock. This requires the whole equipment to be moved to the other platform. Instructions sound through the air. Someone shouts: ˜Window to the other side!’ ’ [¦] A window has actually been set up in the area separated by the black cloth, possibly the inside of a Hogwarts-Express compartment!?

No matter how exactly the scene is going to look in the end, it’s definitely got to do with a waving Dumbledore and takes place on a station platform with a train just having passed through. It’s highly likely that Dumbledore is waving to Harry (and Hermione and Ron), because everything else is making little sense. After all, the movies are told from his perspective: If Harry is not there, we don’t know what’s happening. But I have no idea yet how the scene is supposed to fit into the movie. Anyway, it’s time to go now. My right hand is already half frozen off and I can’t feel my toes anymore. And I˜ve got to write a set report! This one :)

UPDATE

The sign I described (with the names of some Potter chracters like Tonks and Lupin, is, I think, a general utensil that is present on every set. There were lots of other names on it as well, and I don’t think that they were all part of the shoot itself. Although it would have been great if Natalia Tena and David Thewlis would have been there!





52 Responses to New Report Online from Location Filming for “Half-Blood Prince” (Updated)

Avatar Image says:

Umm…

Except for in Deathly Hallows, when was Dumbledore ever at a Train Station?

I just got through reading Half-Blood Prince for the 5th time and I do not recall Dumbledore ever being at a train station.

They must have added a scene, meaning that they left out scenes…. Damn them…

Avatar Image says:

Oh, and again, why does he refuse to wear his glasses?

Dumbeldore always wore his half moon spectacles?

I don’t recall him ever getting lasik surgery!

Avatar Image says:

I think I know which scene this may be! Perhaps in the beginning of the film Harry will come to this place with the train and Dumbledore will greet him and they will both leave to go to Slughorn’s house.What do you think?

Avatar Image says:

It wouldn’t be like Dumbledore to go out in public, especially in his Wizard outfit. (he wears the same one in every freaking film) or for him to rely on muggle transportation.

I think they will do as the book says, apparate to Harry’s and then Apparate to Sughorn’s.

Avatar Image says:

yes but isn’t this scene a bit strange? I mean who the heck is the person Dumbledore greets? I read in the German report that there was a chair with the name of Daniel Radcliffe… I can’t find anything else…

Avatar Image says:

That’s a good idea Jimi, except it seems very risky for Dumbledore to allow Harry to take the train in these dangerous times.

My guess is that it is a memory scene. It would make sense that they are not filming Dan and Gambon together if we are seeing Dumbledore’s memory. Maybe they are going to show Dumbledore getting the ring, and this is when he does.

Avatar Image says:

Maybe when the appearate to slughorn’s, they appear, here, an abandoned station. The walk to slughorns?

Avatar Image says:

Yep, sounds like a memory scene to me. Very exciting!!! :)

Avatar Image says:

damn!! i knew i should of took german at schl, instead of spanish!!! lol :)

Avatar Image says:

Maybe he’s meeting Lupin and Tonks? The report mentions their names.

Avatar Image says:

I just read the German set report from Marc, who lives only fifteen Minutes from that Rail station. I shall try to translate a bit, though don’t know if I am able to do that very good! Marc was able to sneak to the tracks in Surbiton, where the filming with Dumbledore was going on;-) He was about ten meters from Michael Gambon – who was wearing his Grey suit, his hat, and the beard bound together with a string, as we are used from the previous movies. Marc was then able to see the filmed scene on a monitor. The focus is on Dumbledore who stands on the opposite railway track – and as a train goes by – there comes white steam, Dumbledore waves to someone on the train. This someone is cleaning the window, to see Dumbledore better? He said there was a wall with black cloth, where Gambon vanished, maybe to refresh his make-up or getting something hot to drink, since it was very cold yesterday – and there he saw a boy who he first thought was Dan! He writes that this boy was on the short sequence on the monitor. He wore Muggle clothes like Harry does. Marc walks on and is able to see the mentioned Cafe Chaud. He looks into the Cafe and sees a chair with the Dan’s name on it!! Beside that chair is another and on this sits a boy who could be Dan’s double. He is looking onto a yellow paper – gets up, leaves the Cafe and the track. When he comes back, the Dumbledore scenes are finished and David Yates tells them that they are having a break for 1 1/2 , its Midnight now. There is some more, please let me know if you want me to try and translate the rest..I have never done this before and don’t know if it is understandable. ;-)

Avatar Image says:

Yay filming comes to Surbiton!! I live about 5 minutes from Surbiton station so might go later and see if I can get some pictures but probably wont because of the securiity but its worth a try!

Avatar Image says:

I translated the whole article but i don’t know how to post a link to it. Thanks for any help!!!

Avatar Image says:

LilyPotter88 – why don’t you copy/paste it right here?

Avatar Image says:

I just took it to google and translated it is realy LONG but here is the link ( I hope it works if not let me know) http://www.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fharrypotter-xperts.de%2Fmovie6%2Fsetreport&langpair=de%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF8

Avatar Image says:

Excellent LilyPotter88. It works, and here I translated free from German into English..ha ha ha…never thought of using the translator. Good job….:-)

Avatar Image says:

Thanks, I’m just glad that it worked!!!!

Avatar Image says:

Why would Dumbledore need to get trains? He could just apparate…. I’m really begining to get an idea this film will be a little messed up.

Avatar Image says:

Maybe it is a memory scene involving Dumbledore letting a young Tom Riddle going alone to buy all of his school shopping. He just greets him as the train goes away. That’s my guess…

Avatar Image says:

it could be hogsmeade when draco breakes harry’s nose on the train and tonks finds him, maybe they’ve got dumbledore to find him too

Avatar Image says:

There was a link on top of the German page today going to a website of a local newspaper, reporting on the filming in the station. It said that Dan will be on set from Friday thru Sunday

Avatar Image says:

Sorry forgot to put the link:

http://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/news/topstories/display.var.1839369.0.harry_potter_film_on_location_in_surbiton.php

Avatar Image says:

Thanks for the translation Mistral!

I think the idea of Dumbledore at a train station is actually really cool… like the meeting of two worlds, you know?

Avatar Image says:

I really hope they don’t screw up this as bad as they did Order of the Phoenix. And same goes for Deathly Hallows. I’m nervous about that one…. But I do like that they casted Lavender. And does anyone like…really miss Richard Harris as Dumbledore? He truely had that quirkyness down. Bah. I’m babbling now. Anyways…I’m nervous about Half-Blood Prince, hey can’t they make it 3 hours long?...:D

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Nikki, this might Dumbledore fixing Harry’s nose for him instead of Tonks. I could envision that, though I’d rather see Tonks. The question though is why they’re using this train station when they had a different one just for OOP, which Yates also directed, and different ones also for PS/SS and POA?

Avatar Image says:

Train? Ok what did they leave out to add in… ugh hmm pounders IDK…...

Avatar Image says:

Hey, hey, folks! Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Y’all know what “assume” means. I agree with Paracelsus. I imagine (JMHO) that it may be a touch of an elaboration on the “young Tom Riddle” memorie….kinda makes sense, ‘eh? Thanks for all the hard work, Mistral and LillyPotter88!

Avatar Image says:

@nikki….I never thought about that possibility! It COULD be Dumbledore fixing Harry’s nose! My guess, still goes, with Paracelsus. It seems like an “extension” onto Dumbledore’s memorie of young Tom Riddle. PONDERS, as well.

Avatar Image says:

but that doesn’t have sense because when harry took the express to hogwarts, dumbledore was trying to get rid of gaunt’s ring!! idn… i think will be a memory scene… i hope so… HBP is my favorite book, i’m wishing they don’t destroy it…

Avatar Image says:

He’s greeting the young Tom Riddle! a flash back…

Avatar Image says:

I have a feeling that this scene is Dumbledore and the child Tom Riddle. I think it might be Dumbledore waving him off as Tom refuses his offer to accompany him…

Certainly cant see any other reason for his presence at a train station!

Avatar Image says:

i was there last night and all they filmed was a memory scene..it is a make up shoot for a shot that was not able to be used b/c of poor whether according to security…however, what the shot is they didn’t know or wouldn’t say. YES dan was there we saw him come in and we saw him leave at 3:50 with gambon and he even stopped to sign my book. so yes dan was there and maybe the person covering it was mistaken and just couldn’t believe it was him…dan’d double was outside with us for a good 2 hours and was really sweet.

Avatar Image says:

Either Dumbledore taking over Tonks’ role in rescuing Harry from the train, or an old memory of young RIddle. Both seem quite plausible.

Avatar Image says:

I don’t think it will be a young Riddle memory because, as we’ve seen in previous movies, Dumbledore wore a different getup when he was younger, and also he would have to look younger himself in this scene. He would have red hair, or at least less grey. Gambon is his usual DD self in the pic which means it’s present day.

I’m guessing they’ve just moved scenes around like in Ootp where they had Sirius and Harry in the King’s Cross waiting room. DD may escort Harry to the station for some reason. If we didn’t already know that the Burrow is in the movie I would guess Harry and DD might have gone straight from Slughorn’s to King’s Cross.

Avatar Image says:

May be this is the last scene of the movie. Harry imagining Dumbeldore waving to him. Giving the spectators the assurance that everything is not lost.

Avatar Image says:

it can’t be dumbledore fixing harry’s nose right from the train because nat tena told the ap months ago that when she admitted being back for hbp, she would be doing the train scene. she pointed that out explicitly, so they won’t be changing that from tonks to dumbledore. she’s still the one who’s going to save harry from the hogwarts express.

Avatar Image says:

Yes it would have been great if Natalia had been there, there’s never enough on her.

Avatar Image says:

Like many have said we shouldnt assume too much until we know more. I have to admit “guest” I think your theory is rather clever, because that gives the audience who dont read the books a hint at what happens in the 7th book, so to me that makes the most sense. By the way I dont beleive for one min that what we heard is the full cast.

Avatar Image says:

Actually, I think performingmonkey might be right.. It could just be the last scene of the movie, where Harry imagines Dumbledore waving at him. Yeah, that makes perfect sense! But, still, I don’t know why they’d use a different station….

I have another suggestion: Yates said that the plot of Deathly Hallows might influence the script of this film. Could it be they’ve added something like that through this scene?

Avatar Image says:

Sorry, that post was made by guest, not performingmonkey

Avatar Image says:

It would have to be some kind of memory scene, because in the holidays between OotP and HBP, is the time when Dumbledore gets the ring and his hand gets cursed. So if this scene was occurring during HBP “real time”, Gambon would have had to wear the green glove so that his hand could be touched up in CG FX.

None of the informal set reporters mentioned the green glove, but was Dumbledore wearing any gloves (to maybe hide the hand), or was he bare-handed AND healthy-handed?

Avatar Image says:

I so believe it´s neither King´s Cross nor Hogsmeade. Why would they use a rather modern station. It also makes no sense whatsoever that it´s young Tom Riddle. He started going to Hogwarts in the 1940s. The set doesn´t look very forty-ish to me. I agree that it could indeed be a slightly adapted scene on how Harry gets to Slughorn´s place. (maybe in order to cut the Dursleys?)

Avatar Image says:

He needs to put his glasses on!!! DD never took off his glasses!!!! WHY OH WHY does WB have to mess with every HP movie??? Why would you mess something up thats perfectly fine the way it is??? It makes NO SENSE.

Avatar Image says:

Perhaps Dumbledore is greeting Christian Coulson, the real Tom Riddle, and happily welcoming him back so that the HBP film won’t suck? :P

Avatar Image says:

I agree, its probably Harry imagining DD there, just like he imagined Voldy in the train station.

Avatar Image says:

I don’t know what this scene is either but yea it’s probably a memory.

I just love the picture though. Did Marc take it?

It looks like what the cover would be if Tom Waits made a wizard rock album.

“Will I see you tonight, on the Hogwarts Express. All my dreams are such a mess.”

Avatar Image says:

1.Well it may be a scene with Dumbledore greeting Harry as he goes to the Burrow (who knows?) after the scene with Slughorn. 2.It may be a memory with Dumbledore greeting young Tom Riddle. 3.Hmmm, this is strange. It may be the final scene of the film. Perhaps they go to Burrow with the train and Harry imagines that he sees Dumbledore waving him…who knows?

Avatar Image says:

Leif, that is the best avatar!

Avatar Image says:

The mere fact that Gambon is not wearing the green glove proves that it is not a scene that is present. So it must be a dream sequence of sorts, I don’t think it is a pensieve scene at all.

They mentioned a drop cloth behind him, possible green screen? They also mentioned a train, but did NOT specify if it was the Hogwarts express.

I personally believe that on the way back home, at the end of the film, Harry day dreams, or envisions that Dumbledore is waving good-bye, thus ending the film and giving him a sense of loneliness, yet completion.

Avatar Image says:

I definetly think its towards the end of the film, Dumbledore is dead and Harry imagines him still there waving at him. Just as he imagined creepy Voldemort stalking his every move in Order of the Phoenix

Avatar Image says: dumbledore and harry meet at a train station and then apparate to the added scene where harry is flirting with a waitress, that is why dumbledore is at a train stationAvatar Image says: dumbldore in the movie is seen with his hand blackened, this is from the horcruxe he put on his hand and later in the series, described as one of the deathly hollows

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