Leaky’s Complete Report from Warner Bros. Studio Tour – Making of Harry Potter Event, Tickets On Sale Oct. 13


Aug 14, 2011

Posted by John Admin

Earlier today, Leaky brought you live coverage from the O2 arena in London where Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter presentation was held as part of Empire BIG SCREEN.

Present at the event were Warwick Davis (Flitwick/Griphook) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) who announced that tickets for the Studio Tour will go on sale October 13, 2011. Tickets will be priced at £28 for adults and £21 for children. Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter is still on track to open Spring 2012. A new concept art of the entrance to the Studio Tour was also released and can be seen at this link.

A complete report on the presentation has been put together by Leaky reporter Ky. Read all about it below!

TV presenter Ben Shepherd and his experiences on the Harry Potter set:

The talk started with Ben Shepherd (from the ITV “Behind
the Magic” documentaries) talking about his experiences of the set when
he had the opportunity to go on set visits during production in the
past six years. He described Leavesden Studios as “you couldn’t find a
more nondescript location” in an old Rolls Royce factory, which was
freezing cold in the winter and roasting hot in the summer. It has a tin
roof which often leaked during heavy rain, causing filming to stop.
But despite all this, he says Leavesden contains the most magical place he had
ever experienced in his life, as there is no where in the world like the
Harry Potter sets. He described an encounter of meeting Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) as he
was on the way back from the toilet, (not Voldemort as “he doesn’t do
poos”), and meeting Death Eaters in the canteen ordering pie and spotted

The studio tour is going to be the biggest UK attraction
opening in 2012 and will now give the opportunity for the public to
experience these locations. He described how we will get to experience
being in the Great Hall and Dumbledore’s office, which holds
an extraordinary sense of grandeur. He also mentioned a room behind
Dumbledore’s office which was never actually used during filming but will be open to visitors, as
well as getting to see a huge amount of costumes and props. The tour
will be across two of Leavesden’s sound stages which totals 150,000 square

The Trailer:

The session premiered a
two minute trailer featuring clips of the films interspersed with small
clips of the studios and interviews, overlapped with soundtrack from
the “Deathly Hallows” movies. The interviews were with the trio: Daniel
Radcliffe saying Leavesden Studios was their home and how amazing it was to see the sets everyday;
Rupert Grint talking about being able to see the detail that isn’t
noticed in the film; Emma Watson being very excited and saying “it has
been a long time coming.” The trailer showed glimpses of the set of the
Great Hall, the Ministry of Magic, including the “Magic is Might”
monument, the Wanted posters, Diagon Alley and Weasleys’ Wizards
Wheezes, the opening to the Chamber of Secrets and the “special effects”
of the snakes moving.

Warwick Davis on playing Professor Flitwick:

Davis came to the stage and spoke of the honour and privilege he
had working on the films and was appreciative of the make-up artists for
giving him that opportunity. He didn’t realise while working on the
first film it would become something that would dominate the next ten
years of his career. He likened it to working on a soap opera, which is
unheard of in such a large scale in movies. He spoke about Leavesden
reporting its nondescript nature similarly to Ben Shepherd’s account,
but was overwhelmed by the artistry and craftsmanship inside and was
excited for the pubic to now fully appreciate what couldn’t be seen on
film. He mentioned in particular the intricate carving on the doors to
the Great Hall. He said the Great Hall was his favourite set as it was
all real (apart from the ceiling, which was a lot of scaffolding and a lighting technician leaning over them). He spoke of his first day
of filming, which was on that set, and the amazement of sitting at the
head table with Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane and Alan
Rickman. (He added a “woo woo!,” and clarified jokingly that it wasn’t for
Alan, although he is a lovely man.) He said it was his favourite set due
to all the varying scenes it had held such as feasts and the funerals and
the Yule Ball. He took this opportunity to describe how he jokingly
suggested to Mike Newell (the director of “Goblet of Fire”) how it would
be funny for Flitwick to do a stage dive, to which Newell came back
after the weekend to say, “Let’s do it!” He described how they dressed up
stunt performers as students to catch him, as they didn’t trust the
kids, and that if you look carefully his false teeth pop out as he was
caught in “one of those places.”

The conversation then turned to Warwick as Griphook, for which
the prosthetic he wore was on stage. He said it was weird to be looking
at the mask rather than being in it and said how on the tour, this will
be something we will be able to get up close to, not just the sets.

Nick Dudman and the Goblin creature makeup:

Dudman, the creature makeup effects artist for the Harry Potter films,
was then welcomed to the stage. He has been working with Warwick Davis
since “Return of the Jedi” (when Warwick was 11 years old, and he a
trainee) and then through films like “Willow” and “Labyrinth.” They appeared
to have a good relationship, joking along as they went through the
talk. Nick went to describe the making of the goblin faces, especially
for “Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ which required 38 goblins to be ready
on set at the same time. He described the design process and how they
wanted to keep the same look for the goblins as in the first movie, and
this was a starting point for the design of the goblins in “Deathly
Hallows.” They then took molds of the actors, and started doing sketches
and rough outlines in clay to wait for approval from the director. Once
they were happy with that they would do the final molds in soft
silicone in three separate sections to be applied to the actors. The
detail was very important to get the right muscle shapes, but they also
were conscious to make a mask that would move realistically, so that it
would enhance the performance of the actor instead of covering it
up. Even though all the molds were pre-made and the hairs individually
punched beforehand, it would take a further 4 hours for it to be
applied to the actor in a way that the seams would not show.

They then welcomed to the stage Sarita Allison, a
makeup artist on the films who had today applied the make up of Bogrod
(originally played by Jon Key) to Warwick’s wife Sam. They showed a film
on the screen of an edited down review of the 4 hour process it took
for Warwick to have the Griphook prosthetic applied. First to be applied
is a bald cap to give a surface to be applied to, then the three pieces
of silicone: a head, face and chin, and then ears, contact lenses,
teeth and hand makeup and nails. The hair is human hair from Italy, and
they also used some animal fur for the eyebrows as this is tapered at
the ends giving a more realistic look, as human hair has to be cut.

They spoke about the difficulty of doing so many goblins for
the Gringotts scene and having to call on makeup artists from fifteen
different countries. Nick explained how each mask could only be used
once so over numerous days of shooting there was a lot
of prosthetics required, all of which needed to be hand painted and
required 3 people to apply them. On stage some of the
“background heads” were displayed. There were actually 60 goblins required, only 38 had
the full three piece silicone prosthetic, and the rest had full piece

Creature Workshop on the Studio Tour:

the Studio Tour they have created a “Creature Workshop” to showcase the
achievement of the make-up department. They will have all models they
worked on, even if they ended up in the film as digital creations, from
Neville’s Mimbulus Mimbletonia to Buckbeak, Aragog, and Fawkes, some of
which will be moving. Nick then went to describe the making of the
models like Fawkes and Buckbeak where the feathers were individually
trimmed and applied in a way to make it look realistic when the wings
opened. He joked about the complications of using an animatronic versus
using an actor. Nick was appreciative of his work being preserved for
the past ten years, whereas on average movies his work and the models
are thrown away.

Evanna Lynch on being Luna:

described briefly how she got the role of being Luna, that she was a
“professional fan” rather than a professional actor and had seen the
casting call on fan sites (a cheer from the audience at the mention of
The Leaky Cauldron!). She described her first moment on set,
being overwhelmed that she was standing next to Daniel Radcliffe, but
then asking him to step aside so that she could admire the set! She
echoed previous statements of how much detail on the set goes unnoticed
in the films, especially on props such as the Quibbler. She spoke about
the wedding scene set, and that it was uniquely wizardly in that it was
like no ordinary wedding. She then performed the Wrackspurt dance and
spoke of the inspiration for choreography of that and that it was Rhys Ifans’s (Xenophilius Lovegood)
idea to add the up and down motion. Although she didn’t film there, she
also liked the Lovegood house set and the drawings on the wall as it
explains why Luna is the way she is. She spoke about Luna’s outfits and
how she thinks she wouldn’t have been able to play Luna properly without
the embarrassing outfits as they set her apart because she can’t
possibly care what she looks like, just like Luna wouldn’t. Her
favourite outfit was the “Christmas Tree” dress she wore to Slughorn’s
party, even though she couldn’t sit down in it. She also liked the Lion
Hat, which was displayed on stage, as it blinked and moved.

Evanna then spoke about how Harry Potter has changed her
life, due to the poignant message in the books of the trio coming
through the great burdens by having a lot of determination and teamwork,
which she said was also given on the film set. Being a latecomer into
the filming she had a lot of support from the friends she made during

Lastly, Evanna announced that tickets for the Studio Tour will go on sale on Thursday, 13th October 2011 at wbstudiotour.co.uk .
You WILL be required to pre-book tickets to get in to the studio. They
will not be selling tickets on site. Evanna joked they have the
protective spells surrounding the studios so no one can get there by
broom or Thestral without a ticket.

28 Responses to Leaky’s Complete Report from Warner Bros. Studio Tour – Making of Harry Potter Event, Tickets On Sale Oct. 13

Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Very nice indeed!Avatar Imagejillians642 says: I worry that a tour might take away some of the magic. Is anyone else concerned about that? I think I'd like to go to WETA and the Lord of the Rings tours in New Zealand first since I really like those movies but they don't mean quite as much to me.Avatar ImageLunaLuver says: Aww, I just loved everything Evanna said. Luna's Christmas Tree dress was my favourite too! :D If I could, I'd find a way to re-create it. ;}Avatar Imagechikitcorpuzvesterbaek says: @jillians642: I understand your concern, but I consider this as a tribute to all those designers, artists and craftsmen who have worked behind the scenes to create the wonderful films we have enjoyed. It's also nice not to have to travel all the way across the Atlantic - London is closer to Denmark, after all. Avatar Imagekyrstalkris says: I just love the Harry Potter books and films and after seeing the last film, everytime I think about it I just want to burst out and cry! So It's heartbreaking that they talked about Leavesden as their home and now they'll never be there! I really would like to go to Leavesden! But I know I probably won't but my dream is to meet the cast and crew, visit Leavesden, and of course meet Jo! Basically, I just want to say Harry Potter really took a hold of my life and I don't think it's over, it's too strong in our hearts to be over! But knowing there will probably be no more books and movies breaks my heart! Avatar ImageFleur-de- Lily says: coolAvatar Imagehermy007 says: wish i could go there, that would be THE BEE'S KNEES!!! :D:DAvatar ImageJoRowlingRocks says: Yeahh I was part of that cheer for Leaky! Avatar ImageHogwartsForever says: Sounds wonderful.Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: I really want to go!!!!Avatar Imagemoglet says: @jillians642: Seriously the tour won't take away the magic, I had a couple of set visits to Leavesden during the making of Deathly Hallows and the sets and props are incredible, somehow it seemed to add to the magic, being able to see the detail of props and sets that you would not normally be able to do.Avatar Imageahaque521 says: i need to go there!!! sounds amazing!!!Avatar ImageShona says: legend i love her haha!Avatar Imagegraziboi says: Maybe someday I will go. I'm glad that they have something for fans in london finally. I live in America so I will have to save up money. Avatar Imageginny_weasley1998 says: I'm in USA too:(Avatar Imagemoonfairychyn says: I live in PHilippines, so if i want to go there i need to work hard and save money.. i want to go and see the magic of Harry potter... I love HP.. books and moviessssAvatar Imagebambahw says: Absolutely LOVED this event, I had an amazing time & Evanna was absolutely fantastic as was Warwick & to be presented by Ben Shepherd was a fantastic touch! Really enjoyed it & am so excited about the tour. However am I the only one thats a bit confused as to why they haven't confirmed pricing of any type? They def did not say anything about it at the talk, has anything been mentioned since? October 13th isn't far away & we have NO idea how much this tour will cost, although I imagine it will be expensive, so am dying to know how much it will be & just how excited I can get about this, or is it completely out of my price range? it keeps saying for the entire family, so imagine it won't be astronomical but would still like a ball park figure :-)Avatar Imagebambahw says: Can a mod please delete my comment above, I cannot figure out how to do it & didn't read the post properly where it clearly states how much the tour is! (silly me! Sorry!) £28 is loads cheaper than I was thinking, am delighted about that :-) Avatar Imagevicki_the_house_elf says: Every tiny little detail I read about it makes me more and more excited! Thanks for your brilliant report Leaky :)Avatar Imagejyassa says: i hope im able to go somedayAvatar Imagejyassa says: so cooooooooooooolAvatar ImageCorruptedNethicite says: Awesome! I can't wait for this!Avatar ImageSauvium says: How long is this open for? Cause I'm not going to get to London until next year. I want to see this so bad!!Avatar Imagejoe11093 says: evanna is so funnyAvatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: :DAvatar ImageHalfbloodPrince08 says: OMG wanna be there!!!!Avatar Imageazaadpotter says: WowAvatar ImageGiant Squid says: Wish I could have been there! It sounds awesome! Great recap!

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