My daughter grew up reading Harry Potter books and knows the stories backwards and forwards. She's always wanted to visit Harry Potter Studios where, for ten years, the movies were filmed. We took a short train ride from London, and then rode the Harry Potter bus to the studios where we spent the afternoon.
Though I'm not an "expert" like S, I have read all the books and seen each of the movies at least twice. For someone not familiar with the stories my photos might not make much sense, but here's a sampling of some of what we saw.
We were a little early so we wandered around the gift shop while waiting for our assigned entry time.
The studios were very nicely organized and, even though there was a large crowd of visitors, once we got inside the set area we didn't feel at all crowded.
I haven't seen any of the movies and read 3 of the books, but I think this takes the "magic" out of seeing the films. Not to mention the commercial aspect of t-shirts and mugs, and is that a Starbucks coffee I see in the picture at the entrance? It's rather a shame for such imaginative books and films.
Actually, I find a lot of films even more magical when I see what they have managed to do to make things appear what they are not. For example, it's funny to see the Hogwarts bridge sitting on the ground instead of crossing a vertiginous chasm. By the same token, some of the high and dangerous ramparts that can be seen in the Merlin series are just little retaining walls with a grassy lawn about one metre below.
Seeing all of the work that has gone into creating this universe, I cannot imagine that there won't be a new set of movies in the future, even if they wait 10 years to do it. (Yes, I know there is already the Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy in production, but I doubt that there will be many scenes at Hogwarts or in Diagon Alley.)
I'm sure there must be some customers for Hufflepuff apparel, but I am having difficulty imagining who.
Excerpted from J.K. Rowling's description:
Hufflepuffs are trustworthy and loyal. We don't shoot off our mouths; but cross us at your peril. Like our emblem, the badger, we will protect ourselves, our friends, and our families against all-comers. Nobody intimidates us.
Having never read any of the books or seen any of the movies, I would still have enjoyed visiting these studios.
While I do agree with bjd with the commercialization, the gifts shops and there being a Starbucks on site might disappoint the avid fan, I have to say that after visiting Pierrefonds and watching a bit of the production of the series Merlin, I found it very entertaining.
Last evening I confirmed a booking for a tour in Northern Ireland of sites where Game of Thrones were filmed.
I am intrigued with the sets and models you have shown htmb. I think if I had the opportunity to choose a new career it would be in movie or TV production work.
Mich, I think you'd enjoy seeing the sets on this studio, even without reading the books or seeing the movies first. It's an interesting place and is very well done.
I have to apologize for not posting many photos in this thread. I remember I was not feeling well the day we went to visit Harry Potter studios, so I guess I just didn't take many photos. It was just the day after I'd arrived in England, and I was suffering from some pretty major jet lag. For film fans, visiting the studios can be a wonderful experience. My granddaughters and I watched the first film again tonight. I believe it was the first time I'd watched a Harry Potter movie since our visit and I recognized many of the rooms and film tricks seen on my tour with S.