|TheSnitch.co.uk :: On Set Report by Calum:: Back to Homepage|
|To be honest, when I arrived at Virginia Waters early in the morning, I did not expect to see nearly as much as I did. When we first arrived, the car park was half filled by trucks and porta – cabins. Very soon after, we saw two costume women rolling a large rack of robes to the set.|
We had only been there 20 minutes when Daniel Radcliffe strolled into view from behind a tree and got himself a drink from the tea urn. Not very exciting you may think, but to us rookie celebrity-spotters, it was a result. We saw Alfonso Cuaron, also getting himself a drink.
There were very few people by the green fence that stretched the perimeter of the set and therefore I was one of the only people to witness Hagrid, after just finishing a scene – turn round and take his head off. (!) Once the person inside (whether it was Robbie Coltrane or not, I don't know) had taken off the hairy mass from his head, he looked like an American Football player, a small head compared to the immensely wide shoulders. I'm guessing that this is part of the trickery with Hagrid being so big.
The next thing we saw was Tom Felton fiddling with a bike next to the set. It then turned out that it wasn't his, as someone came and wheeled it away. Behind him, a huge giant wooden cut out of a hippogriff was being dragged into place by a couple of prop guys.
The scene being shot was obviously the scene where Malfoy upsets Buckbeak and is attacked. During the rehearsal, we behind the fence could easily see Malfoy (Tom Felton) walking in front of the care of magical creatures class. We saw him move away from the group then we saw a man in red leap at him waving his arms – Felton fell very theatrically onto the ground and the scene was finished. They went though this scene quite a few more times. Then, the stagehands brought on a giant plastic hippogriff – possible to get an eyelevel, we could see some of the extras laughing and joking with the plastic 12-foot eagle.
At this point the extras went past us to the refreshment tent. Ron (Rupert Grint) went with them and a few minutes later he sauntered up to the green fence. I shouted his name and he happily took my pad of paper and signed it. Then, Seamus (Devon) and Crabbe and Goyle came to the fence to sign autographs along with a few extras complaining about the fact that noone ever asked them for their autographs.
"Chamber of Secrets sticker book – I'm in that! Look for yourself! Page 7!"
One of the extras remarked that it was Rupert's birthday and the cast burst out into a rendition of "Happy Birthday" to which Rupert looked very embarrassed. Later on, Emma Watson came to the fence and signed some autographs but was called away before I could ask her for one.
When the cast had gone back to work, quite a large number of stagehands were wheeling a huge front half of a hippogriff, which had a lot of wires and levers. When the prop guys pressed a button one of the front legs rose. It was the animatronic Buckbeak that probably plays a part in mauling Malfoy, but I assume that they post-production team will add CG ti make it look good.
The Harry Potter team will apparently be in Virginia Waters until September. It's not far from a big car park and for anyone living in the surrounding area (say 50 miles!) it is a must see for any Harry fan. I got a lot of autographs and saw quite a lot of the production of the movie.