Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Fond Farewell....

Well, as most of you will probably know by now Harry Potter has bid his final farewell and the filming of the Deathly Hallows has officially wrapped! Editing, post-production and more likely than not a few odd re-shoots will continue until December on part 2 of the Deathly Hallows but that is it folks - a wrap.

A massive thank you first of all to the 3 David's for a poignant, reflective, a little sad but HUGELY fun and enjoyable wrap party on Saturday at Leavesden Studios, which, despite what you might have read elsewhere was simply fantastic. Personally, a big round of applause to the always understated and modest David Heyman and David Baron, without who the films would have been a shadow of how they will be remembered.

This event was not just for the end of filming for the Deathly Hallows but a celebration of the entire saga that originated in the mind of JK Rowling. This ALL British success has been a culmination of the dedication and hard work of so many of the UK’s finest talents in each and every department. A huge number of the film's cast, crew, friends and families were there to enjoy the day. As it has become something of a tradition for all Harry Potter events, the rain did fall, in abundance!! That said, it was an amazing day for everyone who attended.

Before getting to the definitive wrap party story we are so pleased to be able to confirm that the Leavesden Studios site is to become an official and celebratory Harry Potter exhibition and museum and remain THE place where the magic can continue. Among many proposals on offer the site will include tours of the actual film sets and some of the thousands of props used through all 8 films will of course be on show; and hopefully not one roller coaster anywhere!

There was just so much going on in an action packed Saturday that it’s impossible to remember it all in one go, but lets give it a try!!!
No matter how many times you get to visit the studios of history's most successful film franchise the excitement of what the day will bring is never any less. Even the most hardened professionals were excited to be there.

Ok, so most important I guess is that in attendance of course were Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Emma looked stunning as always, quite often going unnoticed with her new look, Daniel was just Daniel! - more than happy to chat, sign, have his photo taken with fans, and Rupert was as laid back as always, on this occasion flying in after a well deserved holiday and arriving in style in his brand new super car which is a stunning and super cool Audi, enough said on that, except to say................. Go easy Rupert!! Remember the premiums!! (To watch Rupert speed around the race track in his recent appearance on BBC’s Top Gear check out You Tube for many links, including the outtakes which are great).

With around 3000 guests, the car parks were set up on one of the giant runway's which used to be the entrance to the 'flight shed' area and the location where numerous key scenes were filmed. Also in the near distance were a now unused Privet drive set and many others. Beyond the car parks the party area was set behind two giant screens on the approach to the marquees and funfair. Two huge screens, previously used in the films as backdrops formed the ideal location for many of the guests to be photographed. The REAL Knight Bus stood resplendent alongside these screens and was the location of another great photo opportunity. After handing in our invitations we were led through security for the placing of official wristbands and in we went under the watchful gaze of two giant Hogs.

WOW!! I'm not easily impressed, but even I was blown away by the set up...... on the left, the first of many champagne tents ;-) then, continuing down to the huge pumpkin patch which featured in Prisoner of Azkaban. Next there was a large covered stage, ready for the day’s entertainment. Further along stood the giant chess pieces from the Philosopher's Stone, yet another great spot for taking photographs. Next was The Leaky Cauldron Pub marquee (where we would later be meeting Severus Snape!) and beyond these, the magnificent funfair!

Coming back to the entrance and the layout on the right of the runway, first of all the large toilet
areas, essential with all the champagne being consumed! Then two massive marquees (which was my first stop) that contained the dining area and some of the most iconic and wonderful props on display, including Dumbledore’s desk and chair, with Fawkes perched at the top, the Mirror of Erised, Remus the Werewolf, a gigantic Basilisk skeleton and a majestic Thestral - again all essential photo opportunities, eagerly taken by the guests.

The marquees had a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and as it was 12 noon what better place to start than with some lunch that was served up surrounded by the larger film used props and a huge gallery of Hogwarts portraits - unfortunately these portraits didn’t answer back!
Whilst the food was delicious, the fact that we were sat having lunch alongside David Heyman and David Bradley, whilst the brilliant Jarvis Cocker mixed tracks and was resident DJ on the stage was rather surreal; save the fact that Alan Rickman, Mathew Lewis, so many of the stars, who would have ordinarily not have been able to spend much time together were walking around and having fun was even more of an experience never to forget.

After an extended lunch being entertained by Jarvis as the first rain shower past, it was then time for us to check everywhere out and see who was in attendance! Once we made it out back onto the runway, where hundreds of guests were dancing, it was quite simply a who's who of some of Britain’s finest Actors and Actresses, all of whom have worked on the Potter films, and all more than happy to chat, joke, share a photo and sign a few souvenirs.

John Hurt (how cool it was to see John Hurt here!!!) Jim Broadbent, Mark Williams, Mathew Lewis, Tom Felton, Jason Isaacs, David Legeno, Bonnie Wright, Afshad Azad, James and Oliver Phelps, Suzie Toase, Ralph Inerson, Natalia Tena, Nick Moran (Scabior (and now acclaimed writer and Director of the Kid)), Jessie Cave, Geraldine Somerville, David Baron, David Thewlis, Alan Rickman & of course, Daniel, Rupert and Emma. These were just the few we got to talk to!!! And there might well have been more. Sadly JK Rowling did not attend, or if she did we missed her.

For 5 hours the time almost flew by. The highlight of my day personally, (actually there were a few) was meeting and talking to Alan Rickman who was a very cool guy (sadly cant share these pictures as they include Family members), Ralph Inerson (Deatheater) and star of so many UK TV series including the Office (the original) and David Thewlis (and his Wife, the lovely Anna Friel and kids) who were all just absolutely fantastic.

One last thing to mention from the daytime wrap party was the music!!! Aside from Jarvis Cocker mixing it, the special guests of the day were the band ‘Athlete’ who were simply awesome live and well worth checking out, if, like me, you had not heard the name you would surely recognise some of the songs this band have released - brilliant! They played a full 10 song set including a good few UK hits, but the last word on music MUST go to Natalia and her band who were simply fantastic. The rain poured down but the guests who were dancing outside in it could not have cared less, what a singer She is!! And also talented on a good few instruments by the sound of it. A great second career She has.…..

Just a few quick words on the evening wrap party which was organised in advance on a limited ticket guest list at Patch used a few times in the heart of London for Potter bashes. Everyone enjoyed a well deserved drink or three for the final time. Dan was on great form and enjoying the freedom to let his hair down (until photographed outside) and was on the dance floor most of the night. Rupert, with his close group of friends enjoyed some free time too. It was much appreciated by the crew that the 2 guys made the effort to get down and say a few farewells in person.

So…….. enough shared for now and more to come! But for now hope you enjoy the exclusive photos.

HP4U have occasionally crossed a line with the legal guy's at WB :-) to bring all you Muggle's exclusives over the years, but for us, what the hell is the point of having a 'fan' site if all there is to do is add to the already massive publicity without being individual or using your own editorial judgement? There is also little point in having a fan site if your interest is to publicize yourself (no site names mentioned) and want to be as famous as the people who you are reporting on, OR, be 'first to post' and re-hash some boring bit of news anyway - answer? None whatsoever!!!.......... so, a compromise HAS to be reached in respecting some official embargo's set by the studios and putting out where we could our OWN news and pictures and offer what all TRUE fans want, a genuine behind the scenes glimpse of Potter - it's something to celebrate with the people who have been proud to make the films.

In the coming months and years we CAN promise all you Muggles that HP4U have a back catalogue which spans over 8 years of some of the most amazing pictures, clips and inside stuff that is both hilarious and will be great to finally share.

All these photo's are the property of HP4U
and are cropped and re-sized from originals.



Jim Broadbent enjoying a glass of bubbly!

Invitation tickets, given back at the end of party
(will be giving away a couple of these soon, check back)

The all important entry wristband

Lupin the Werewolf

Hungarian Horntail!!

Tonks! as you've never seen her before.

Such a GREAT live singer.

Also Afshan and Bonnie.

The new look Emma

The wonderful and charming Alan Rickman.

Father and Son! Lucius and Draco.

Tom Felton and Jason Isaacs with partners.


The one and only mirror


Star said...

What a great report, thanks for sharing your experience with everyone! Love the pics!

And hey, as one of the admins of a private fan site dedicated to a member of the HP cast I won't name so as not to publicise without your permission on your site, I totally agree with you on this bit: "what the hell is the point of having a 'fan' site...' etc etc. Well said, all of it! Cheers!

Ty said...

Oh, I have no troubles anyone complaining about sites on here.;)
In fact, I was laughing with some friends over how many other HP sites won't put up all this, because we're not on 'friendly' (ie-won't bend over and kiss their bums)list. ha!
So yeah, we're definitely about the fans. Heck, we ARE but many of the fans, so we don't play like most other sites. We do it for the fans.
Glad you enjoyed the report and pics. And sorry they had to all be stamped across them, but other sites have been known to actually STEAL our images, and claim them for their own.

Anonymous said...

thanks for information.i love alan rickman and daniel radcliffe.they are my favorite actors with helena bonham carter in hp jealous you:)

Star said...

"So yeah, we're definitely about the fans. Heck, we ARE but many of the fans, so we don't play like most other sites. We do it for the fans."

If these comments had smileys, I'd post a big thumbs-up one right here.

"Glad you enjoyed the report and pics. And sorry they had to all be stamped across them, but other sites have been known to actually STEAL our images, and claim them for their own."

Totally understand. They're YOUR pics, YOU took them. And at least you didn't stamp across the faces, like some do. Thanks again!

Ty said...

Ha! Stamp across their faces. That's funny! We also don't put stupid crap like... 'OUR site was invited' to such and such event. HA!
This is why we don't get on with most those sites.;)
So might I ask what site you work for/at? Least you guys seem to have your priorities set in order. Fans!
Cheers! And thanks again!:)

Star said...

OMG...the 'our site was invited' bit always makes me laugh. That, and the word 'exclusive' that often gets thrown into the mix. Sorry, but it's only 'exclusive' if you're the only one who got the news, right? Ha ha.

I work for Global Radcliffe Addicts. Unfortunately we don't have anyone who can get news first-hand for us--you won't find any 'OUR site was invited' comments on our board, alas. LOL! But we manage to keep up with all the latest in the Dan and HP worlds, thanks in part to our hardworking news nifflers and to generous sites like yours! :-)

Ty said...

That's very cool Star. I shall have to add your site into our links page later today.
You won't find me ever writing..Our site was invited personally, either. It's just sites that're high on themselves. The only friends we have in the bigger HP sites would be SnitchSeeker. That site is run much like our own. FOR the fans, and not people either seeking fame or fortune.:)
Great talking with you. Feel free to send an email anytime!:)

Closet Fashionista said...

True...but SnitchSeeker are a bit mean sometimes and they are into all the exclusives and saying "we're the best"
But they are definitely one of the best sources for HP news :/

And what about Magical-Menagerie...though they aren't "big" ;)

Ty said...

Ok, 1st off, SnitchSeeker is but one of many who're too high into themselves. They, like some of the other sites are so funny when it comes to posting news. They won't put anything of ours up, simply because it belongs to us. HA! How sad is that? That they'd take something away from fans that go to their site, because they don't like us.heh. Oh well.
Only site I'm on top form with is The Daily Snitcher and Magical Menagerie.
As I happen to care very much for both site's admins.;) Both those sites are great, and don't play stupid like most others.:)

Heather Reilley said...

I lov the pages that you put up about HP and i am very sad to see it end i am a newbe to the HP world so i haven't seen to many other pages just yours i found this from a link of and i wanted to read about it as i love to hear about the actors who play my fav people from the books and movies so thanks