Sunday, October 19, 2003

Here are some call sheets that were recently obtained from the Prisoner of Azkaban set... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Exclusive SET report from Leavesden studios. (part 1)

Visit early October 2003 | Leavesden Pass

Some important facts to remember while reading this report...
We have to respect the wishes of the studio and therefore cannot publish any set pictures until nearer release day, damn! Also, we had to sign confidentiality agreements, which, although restricting some info - doesn't stop lots of juicy facts, gossip and details that you won't be aware of until now.

NO PART of this set report may be copied unless permission and/or credit is given, its there to read - so just ask!

Ok, where to start... We'd had this trip planned for months so the excitement was incredible come the day we were ready to go.
Having turned down the kind offer of a Warner Bros. car to take us, we set of for the studios arriving at 10.00am.
Once met at reception and taken through all the formalities - it was see and do as much as humanly possible!
Consider we spent over 6 hours at Leavesden, so if we miss anything out, ill post it at a later date and because of the amount ill add in sections.

First stop, Diagon Alley... How amazing. Even with the standard lighting and not a soul to be seen, it is the most awesome street ever, built especially to be used over and over again. The shops and the props are incredible.
They use salt (and lots of it, to create the snow effect), so we walked all the way up and down two or three times over the "snow" with all the icicles hanging down from the shop doorways and windows. It was amazing -just like Christmas at Hogsmead.
First shop had to be Honeydukes! Keep a look out in the film for these great little skull shaped sweets on a carousel - director Alfonso's idea! - Apparently they are his favorites from back home. Honeydukes is actually the same shop that was used as the bookshop Flourish & Blotts in the Chamber of Secrets and has just been re-fitted for the third film. Its awesome, all the favorite sweets everywhere. Then from the bottles of butter beer (which are actually small lager bottles with lantern tops and new stickers added!) to the posters of the missing prisoner Sirius posted on the windows this is incredible. The trap door where Harry enters is on the left and for all of you who've read the book, he enters through it using the map George & Fred gave him with the secret passageway straight to Honeydukes cellar. A lot of work has gone into this scene we were told and looking at the set it will all be worth it. Oh, the chocolate frogs are gorgeous by the way.
Next shop, Quidditch supplies. Now for someone like me who loves film items, this was like an Aladdin's cave. Broomsticks everywhere, -bludgers, snitches, Quidditch costumes. A fantastic shop with so much in there.
It was great to stand at the top of Diagon Alley, (just at the point where Hagrid meets Harry when he comes out the wrong fireplace in the Chamber of Secrets) and look all the way down the whole street. An amazing detail is that the that exits of Gringotts bank are a small doorways and two plaster posts. The rest, being either computer graphics or on location.
More about Diagon Alley later...

Did you know - There are 2 Hagrid Huts built, one is larger than the other. They film the children in the large hut, where everything is oversized using a double for Hagrid, then they film the "rea"' Hagrid in the smaller hut - making him look even bigger. Then they put the two clips together - simple, but clever ?

The moving staircase -WOW, this is the coolest staircase you will ever see, on film its great, in real life its amazing. Did you know - nearly all the Wizard portraits hanging on the walls are of the cast and crew, painted by the same artist, all dressed in robes, etc. If you've seen press pictures of Alfonso, David Heyman, Chris Columbus etc, you'll recognize them next time you watch the films.
A lot of the wizard portrait voices are done by UK comedian Lenny Henry; of course the brilliant Dawn French plays the "Fat lady" in the Prisoner film and also is his wife.
The fantastic Paul Whitehouse plays Sir Cadogan and we were told it was impossible to keep still; winding up all the others whilst they were filming -or trying to.

The Gryffindor common room and also the boy's dormitory.
Wow, this place really is as relaxing and comfortable as described by JK Rowling. Alot of effort has gone into the design of all these rooms. Alot smaller than it might appear on film, but none the less, brilliant. Its built completely on its own and just a small locked door allows access. We couldn’t wait to get upstairs to the boys room though first. This is where all the best things are, -Harry's bed, Ron's, Neville's... All the beds come apart to make for easier filming as it’s a little bit cramped, we saw the torn screens where Sirius, "attacked" Ron, and of course he was after Scabbers. Also, sweets, drinks, the Daily prophet. Lots of things lying around everywhere, which of course couldn’t be touched as they hadn’t finished up filming there yet. The boys trunks also lay open with all their items to the ready.
Looking over the balcony back into the common room, it was just like in the first film when Ron announces Christmas, looking out through the only window, even the landscape looked real... more later.

The Hospital Wing -Truly awesome. The first of the sets that was prepared exactly and the first of the filming action we watched. Tons of Ron's, Hermione's and Harry’s everywhere! There were just so many doubles, all ready for the preparation of the day's scenes. Even watching the 'doubles' work was great. The hospital scene was great; Ron lying in his bed, Dumbledore announcing to Hermione that 2 turns should do it... We were so lucky to go behind the set and watch a full 5 minutes of the finished version on the incredible editing machines - which even without the correct sound balance, etc was brilliant.
This was the first of 5 scenes we watched being filmed that day, but for 5 minutes footage it took just over 4 days filming! - Which, depending on the editors might not even make the final cut.
Everything is created exact, the lighting, the sounds, the detail outside the windows is exact, even that hospital smell is there inside the set!.

More to come, including Crew comments, mmmm... Some good, some VERY bad. Also watching the Quidditch scenes being filmed, The Great Hall, Diagon alley, The Props Dept, just what do the Dementors look like? The Creatures dept and the Animal dept. Watching filming of the Night bus - AWESOME, etc, etc... ASAP, promise.