Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Harry Potter Studio Tour, the Back Lot

Alright, time for part two of my three part mini-series on my tour at the Warner Brothers Studio.  This one should be wonderfully short and sweet, it's on the back lot at the studio.  The back lot between the two studios contained a handful of much larger outdoor sets, including several essential pieces from the movies.

The first huge piece outside is the Knightbus.  It's massive, it's purple, it's right there when you walk outside and is hard to miss.  The Knightbus is from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry accidentally stumbles upon it after fleeing his aunt and uncle's house after accidentally inflating his uncle's sister for insulting his parents.  The Knightbus will take a stranded witch or wizard to any location, as long as it's not underwater (it has a sign on the side clearly stating this fact).  The bus magically whips between London traffic, completely unseen by muggles, quickly bringing witches and wizards to their desired location.  You can see how the Knightbus works in the scene below from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

The next set piece is a key part of the movies as well.  Now, we've already seen part of it at the very beginning of my previous post, but now you get to see the exterior.

Number 4 Privet Drive, home of the Dursley family, Harry's aunt, uncle and cousin, and the place he had to call home for at least part of the year every year in order for the protection of his mother's love to still work.  Of course, Harry didn't know this until the very end and only wanted to flee the Dursleys' house whenever humanly possible, usually to the Burrow or Grimmauld Place where his godfather lived.  It's a small house, very neat and tidy on the outside, perfect for a family of three, and Harry of course.

Next is another house that is absolutely crucial to the Harry Potter movies, probably more so than Privet Drive.  No, it's not the Burrow (I wish I saw the Burrow!).

I saw Godrics Hollow.  That's where Harry and his parents lived when they went into hiding, and, subsequently, that's where Lily and James Potter died.  James was killed instantly in the foyer since he didn't have his wand on him (he'd been playing with Harry and didn't have it on him).  His goal had been to distract Voldemort to give his wife and son a chance to flee.  Lily carried Harry upstairs to his bedroom, where she begged for his life.  Now, she didn't have to die, in fact, Voldemort promised Snape that he wouldn't kill her, but she chose to die.  This marked Harry with the power of a mother's love and caused the curse to backfire, which was how he lived.  This called an explosion, which you can see as the huge hole in the window.  Harry first went to Godrics Hollow in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with Hermione on Christmas in search of a Horcrux to destroy Voldemort.  You can see two clips about Godrics Hollow. 

This second clip is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and I apologize right away for the quality, it was a really hard clip to find in the first place.  Anyway, this is the Prince's Tale.  As Snape is dying, he gives Harry all his memories so he knows what exactly has been going on in his life since right before Lily's death.  You also get to see Godrics Hollow and Snape's heart-wrenching reaction to the death of the woman he loved more than anything else.

Alright, almost done here.  See, I told you this would be short!  The next set piece, I'm only really including because it has to do with one of the funniest moments in the last movie, and I wanted to be able to share that clip with you.

This is Hogwarts Bridge.  While it's never mentioned in the books, director Alfonso Cuaron added it to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as a general walkway and a place where students would talk things out as a break from the castle.  It stayed for the rest of the movies.  If you're a fan of the movies, you probably have a general idea of what clip I'm going to use.  While it doesn't actually show the bridge at all, it definitely talks about it.  In the clip below from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Professor McGonagall gives Neville Longbottom and Seamus Finnigan permission to blow up the bridge to keep the invading Death Eaters away.

Alright, last set piece of the post.  We're going to go all the way back to the very first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Parts of the larger than life chess scene from the end of the movie.  In this scene, Harry, Ron and Hermione must partake in a game of human chess against enchanted pieces.  They have to win the game in order to move on and stop Professor Snape, who they believe is trying to get the Sorcerer's Stone, although they're wrong, and it's Professor Quirrell who is working for Lord Voldemort and trying to get his hands on the stone to give his master immortality.  Ron is an excellent chess player.  It's important to know that with Wizard's Chess the pieces actually smash each other when they take each other, resulting in a very violent game, and even more violent when you're playing it on a larger than life chess board.  The pieces were huge and absolutely gorgeous.  You could tell what each piece was even though they don't look like a conventional chess board, and I wasn't expecting to see them at all.  You can see the chess scene below from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

See, I told you that this would be a much shorter post.  There's still one more to go, but it shouldn't be as long as the first one either.  Look for it later today.  Right now, I have to go get ready for class.  Until then, check out the videos I posted and appreciate all the hard work I put into these posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment