10 facts about Leavesden Studios
This year Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is celebrating 15 years since the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. What better way to celebrate this milestone than revisiting the place that the cast and crew of the Harry Potter films called home for ten years! Here are ten facts about Leavesden Studios and the sets created for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
- Did you know that Leavesden studios started out as an airfield? In 1939 the de Havilland Company entered a contract to produce Mosquito Bombers and Handley Page Halifax Bomber for World War Two. After the war, it was then purchased by Rolls-Royce.
- After Rolls Royce moved the location of their factory, the airfield was left empty until the 1990s. Work had begun on the 14th James Bond movie Goldeneye however, the film makers were unable to use Pinewood Studios so sought a new home... someone spotted the disused air hangers and thought they would be perfect to use as sound stages for film making.
- The famous supersonic jet Concorde made a special visit to Leavesden in the 1980’s for a Rolls Royce open day!
- Filming for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone started on Friday 29th September 2000.
- Not only have the Leavesden Studios been home to the Harry Potter films, we have also welcomed a whole host of weird and wonderful characters from a diverse number of films. We have had The Dark Knight, Inception and Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street amongst others film at Leavesden. Neverland has also called Leavesden home after the hit movie Pan was filmed here!
- During the Harry Potter film series, 588 sets were produced to make the magic come to life on screen. The biggest set created was the Ministry of Magic which was so huge, 50 London buses would fit inside the atrium!
- Alongside the sets, a giant water tank was manufactured for the underwater scenes. It is capable of holding more than 2 million litres of water! Daniel Radcliffe spent so long under water; he gained his PADI diving certificate!
- One of the first sets ever created was the Great Hall. The set designers took inspiration from Westminster Hall and Christchurch College in Oxford. The set stands at 120ft long by 40 ft wide!
- The Great Hall was one of the longest standing set at Leavesden and at full capacity can seat 400 children! It also has a real York stone floor!
- Over the course of filming at Leavesden Studios, Daniel Radcliffe went through 160 pairs of glasses and around 70 wands during filming!
The ‘Finding the Philosopher’s Stone’ feature is running from Friday 22nd July - Monday 5th September 2016 at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.