15 December 2008 at 11:42 GMT
Earlier this year I had the privilege of visiting Leavesden Studios, the film set where Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was shot. Whilst at Leavesden, I was given a guided tour of the sets (both new and old), conducted interviews with the cast and crew, and watched filming. Read more from my visit to the set by clicking here.
One of the first things we are treated to upon arrival at Leavesden Studios is a look at some drawings and 3D renderings of the much-hyped cave sequence. The rocky grotto is awe-inspiring on paper, but even more so when brought to life. As we enter the stage, two mucky boats can be seen resting against the stage wall. Isolated in the middle of the room and set against giant green-screen walls are segments of the cave. At the heart of this jagged construction is the set’s centrepiece – a lavish stone basin – the resting place of a potential Horcrux. At the entrance to the room is a giant board plastered with shot-by-shot drawings of the cave sequence. The scene is so hush-hush that even we aren’t allowed a peek.
We’re nearing the end of the visit when we’re given a first-hand look at the construction of the Astronomy Tower. The wooden structure is enormous. Even at a place like Leavesden it looks as if it towers above everything else. I can’t imagine what it’ll look like on film. Construction is well underway – the framework appears to be complete, and on one side the walls are being painted. This is a truly breathtaking spectacle.
Slughorn’s office is being dressed for the party. Shooting is due to begin very soon. Red and gold lanterns are scattered on the ground and green drapes are being hung from the roof. Back at HQ, we’re given a look at some of the costumes that will be worn at the party. Flashbacks to the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire immediately come to mind.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is set for release in July.