Friday, June 26, 2009

Deathly Hallows - Swinley Forest, June 2009.

Exclusive set report from Swinley Forest, Bracknell, Berkshire. First, a huge HP4U thank you to our “Harry Potter crazed” reporter Ashley, and her astounding mobile phone! Ashley went along to the set as often as possible after classes; and her feedback forms the majority of this report. As you know filming has been well underway for the past two weeks in Swinley Forest and despite news leaking through the local press, there was a distinct lack of fans in attendance for the shoot right up until the final few days. Ashley mentioned how surprised most were, including some of the crew and security, that there were not more fans around at such a public location aside from a few children on bikes. Some boys, who one day took along a life-size Dobby, and a few others with Potter books in the hope of meeting one of the actors. There were a lot of trailers at the location base and this is where the cast and crew congregated very early each morning before being transported to one of five locations based within the forest. Regulars on location were Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson and in addition there were around 20 Death Eaters, including the very scary Fenrir Greyback!! Plus the Snatchers, (two of which are played by Chase Armitage and Adam Brashaw) whom are well known already in the UK as ‘urban acrobatics’ (or experts in ‘free running’), and also trained in various forms of Martial Arts. DO check out Adam's clip, and also this awesome footage of Chase which is incredible. And just in case, PLEASE don't try any of this at home! From one of my own contacts, I'm told the footage and scenes these guys filmed with the trio in the forest are out of this world and use very few effects if any! See for yourself why.
We’re awaiting confirmation if ‘Hagrid’ or Robbie Coltrane filmed a scene but definately there was a screen double, possibly ex-England Rugby star Martin Bayfield (as featured in previous films) shooting one or more of the scenes. The scenes being shot here will be featured in both parts 1 & 2 of The Deathly Hallows. Night scenes and day action were shot by both film units; these include the capture of Harry, Ron and Hermione by the Snatchers (who then deliver them to Malfoy Manor), several scenes involving the Death Eaters and a scene in which Ron chases a rabbit through the forest!!!! Special effects teams were on hand to coordinate with the crew, a large stunt team, and overall a huge production team to film what no doubt will be no more than 5-6 minutes on screen time. It's reported that filming was over-schedule for this particular shoot, as the unpredictable English weather served up too much sunshine when the atmosphere of some of the scenes called for greying skies and a darker feeling. Which in turn meant filming longer than originally planned. A fan who happened to make it close enough to one of the sets being used suggested parts of the ground were so scorched by the sun that sections of the grass had to be painted green to be included in the shots! Another young visitor who was lucky enough to catch a glimse of Harry before filming commented at how scary he looked after special effects make up was used, no doubt to film his clash with the Deatheaters – ‘it looked like he’d been run over by buses’ she said. No doubt a surreal moment on set and as shown in some of Ashley’s photo’s was the number of ‘body doubles’ for Harry, Ron and especially Hermione! – ‘it was hard to get pictures of Hermione, there were so many of her wearing the same clothes, they all had similar hair and features they all looked like her as they came to and from the base’. I’ve been asked to make a special mention by one female fan of Dave Legeno who judging by the photographs looks every bit perfect in his casting as Fenrir Greyback. The well known UK Actor was seen in full make up setting off to get his lunch (on a plate!); and on his return playfully growled at a couple of fans "What you looking at!" For all of you who cant wait for SPECIFIC details of the scenes being shot as with our previous 'Burnham Beeches' report, we’ll post them shortly, but for now enjoy the photo's in the gallery. They can be seen here

An important note to a couple of fellow HP fan sites (again) who wouldn't know a film set, premier, studio or an exclusive if they fell over one. Unlike a film set in a public place (where anyone can take photos with standard camera's and photos from Papparazi appear in the news, etc (i.e shell cottage, central London), Ashley went to considerable risk and expense in obtaining these pictures and gathering information for you to be able to use at NO cost to you. Therefore, link back to the source so everyone can enjoy the ONLY shots from Swinley Forest or future images we obtain from other secure sets WILL be blocked.

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