Harry Potter exhibition lifts the veil on the magic of cinema

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An atmospheric exhibit opened in Covent Garden, showing behind the scenes of the making of the Harry Potter films. Almost everything in the exhibit is original from the movie, including one of the life-size flying car models that hangs over the stairs as you descend to enter the exhibit.

A decorated basement, which was until recently a James Bond exhibit, is filled with a series of Harry Potter movie moments, all captured by a photographer working on stages and sets. Decorated in places with real Diagon Alley glowing brick walls and seemingly shiny Ministry of Magic tiles, this is a space a potter fan will recognize.

There is always a risk with exhibitions like this that they will break the magic of the wizarding world to see how everything is done, but there is always a pleasure to see how something that is done well is done in such a way. expert. I was an amateur magician and even when I know how to do a trick, it’s really nice to watch a magician do it to perfection. The magic of the trick never really goes away.

With modern special effects shooting being what it is, it’s a pleasure to see that so many scenes are real, and the use of the green screen is limited to distant landscapes and painted skies overhead. scenes. Knowing that many magical places were actually made from wood and paint and have existed in a real sense for the actors is quite nice. Something is missing when everything is done with digital effects, for the actors as well as for the audience.

The scene where a phone booth is lowered in the Ministry of Magic is actually lowered in the scene, as you can see the wires that hold it down before they are digitally painted. Although if you are posing in the exhibit phone booth, be aware that this is a pre-1955 K6 box (the crown is the gift as to the date), not the larger K2 used in the movie.

Of course, some of the locations are real-world too, and an entire area is devoted to the filming at King’s Cross Station, which turned out to be done while the station was open – just early enough to avoid too many crowds.

Many of the facts on the billboards won’t surprise potter fans, but they are instructive for the rest of us, and learn that the Grimmauld Place scene was shot in Claremont Square near Angel Tube Station. is a pleasant surprise. I had always assumed without really thinking that it was a stage set.

Besides the photos taken on set, there are plenty of candid moments captured while tired actors take a rest or acting enemies caught happily chatting with each other. Voldemort performing a scene is in full make-up, but wearing jogging clothes as if he’s gone for the Sunday papers rather than preparing to fight an army of wizards.

The tiles are interesting, they look shiny but that’s just a paint effect – and an effect that seems so simple to replicate that I would expect to see many bathrooms filled with them someday. because it is quite effective.

You can sit on a broom and take a photo with added background to show yourself in flight.

There is also a Butter Beer Bar, although I was disappointed to learn that the bottles of Butter Beer sold in the shop are a non-alcoholic drink. To be honest the butter beer looked terrible and I wanted to try one as a beer, but it’s a soft drink and not as bad as a butter beer could have been. And yes there is a shop. Of course, there is a shop full of Muggle delicacies.

As an exhibit it will obviously appeal to any Harry Potter fan, but it’s also a fascinating look at how modern cinema is made, so likely to have broader appeal than the mere potter fan.

The Harry Potter photography exhibit can be found just behind Covent Garden, behind the London Transport Museum. Tickets range from £ 14 for children, £ 20 for adults or £ 56 for families, and must be booked in advance from here.

A word of advice – at the start of the exhibit is the Gringotts Bank display, and if a person is standing on the entrance side of the storefront, the goblin’s face is reflected in the storefront on the other side, and with a little careful positioning, you can layer a goblin above your head.

Like all good magic, it is done with mirrors.


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