SPECIAL & VISUAL EFFECTS
CHAMBER OF SECRETS DOOR
Often mistaken for a Visual Effect, the Chamber of Secrets door is actually a fully operational door created by the Special Effects team based upon sketches provided by the Art Department. The articulated snakes slither along slotted tracks and are powered by an electric motor hidden behind the door. Each snake was individually cast in resin and painted before being attached to the door with careful thought so that each snake would retract at the precise time avoiding a collision.
Gifted to Harry in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Invisibility Cloak features prominently in the films. Several different cloaks were made, including a version with a green fabric lining which allowed the Visual Effects Department to make Harry and his friends invisible in post-production. The cloak that can be seen at the Studio Tour was created from a special velvet fabric and printed Celtic symbols and ancient runes onto it by the Costume Department.
The temperamental tree began as a sketch from the Art Department which then had to be made into a real Whomping Willow for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson and his team set about creating mechanically operated branches that would ‘whomp’ Mr. Weasley’s flying car. A full-sized tree trunk was built on set for the Whomping Willow’s appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with branches added digitally in post-production.
Filmmakers often shoot visual effects scenes on a green screen, which allows them to replace the green colours with a completely different background or computer-generated set. Don't miss out on the opportunity to take part in our green screen experience and fly a broomstick over London just like the cast did during filming.