4 midnight movie premieres. (1 in costume.)
1 midnight book release.
6 books read in 2 weeks, and the 7th in 2 days. Plus multiple re-reads.
2 trips to the most magical place on earth, the Wizarding World in Florida.
And now… 3.5 magical hours at the Leavesden studios where the 8 Potter movies were filmed.
I asked the one intern left with me in the office (well, this Saturday was his last day, so now I am the only intern left) to go with me, because fangirling alone is just not as fun as fangirling with a friend, even if that friend isn’t quite as enthusiastic about Potter as you are. Vincent as my witness, I was skipping and bouncing on the way to the tour, and at several points during the tour. I checked my phone for the time at each Overground stop on the 40 minute ride to Watford Junction. I was telling myself to not hyperventilate. (Yes, much excitement.)
I have been waiting to go on this studio tour since I realized they were opening it up to the public. I knew I had to come as soon as I was accepted into my intern abroad program. And as you might be able to guess, it definitely lived up to expectations! Seeing original sets, costumes, props, models, designs, and effects was amazing. There was an intro video recorded by the trio, of course, and we entered the tour through the great hall set. (Unfortunately, we could not see the sky in the ceiling.)
Daniel’s first ever set of robes (and that pointy hat!), along with other tiny wardrobe pieces, was adorable. One of my favorite sections, of course, was the green screen section. I got to sit on a broom and fly through different scenes. (The employee made me mount the broom from the right side though. It felt really awkward, especially when trying not to trip on my huge Ravenclaw robe. Which I specifically asked for after they tried to hand me a Gryffindor one.) Once I have access to a decent scanner, those pictures WILL be up. The other great interactive section of the tour was getting a chance to follow video instructions from the set’s wand combat
coordinator/coach. I had Hermione’s wand (since Ginny’s wasn’t available, and my favorite is a toss up between the two) and I’m pretty sure I could have taken the 12 year olds that went before me in a wizard’s duel. (That video is already up.)
I had to get some butterbeer, of course (though they didn’t offer it frozen, which is my favorite from the park). Their back lot had the outdoor sets, like the wooden bridge at Hogwarts, Number 4 Privet Drive (where everything was perfectly normal, thank you very much), the Knight Bus (which looked way better than taking a plain night bus), and Goderic’s Hollow. If I allow myself, I’ll just excitedly list everything. But I won’t. But all in all, it was seriously fantastic. The behind the scenes prop design and makeup prep was fascinating, too. And seeing all the paper set models was amazing. There is a lot of talent on display at the studio. The absolute BEST model was the giant Hogwarts castle they used with green screen for exterior shots during the movies. Music was playing, there was dramatic lighting, and it was so incredibly detailed.
I was still (literally) skipping along with excitement when we left. (I was suddenly 12 again. For the entire day.)
The ONLY thing that disappointed me: You could not hear Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom, like you do at the theme park. (How hard is it to rig up a few extra speakers?)
Now – who is ready for a Potter movie marathon?! I’ve already been listening to the soundtrack nonstop.
“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”