Behind the Scenes: The Making of Harry Potter

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Our trip to Hogwarts during our visit to London was nothing short of magical! Well, it wasn’t exactly Hogwarts, it was the Warner Bros Studio, where all the films were created. Located in Leavesden, about an hour outside the city, this attraction is an absolute must if you’re a Harry Potter fan.

We’ve been re-watching all movies since we got home, which has been so much fun. There are so many incredible details to rediscover, and Halloween is the perfect time to have a Harry Potter marathon! Today I’m sharing all my favourites sets, scenes, props, and a little behind the scenes magic from our visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.Harry Potter 1HP8HP 50Harry Potter 2Welcome to Harry Potter World
From the moment you arrive at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, you’re in Harry Potter’s world. After viewing a film about the making of the movie (which was a great reminder of so many incredible scenes) two large doors open into the Great Hall. It was amazing to be standing on the set that was the backdrop to so many iconic scenes in the Harry Potter series.

The Great Hall was first built for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Throughout the space are the costumes of students from each Hogwarts house, along with two large tables all set for dinner. My favourite part was up front at the teachers’ table, where the Hogwarts Professors sat. The Great Hall is home to some of the beautiful hand crafted props created for the Harry Potter film series including Professor Dumbledore’s lectern and the House Points Counter.
HP 13Harry Potter Hogwarts ExpressPlatform 9 3/4
Most of the scenes that take place on Platform 9¾ were actually shot on location at King’s Cross Station in London. The Hogwarts Express provided the background for the very first shot ever captured for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and then, ten years later, for the very last shot of the entire series in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. For the last instalment, part of the station platform was recreated on a soundstage at Leavesden, complete with the track and the train.

HP 26Harry Poter 4Dumbledore’s office
Another iconic set from the movies is Dumbledore’s office. It is filled with many props, like the
900 memory vials with labels. Each label was hand-designed by the Graphics Department before being sent to the Props team who would put the label into place on each vial. Some of the memories seen in the cabinet feature familiar character names such as Argus Filch and Professor McGonagall.HP 29Harry Potter 7HP 36Snape’s Potion Room
My favourite set was Snape’s Potions class room. The attention to detail was incredible. Self stirring cauldrons were on each table, along with beautiful potion text books and ingredients. There are over 950 potion jars lining the walls of the classroom, each filled with something with unique. We were all ready to take a class in potion making!

HP 31HP 38HP 32HP 35HP 34Diagon Alley
I think some of my favourite scenes in the Harry Potter series are the ones in Diagon Alley.The original design of the street combined the details from the Harry Potter books along with inspiration from the streets described in the works of Charles Dickens.

The Diagon Alley set was constantly changing throughout the film series. Since its construction, walls shifted, shop fronts moved and entire buildings were carefully tweaked to create the street that are seen in the films. Many of the Diagon Alley set pieces were also re-dressed for use in the village of Hogsmeade for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Gringotts Bank, Flourish and Blotts, Mr Mulpepper’s Apothecary and of course, Ollivanders wand shop are all located in Diagon Alley. There are over 17,000 individually labelled wand boxes on display, each with the name of a crew member who worked on the films.

HP1HP 24HP 25HP 37The Chamber of Secrets
The Chamber of Secrets door is a fully operational door with snakes slithering along slotted tracks, powered by an electric motor hidden behind the door.

Dolores Umbridge
One of the coolest facts I learnt on the tour was about Dolores Umbridge’s outfits. It was all about ‘Shades of Pink.’ Throughout the films, as Dolores becomes more powerful, her wardrobe slowly becomes deeper shades of pink, revealing her true, evil character. She starts off by wearing soft pastels, and by the end she’s in dark fuchsia tones. Her office was also filled with so many cool props, like her plate collection with cats that all moved in the movie.Dolores 1HP 20Harry Potter 6HP2The Sets
Before the actual set construction began, the Art Department would create a white card model of the set/location. These models helped the director and production designer figure out the size and scale of each set to determine camera angles. To plan shots and camera movement filmmakers inserted a tiny camera called a lipstick camera into the model to get a perfect point of view. Many of these pre-sets were on display which was really cool to see in person.

HP 1Hogwarts Castle
The most exciting moment was seeing the iconic Hogwarts Castle in real life. The model is a lot smaller than you would imagine! Look for the people in the background of these photos as a reference.
This was built for the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. A team of 86 artists and crew members built the first version of Hogwarts castle. Every courtyard, tower and turret were filmed and enhanced with digital effects to create realistic views of the magical school. Footage of this meticulously built model was combined with digital effects to create unforgettably views of the exterior of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
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I couldn’t recommend visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London enough! It was such a such a treat to see all the props, sets and details up close.

Have you ever been before? What’s your favourite Harry Potter movie?
Let me know in the comments below!

  • Diana Maria

    Wow, it must be so great to see this in person! All of the time and detail put into this never fails to amaze me. What an outstanding work of art for the Harry Potter set!

    Sending light & love your way,

    My Lovelier Days

    • Oh it was AMAZING to see it all in person. The attention to detail is insanely good.
      Thanks for stopping by Style Calling Diana!

  • I would love to visit this place. It looks so amazing and I feel like everyone visiting has so much fun
    Dora
    http://www.adropofindigo.com/

    • Oh it was SO much fun Dora! So great to see all the props and sets in person

  • Really cool photos, it looks like it was a lot fun! I was looking for your IG on here but I couldnt find it. What is your handle?
    xoxo Falasha
    Bite My Fashion
    Instagram| Bloglovin’| Facebook

    • Hi Falasha – yes, it’s @ StyleCalling
      Thanks for following 🙂

  • This looks so amazing ! Thanks for sharing !

    Nina
    xox
    http://www.thecrispylipstick.com

    • Thanks Nina! It was such a fun experience

  • Oooh, I’ve been so excited to check out this post!! Love all the attention to detail + seeing this makes me realize all the work/long hours and talent that went into making the Harry Potter movies. Pretty incredible!! And can’t believe I still haven’t seen any of them… pretty sure I need to change that. ASAP!!

    http://www.girlandcloset.com

    • AH Veronika that’s what you need to watch now that its so cold outside! I have the box set which I will happily lend to you. It’s SO fun to watch together. Hope you have a lovely week ahead xo

  • This looks so amazing! I absolutely love HP!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Thank you Amy Ann! It was so fun to get a behind the scenes tour of Harry Potter 🙂

  • Mahi Chaurasia

    wow love the harry potter in my childhood.. thanks to sharing this
    http://thestyleride.com/

  • Merel van Poorten

    I need to visit this place!! Looks so awesome <3

    X Merel
    http://www.andathousandwords.com

    • Thanks Merel! It was SO fun 🙂

  • Such a great post! Have a nice weekend,

    Gemma x
    http://www.jacquardflower.uk

    • Thanks Gemma. Have you been to Harry Potter before? If you’re a fan you should! So fun 🙂

  • It was amazing to watch and read this post. I really enjoyed 🙂

    https://nikolinahajdinic.blogspot.hr/

    • Thank you Nikolina!

  • Rach

    I am so jealous you went! This looks so incredible!!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    • Ah Rach it was SO fun!! If you’re ever in the UK it is a wonderful thing to do.
      I would actually go back again 🙂

  • Dominique

    This is so my to visit list! Looks absolutely amazing, thank you for sharing hun xx

    http://www.thatnewdress.com/

    • Oh yes you have to go visit, especially since you live in London! We had such a fun time, I would highly recommend checking it out. Plan to spend the whole day though. It’s a but of a journey from London, but worth it 🙂

  • Caitlin

    Okay this is incredible! I’ve been to London but have not done this Warner Bros studio tour and it looks like I cannot miss it next time! I’ve seen Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross and Harry Potter world at Universal Studios which are both awesome!

    Beauty & Colour | Vegan Lifestyle Blog

    • Ooh yes you have to go next time you’re in the UK!! It was SOO much fun. Its a bit of a journey to get there, but completely worth it. Such a treat to get a behind the scenes tour. Time well spent. So happy to hear you enjoyed 🙂

  • OMG, this makes me so jealous!!!!! I NEED to visit here asap!!!

    http://www.stylebymemory.com

    • AH yes you do!! Getting a behind the scenes tour of Harry Potter was incredible!!
      Thanks for stopping by Style Calling. So happy to hear you enjoyed 🙂

  • Kim

    OH MY. You don’t understand how insanely jealous I am right now! I need to book a ticket to London like yesterday! The set looks amazing!

    Kim
    simplylovebirds.com

    • AHHH yes you do!! You would absolutely LOVE London, not to mention Harry Potter World! It was an incredible experience. Thanks for stopping by and checking it out. Have a great week ahead xo

  • I’ve never really been into Harry Potter, but I’d imagine this to be a fun experience for anyone is! Thanks for sharing, girlie, and I hope you’re having a great start to your week so far!

    XO,

    Jalisa

    THE STYLE CONTOUR

    • Thanks Lady. Hope you have a lovely week ahead xo

  • Wow this is super awesome! Must have been so fun! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

    • It was SO much fun! Thanks for stopping by Style Calling xo

  • I love Harry Potter, these are stuff I can still remember after watching it. Wow, that is the wall where they pass to go to another place. This is really nostalgic.

    StyleSprinter Blog by Katya Bychkova

    • Oh I love hearing that you loved this post! The movies are so amazing, and have SO many details, it was really cool to get a behind the scenes tour of this world. A must if you’re i the UK.
      Thanks for stopping by Style Calling xo

  • Em

    thanks so much for sharing all these photos! I was (and still am) a huge Harry Potter fan, so this was awesome to see! 🙂

    • Oh I’m so happy to hear you enjoy this post! We had SO much fun visiting. If you’re ever in the UK you must try go.
      As a fan its a pretty special experience

      • Em

        I’m adding it to my list of places to visit! 🙂