days out

Everyone should visit the Harry Potter studio tour.

This weekend I drove over to Watford to meet up with my sisters and Mum and look round Warner Bros Harry Potter studio. This was a part of my 21st birthday present from my family, which is coming up this weekend (I feel so…old. Need to go to another hacker event and mention how I was 1 yrs old when Netscape came out etc. to make me feel better).

Harry Potter, for most people my age, was a large part of my childhood – I didn’t read as many of the books as my sisters did, but I feel it’s a little sad that the children of today don’t need to read them, so probably won’t, whilst for my generation it got a lot of kids from around the world reading.

The tour made me think a lot more about Dan, Rupert and Emma, who’s childhood was completely Harry Potter: spending 10 years on a set and then it ending has got to be something hard to get over.

Anyhow, the tour was really awesome, plenty of detail and whilst I probably wouldn’t do it twice, would recommend it to anyone. I particularly liked seeing the details on the effects departments who had to work meticulously to build animatronics, moving doors and motion rigs. The level of detail put into everything is amazing.

There were really only 3 things I didn’t like:

1: the lack of mention of the orchestra, and John Williams who wrote the initial soundtracks, as well as…that erm. that other guy who did the later films. A lot of movie tracks make me shiver, but none so much as Harry Potter, for which every piece gives me that feeling. It’s important to me and my sisters because music’s taken up a large portion of our childhood: Harry Potter is obviously also one of the big soundtracks we used to play in bands (a hilarious memory being the glockenspiel player swearing every time he made a mistake…)

So often orchestral musicians are forgotten, but yet while you’re sat there watching a musical, a film, or a TV program, imagine how much less of an impact the work would be if the soundtrack were not there.

Issue number 2: Stunt Doubles. I know that Daniel’s very supportive of his stunt, David Holmes and to this day I think I read somewhere that they’re still good friends. If they weren’t in the film, particularly for big stuff like Harry Potter, it would make far less of an impact. In particular knowing that David was injured during filming and now can’t walk means I really feel that they should have some form of dedication to him, and to the other people who risk their lives so that the actors don’t have to.

Issue number 3: Butterbeer is revolting. Don’t buy it. Or if you do, get the tankard between however many of you there are.

Other than that I had a really great day, took a lot of photos, and now I want to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter 😛 And yes, now that I’m back in Bristol, I am listening to the soundtrack.