Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Harry Potter

Well surely you knew it was coming.

Rather than bombard you with the two hundred and twelve photos that made the final cut (plus instagrams) I've decided to just post the pages for the 2013 book I've done.  You're welcome.

Although OF COURSE if anyone wants to see all hundred and twelve (plus instagrams) I'm more than happy to share.  It'll be like in the olden days when people showed slides.
(I'm trying to do less scrapbooky pages, but it's not working.  I LOVE my 2012 book, but I cringe a little every now and then at the abundance of flower elements and cutesy frames.  I tried to keep it all mod and sharp edges, but it just didn't work.  What can I say, I guess I like cutesy.)

 Anyway.  Obviously, we got tickets (a MONTH before I thought we could!!!) to tour the Warner Brothers Studio where they filmed the Harry Potter movies.  I thought it was in Watford, the town just north (I made that up, no idea which direction) of us, but Harry and Ron both referred to the studio as being in Leavesden in the intro video before we started the tour, and who am I to argue? Shit.  I can't resist, I have to throw a few more pics in.  Hang on a sec.

These are from the car.  Because I was THAT excited.

 Anyway.  We got there an hour and a half early, so I had plenty of time to drool all over the gift shop.  Turned out to be pretty lucky, because at the end, it was so crowded I couldn't function, but I'd already spent an hour in there, so I didn't have a breakdown.  Win win!! (Win)

I think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.  You go in, watch a short video, including the most amazing montage from all eight movies I've ever seen, plus Harry, Ron, and Hermione talking about growing up on the sets that we're about to see, how it was their home away from home, they loved it and all the cast and crew, all this with the best John Williams score.  I may have gotten a little misty eyed.

Then we started.  We walked through the ACTUAL sets, saw the real costumes, and each set had a video with key crew members talking about their experiences.  That was the best part, honestly, listening to their stories.  The best one (well, besides the special effects one) was the woman talking about the Gryffindor Common room set.  She said that talking to Jo (yes, we're on a first name basis now) she realized how important it was, Harry's first real home.  It was just really neat.  It's not conveying very well here for me, so just trust me.  I cried, both because it was so cool, and because Jo got SO LUCKY (fuck that, she did her research and luck probably had nothing to do with it) in picking a crew who TRULY cared about making sure that her world was PERFECTLY captured on the screen.  Well done.

Then we did the green screens.  Yes, I did it.  I'm thirty years old and I had the time of my life.  None of the other adults were doing it, but fuck that.  You could tell they all wanted to.  It was a once in a lifetime experience, I don't care HOW cheesey it was.  AND IT WAS FREE.  It was part of the tour.  So screw that, I don't care how ridiculous I looked.

I didn't expect to love the costumes as much as I did.  It was neat to see how they did all that.  See those five corduroy jackets? There's all these notes on them, making sure the continuity lines up for the action that's happening.  Like, to make sure Harry isn't wearing a burnt jacket before the fire and things like that.  Just little things that I never think about, but are obviously pretty important.

Right before you exit to the giftshop, you pass through what looks like the inside of Olivander's.  There's HUNDREDS of wand boxes, with the names of all the cast and crew.  Isn't that sweet? Like, all the people who don't normally get any fame.  I liked that.

And of course I found Professor Snape amidst the masses.

Okay, I had to ask.  Whatevs.

Okay. Here's the coup de gras.  Is that the word I'm looking for? The grand finale.  after Diagon Alley, you go through all the graphic design stuff, which is cool, but meh.  You've been there for four hours by now and it's cool, truly, but not THAT cool.  Please don't tell Jo I said that.  And then, you enter the last room.  The best, most beautifully perfect music is piped through.  The lights are low, and sort of blue and weird and changing.

And then you see it.
Hogwarts.  Right there.  The model, the huge scale, the actual one used for filming, the castle.  The pictures don't do it justice.  Yes, I cried.  Of course I cried.  Remember in HP7, when Dumbledore is convinced Tom wouldn't have hidden the horcrux in the castle, but Harry knows better? Because Hogwarts is his HOME.  He gets that, because he has that in common with Tom.  For a lot of the others, it's just the school, a great place, sure, awesome even.  But for Harry (and Tom) it's HOME.  It's magical just because of that one fact.  The first place he knows love (besides that first year with his mama, duh) and the first place he finds friends and family and love and wonder and acceptance.  And this model, this huge sprawling work of art, sort of represents the entire Harry Potter world.  And it's not just me, there' were lots of tears in that room.  Lots of hushed breaths of wonder.  Reverence.

Too much, you say?

Then you don't get it.  You don't get what these books were, and are, and will be forever.

After all this time?



  1. I got chill bumps when you were talking ab Hogwarts, which I realize is so weird, but I did. Once again, I'm jealous of your life ;)

  2. What an awesome experience for you! So glad you got to do it.

  3. I am so incredibly jealous. Like ridiculously jealous. Off to drown my sorrows by rereading the series.