Harry Potter Studio Tour

On Wednesday 20th November the Media/Film department took 49 students to WB Harry Potter Studio Tour near London.  After a rather weary 5 hour coach journey, we finally arrived and the fun started! We were greeted by a huge 20 foot tall Christmas tree in the foyer which really gave us a boost after the dreaded M6 and M1. Soon all our collective cramp vanished as a short cinema introductory presentation ended with the lifting of the screen to reveal the incredible Great Hall doors! With a great surge forward, the audience pushed through into the Great Hall – fully bedecked with Christmas decorations. A guided tour whisked us through the hall in stunned wonderment; this was the actual setting within Hogwarts used in all 8 films!

Further excitement followed as we were led through set after set, scene after scene, from the actual films. From the houses on Privet Drive to Diagon Alley, and, from the Dark Arts and Potions classrooms to Dumbledore’s Office, every inch of the studios was packed full of magic!

Then came the green screen! Dressed in cloaks and sat on broomsticks, we were suddenly flying high above Hogwarts. (Some of us quickly came back to earth with the price of the photo!)  After this, the famous Ford Anglia car, the Night Bus and the motorcycle with sidecar further thrilled us.

A wander through Diagon Alley brought us to the final room containing an enormous model of Hogwarts. Amazing! Covered in snow and changing from day to night every few minutes, the model was overpowering in its size and detail. Video screens demonstrated how characters were green-screened onto this actual model during the filming.

Adam Townsend, a Sixth Form student said “An incredible and fascinating experience!”

Another sixth form student, Natalie Thirsk commented that it was “Magical, loved every minute and can’t wait to go again”

Finally, the wand room led us through to the treasure trove that was the shop. Staggering out towards the coach dragging countless bags of goodies, we compared the goodies purchased: everything from replica wands to chocolate frogs; from Bertie Botts Beans to cloaks! The battle commenced: Hufflepuff versus Griffindore!

One of the Year 11 students, Ronan Kay, described it by saying “I had the best time ever on the Harry Potter trip!”

Another 5 hour journey couldn’t detract from the enjoyment of a wonderful day. The only problem was that we were driving to DACA instead of Hogwarts!

Christina Horrocks commented on the trip by saying, “I had a fantastic day; it was an amazing opportunity to be able to see how the movies were created. We got a real behind the scenes look at special effects with green screens and large scale sets incorporating the mise-en-scene elements we have learned about. To be able to see how such a huge franchise like Harry Potter came to life was rather incredible!”

Amy Eddleston agreed “It was a great experience and an amazing opportunity. I may never get to go again but it was that good, I may never need to!”

Caitlin Jones also said that it was “A superb experience, would go again and again without fail”