In the world-famous Harry Potter books, ‘muggles’ are humans that don’t have magical powers. They are the unlucky ones because they don’t get to go to Hogwarts School. But now even us muggles will able to go to Hogwarts…well, almost! The studios that were home to the set of the Harry Potter films are opening to the public for the first time next year, and tickets have recently gone on sale.
During the studio tour, it will be possible to walk around famous scenes such as Dumbledore’s office, where you will be able to see the sorting hat and the portraits of the old headmasters and mistresses. Also on show will be the school’s Great Hall, and dormitories, and the magical shops. People who have already been to see the set mention that there are many tiny details, such as graffiti on the long tables in the Great Hall, that the camera missed. It seems that going behind the scenes is going to reveal some secrets!
Nearly everyone knows about at least something about Harry Potter – he has been hard to ignore. The seven books have been made into eight films, which have made one of the most well known, most expensive film franchises in recent times. Throughout its life the franchise has spawned millions of pounds worth of merchandise. Now that the films have ended, many people thought the magic and the craze were over as well. But now there is even more. Some might people might say that it’s a way to keep the franchise earning even more money too.
The film studios are in Watford, in the U.K. Watford is a town to the north of London, it is known for housing the headquarters of a few national companies and for its football club but it is not particularly large or famous. It is hardly the first place you would guess if someone asked you to locate a huge magical world! But for the last decade or so it has been home to the studios of Harry Potter. The studios are inside an old warehouse there. Not many people in Britain knew about it at the time of filming, as it was a well-kept secret.
The studios will open their doors in spring 2012. This news has got people taking for many reasons. Of course, there are the thousands of Harry Potter fans who will be hugely excited by this news. But it is not just good news for fans, it is also great for people who are interested in film production in general because it gives them a chance to see how things are done. For film sets to be opened up like this is very rare, especially in Britain. This sometimes happens in America, with Hollywood films, but it is something new for the U.K.
When you read a book, you envision a world in your mind’s eye. But you would never expect that world to become a real place you can walk around in and see and touch. If you had the chance to enter into the world inside your head, would you do it? In a way, this is what making a set is. When the film makers produced the Harry Potter set, they were trying to create a real life version of JK Rowling’s vision. I wonder what JK Rowling thinks of the set they created for her story. Was it as she imagined?
On the other hand, the studio tours are not really like stepping into your imagination. Of course, everyone’s imagination is different and some people might prefer to keep their own version of how Harry Potter’s magical world should look. However, seeing the set is still exciting because it might be the closest you can get.
All around the world, not just in Britain, there are fans who get extremely excited about anything to do with Harry Potter. Maybe you have seen on television the huge crowds of fans waiting, even camping, outside the cinema in London for the film premieres. When the books came out some people queued outside book shops all over the world waiting until midnight! It is easy to imagine that when the studios open up, there will be thousands of fans who want to visit. Time will tell whether the fans’ thirst for more Harry Potter will be quenched with one look at the studio, or if the studios stay open permanently as a marker of the extremely popular Harry Potter film phenomenon.
What do you think – would you like to visit the film set? Or are you a fan of the books and do you prefer to keep your own memory of Hogwarts from the books you read? Or maybe Harry Potter doesn’t interest you at all?
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Would you like to visit the film set?