Exclusive report and photos
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The Wedding. Part 1
Location: Leavesden Studios.
Another HP4U World exclusive!
No two weddings are ever alike; and each it seems comes rife with its own intrigue and personality. This most recent wedding I attended was certainly no exception, and I’m sure anyone who’s ever attended a Wizarding wedding can attest, though I suppose there are few of you who’'ve had such a pleasure.
You see, I was fortunate enough to magically receive a special invite to witness the wedding scene from the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie (which will actually come in two parts, unlike the previous films which crammed the events of the books into a single film), as it was being filmed live at Leavesden Film Studios. For anyone who’s read the book already (and I’m assuming that’s most of you), you’ll know that this is the wedding scene for Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour.
The film studio is on the site of an old car factory and aerodrome, and is absolutely massive. I’m always awed upon arrival at the set, at just how utterly and truly the place had been transformed into Harry’s world (save of course for the random cameras and trailers which dotted the landscape).
The wedding tent located at the ‘Burrows’ was awe inspiring in its own right, surrounded as it was by a field of corn grass, with lights twinkling off the water in the distance. As I approached the tent there were many different scenes laid out before me. Guests were lined up outside, being greeted as they entered the tent by numerous members of both families, including the stunning bride herself.
Fleur (played by French actress Clemence Poesy) was radiant in a sleeveless cream dress that rolled off her like velvet waves onto the floor beneath her. On the front of the dress, embroidered in black lace were the images of two phoenixes which are just stunning and the reverse of the dress is equally as wonderful, of which, I might just show you a photo or two before the film is released!
Her husband-to-be, Bill Weasley (Domhnall Gleeson) is a contrast of colors, with his trademark fiery Weasley hair, and a deep claret velvet jacket. One of his most striking features though are the claw marks deeply etched across his face. What could’ve happened to poor Bill? Though I’m sure many of you already know the answer, I won’t spoil it for those who don’t.
Following the guests into the tent were the 5 bridesmaids, all with glowing smiles of delight plastered on their faces, and exquisite dresses draped over their bodies, four of silver, and one of blue (the maid of honour perhaps). They shook hands with the Weasley’s as they made their way toward the bride near the tent’s entrance, and once there, they kissed and hugged the bride with excitement, all of them being close friends as it were.
The Weasley boys were of course quite interested in the bridesmaids, whispering amongst themselves and eyeing up the ladies approvingly. One of them had bandages wrapped around his head, indicating he had likely been in a recent battle and come out worse for wear. Adding to his chagrin was the fact that Ron had drawn a fake ear on the bandage, in place of where the real one would otherwise have been jutting up into the air.
I next got a sneaky glimpse into the tent itself, which featured numerous guests seated around purple and lilac tables. The tables were covered in delicious fruits and cakes, each different from the next, but all exotic and mouth-watering – sadly made of latex so they don’t disappear ;-). Not to be outdone by any of the table delights however was the wedding cake, which stood a good five feet tall and a good four tiers high, covered with lilac icing, it was a wondrous sight. As it was a magical cake, bereft of calories, it would also be guilt-free to eat as many mouth-watering pieces of it as you liked. We’ll have to wait with bated breath for the real deal in the Muggle world.
As the tent filled up with guests, Molly rushed back and forth, greeting them all in turn, and assuring they were all properly seated and comfortable. Once things inside the tent had settled down some, music began to play, and the festivities were about to begin in earnest.
First out to the dance floor was the wedding couple, followed by duos of other guests, each gracefully swinging to and fro across the dance floor. Everyone clapped and urged the dancers on, and all enjoyed themselves immensely.
At this time I spotted Hagrid off to one side with none other than Madame Maxine, surely one of the few women in Harry’s world or any other who can give Hagrid a run for his money size-wise. She had on a lengthy blue dress and wore a blue leaf tiara in her hair. Even Hagrid is looking rather unscruffy to celebrate this fine occasion, his hair combed straight, though still rather unkempt, and attired in a brown woolen jacket that he likely put together himself. He’s holding a glass of champagne in one hand, and looking both awkward and unmistakably cool, as only Hagrid can.
Later on, Hermione herself strolled out onto the dance floor with a partner, oblivious to the fact that Ron was watching her the entire time, quite upset, and no doubt jealous that she would dance with another. After the dance had ended, her partner quickly disappeared, being distracted by one or more of the bridesmaids it would seem, leaving Hermione alone and somewhat embarrassed on the dance floor.
As she scanned the room for where Ron was seated (and she, Ron, and Harry, had been kept apart for much of the planning and festivities), Ron quickly turned his back to her so she wouldn’t see him watching her. He then rose to his feet, glanced coolly over his shoulder back at her, and made his way from the tent.
Hermione was further embarrassed by this, knowing as she must have that Ron had seen her dancing with another. She bowed her head, then turned on a dime, her bright red dress swirling around her, and walked away. Where did she go you wonder? I’m afraid that will remain a secret for now.
As the dancing reaches its peak, we see first Lupin and then Harry make appearances into the wedding tent, though both are largely ignored by the guests at large. This is the point when the madness begins. A strange glowing ball of light (Patronus) appears, and from it, a dire warning in a deathly voice “The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.”
The wedding was about to take a dramatic turn, but for this you’ll have to wait until next time!
This of course was an incredible day; and really a strange and wonderful experience as a fan of the story. It was almost like being transported inside the books; and aside from just the wedding scene I also saw numerous other sites within the studio, witnessing such places as Luna’s home, which held the many printings of the Quibble papers being prepared, of which she was the editor. Around her door were numerous paintings of varied creatures, some of which it seems only Luna herself bears witness to. In the attic above was her printer which she uses to make the many copies of her work for all her readers to mull over.
I saw another section which I thought depicted the top of the Weasley’s home, where a scene between the three main stars would be shot. All around each of the sets you can see numerous director’s chairs. Another strange sight is witnessing some of the actors walking around away from set, resting, or waiting for their scene’s to be shot. I saw the actress who plays Molly waiting for a scene to be filmed in a quieter section of the studio, still in her wedding dress.
In another tent I saw the animated head of lovable Hagrid. Even up close the heads are quite convincing, and almost eerie. Sure enough though, the back of the heads is nothing but electronic wiring and gizmos. When they are covered with hair, the back part is hidden, and the heads themselves get controlled with a remote device. It was quite fascinating to watch. Each individual facet of the face could be controlled with various buttons and sticks, such as the eyes, eyebrows, and mouth.
I was actually quite surprised to see that one of the body doubles for the giant is the man who was also a body double for the Aliens vs Predator movie. He’s a monster of a man at 7’3”. Seeing the role the doubles play, and some of the preparations that go into scenes well before they’re even shot really gave me a new appreciation for the art of movie making. There’s really no compromising made when preparing for each shot to ensure the lighting and angles are just perfect. It was also interesting to see the director use two giant poles as stand-ins of a sort when the double was away briefly.
As I continued around the set, I saw the man who plays Luna’s father, Xenophilius Lovegood (Rhys Ifans). He was easy to spot, regaled as he was in mustard yellow, bright yellow, and brown. Then Luna herself appeared near him, and she was dressed in similar colours, daisies in her blonde hair. They reminded me of two hippies from the 60’s, and really seemed to fit well with their roles.
Another section held perhaps the most interesting sight of the day, two buses which had been used in a previous film, now forgotten and abandoned in a lost corner of the studio. The scene of these buses was somewhat depressing, as it foreshadowed the fate of all the wonderful Harry Potter artifacts in the studio. As filming on the series would be complete shortly, one wonders what will become of many of things on display here. Hopefully all of us fans will have the chance to buy some of these wonderful items if they are ever used for good causes (though maybe not the buses), before all is said and done.
For all you loyal HP4U readers here’s more wonderful photo’s for you to enjoy.
THE first ever (save our glimpse last month) look at some of the etchings Luna has created at the entrance to her home!
(Click to enlarge)
The following three exclusive photos are from 'flashback' scenes when Hermione visits her Parents in an attempt to throw off the Deatheaters in their pursuit of the trio.
" I've also modified my Parents' memories so that they are convinced they are really called Wendell and Monica Wilkins....."
As some of you will remember, Emma Watson recently filmed scenes in London for the exterior shots of this scene.
And finally, for now, a preview of what’s to come very soon including a full report of the Deatheater’s attack at the Weasley wedding; a wonderful scene involving Mr. Lovegood and filmed this week, Lord Voldemort addresses his deatheaters! + much much more.
Enjoy the photos, including Arthur Weasleys' 'workshop' and yes! a newly built 'Burrows'
We're planning on posting a brand new, behind the scenes photo at least once a week all the way through until 2010!! and don't forget to enter the draw to win a hand signed Harry Potter book in November's competition.
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