A few years ago I went to the Warner Bross studios London to see the “Making of Harry Potter”. The studios are located in Levesden, London’s suburbia. Halloween is upon us, so I thought I would share 2 things with you. First, how I became a potter head and second my visit to the WB studios, this way if you decide to go you will know what to expect. You should go by the way as it is truly amazing. Know, let’s start from the beginning. Here is how I became a potterhead.
Trip down Memory lane
I remember the first time I heard of Harry Potter. I was 11 years old, it was the 3rd week of secondary school and my dad had taken me to the library like every Friday evening. (I used to borrow 5 books and 2 comics book every time so it would last me the whole week). We were about to leave when the librarian told me he had a book for me. A new book had just arrived, he knew I would love it so he had kept a copy for me. Such a lovely chap. It was the story of a little orphan boy who discovers that he is a wizard and on his 11th goes to a witchcraft and wizardry school….
I was absolutely delighted. I started reading as soon as I got home the story of what was to become my favourite book. I literally couldn’t stop reading, I took the book everywhere I went (yes everywhere: school, bathtube, bus, bed…) and 3 days later I was done. I remember harassing my parents to take me back to the library before our usual day but my parents said no ( The libary was a 25mins drive from our house! I grew up in the French countryside in the middle of nowhere). The following Friday I jumped out of the car, ran up the stairs and almost cried when my favourite librarian told me me that “Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets” had been borrowed by another kid. I was so miserable that he gave me a sweet behind my dad’s back. Followed 2 weeks of pure agony where I dreamed of my now favourite wizard’s adventures.
This is the day I fell in love for the first time. A tragic past, beautiful green eyes and a Quidditch stars, back then my 11 ½ year old self didn’t need much to fall in love!
Fast forward 14 years (3 years ago)
The series are now over, 8 films came out, my seven HP books have been read so many times that you can see tears spots on the pages, cookies crumbs, and “complicated words that I underlined back then in order to look them up in the dictionary. There are also dedication from my brothers, parents and gran who bought mess the books, beadle the bards in various editions as they came out.
2 years ago on a remarkably ordinary gloomy winter day in London, I was home trying to decide if I should spend 60£ to go to the studios. Life in London is expensive, especially for a twenty something, so I count everything. Anyway, I decided that it was totally worth it and I my friend and I bought ourselves tickets to the Studios so on typical cloudy winter day, my friends and I took the bus to Levesden to see the place where the “magic happened”.
A Magical visit to the studios
Here is what the outside of the studios look like.
In the hall giant pictures of the golden trio welcome us. 10 mins later tickets in hand we’re in. The first room take us back in time and the book agent share his memories of how he discovered Potter. A great and rather moving moment.
Next room, we enter a cinema rather similar to the one in Hollywood studios in LA but smaller. The now world famous music welcomes us and I am jumping up and down like the 5 years old kid I am inside !The video show us the Emma Watson, Rupert grint and Daniel Radcliff taking about their 10 years of filming and what is was like to grow on film set. The screen lifts and we discover the door to the great Hall of Hogwarts.
My magical journey begins!
Time to leave the hall, Dumbledore’s desk behind. We’re off to the Weasley’s house, then Hagrid’s hut, the potion’s room, the dorms, Gryffindor’s common’s room, Dumbledore’s office, the chambers of secrets door and last but not least the ministry of Magic.
We are whisked outside and we discover Privet Drive. I take a ride in Sirius magical’s motorcycle to go the Diagon alley.Back inside we discover the Magical creatures. Hello Dobby, Kreatur, Fumseck, the mandragors, Buckbeat the Hippogriff, the goblins and the underwater creatures.
Every single creatures we saw in the film are here. For a Potterhead like me this is an amazing opportunity.But the best is yet to come. We are taken to a gigantic room with a model of Hogwarts castle!
A magical moment. I truly got to realise a childhood dream. Back to the bus. I can’t stop smiling it was a truly remarkable afternoon. I am now 29 years ½ I am still a potter fan and I have even found a way to make my job about Harry potter by doing Harry Potter tours of London. Well when I say work, let’s admit it, I am just having fun really!
Click here to come on a tour with me!