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 | Comments


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.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.