Tris and I decided a couple of years ago that we weren’t going to give each other material, tangible gifts anymore; presents would either come in the form of an experience of some kind, or a trip away…you get the gist! So when my birthday rolled around this year in April, I didn’t have to mull it over for too long; it had to be the HP studios. And yes, April was half a year ago, but availability didn’t quite match up with our schedules because of the popularity of the studios, so here we are, in October, and we’ve finally been!
This isn’t going to be a review as such, because, in all honesty, reviewing things other than books and beauty products isn’t really my forte, shall we say! I just wanted to share some of my pictures, and a few of my thoughts.
The special effects department was amazingly interesting. It’s quite difficult to explain without you going yourself and actually seeing the machinery, sculptures and technology they used, but the work that went in to each creature, goblin, insect, CGI-built scene is extraordinary.
I think the thing I took away from the studios most is not only a heightened love for all things HP, but I now have an understanding (and appreciation) for the intricacy and hard work that went in to every single little detail. For just one example, the huge mounds of rubble that we saw in the deathly hallows films were each individually painted and sculpted pieces of polystyrene, and took over 20 days to complete.
This was really surreal for me – not sure why. It’s quite obvious when you think about it, but I’d never thought about it; that most of the sets we see in the films are just sets, and are all each individually located in one studio set. I loved seeing the Gryffindor Common Room – it made me feel so emosh. The studio, by the way, is actually just like one mahoosive warehouse!
Dobby and Voldemort are my favourite characters; quite the juxta-position, I know. Learning about how they brought Dobby to life was fascinating.
Insider fact: We spoke to the security guard while waiting for our taxi after coming out of the studios, and he said that most days from April to September, the studios would take in 7,500 people, and at £35 a ticket, that’s nearly a quarter of a million per day. Amazing.
If you’re a HP fan and you haven’t visited the studios yet, then quite frankly – what the hell are you playing at? Aside from the ludicrously priced gift shop items (£9 for a chocolate frog, WHAT?), I don’t have a bad word to say about the studios. They were amazing, and I would highly recommend. And if you’re going with someone who isn’t such a HP fan? Tris wasn’t, and hadn’t watched all of the films, but he really enjoyed it. I think it would be hard not to be engrossed, fascinated and intrigued by everything within it!
Have you visited the studios? Jess x
*A couple of the photos in here are from google, because my little digital camera that I took with me failed me on a couple of occasions – lol.