Saturday, September 27, 2014

Petrified Hermione Granger prop and magical creatures from the Harry Potter movies on display...

With Harry Potter movie spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them still some time off, I thought it would be nice to focus on some of the magical creatures from the Potterverse that were on display upstairs at the Warner Bros. Studios VIP Museum on July 29, 2014.

Petrified Hermione Granger waxwork from 
2002's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Petrified Hermione Granger waxwork Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Petrified Hermione Granger prop Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Petrified Hermione Granger waxwork
Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Petrified Hermione Granger prop
Pipes note Get Well Soon card Gilderoy Lockhart Harry Potter props
Harry Potter Petrified Hermione Granger waxwork
One of my favourite pieces on display in the extensive exhibit of original Harry Potter movie costumes and props was this life-like waxwork of a petrified 'Hermione Granger' from 'Madame Pomfrey's' infirmary, when the muggle-born witch had been frozen, and fortunately not killed, by looking at the Basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets in her mirror.

It was so cool to see this screen-used prop in person, but it was also a bit surreal being so close to this young version of Emma Watson, as it's so realistic.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie poster
Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets movie poster
Meanwhile love him or hate him, you can't deny this model of 'Dobby' the house elf looks pretty lifelike too.

Dobby house elf model used in the production of 
2007's Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
Dobby house elf prop Harry Potter
Dobby house elf model Harry Potter
This life-size prop was created by the make-up and creature effects department for Daniel Radcliffe to rehearse his lines while looking at Dobby for Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. For the film Daniel Radcliffe had to act against a green tennis ball on a pole and the computer-generated creature was added later.

Aragog spider prop from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Aragog giant spider prop Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Aragog spider prop
Harry Potter Aragog spider prop
Another amazing find at the museum was this giant 'Aragog' spider prop from Harry Potter's second cinematic installment from 2002. Initially thought to be the Slytherin Monster (which was actually the basilisk), this Acromantula was once a pet of Hagrid's as a boy at Hogwarts, and Harry and Ron first encounter the giant spider and his offspring in the Forbidden Forest.

Again, one of the great things about this exhibition is being able to see these amazing creatures and props out from behind display cases.

Dementor maquette and prototype hand from 
2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Painted Dementor maquette Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban
Dementor forearm hand prototype Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban
Dementor hand prototype Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban
One of the coolest looking and deadliest creatures from the world of Harry Potter were the terrifying guards of Azkaban prison, the ghoulish Dementors.

This painted Dementor maquette and creepy looking forearm and hand were made by the makeup and creature effects department to help create the CGI version seen in the movie when it enters Harry's train compartment on the Hogwart's Express.

Hatching magical creature prop from 
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hargids hatching magical creature Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban
Meanwhile this other magical creature was also seen in the fourth movie installment, when Hagrid is seen feeding the hatching creature when Harry, Ron and Hermione visit their friend's cottage to discuss a plan to save the hippogriff Buckbeak.

Troll legs and club prop from 
2001's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Troll legs club prop Harry Potter Philosopher's Stone
Yet another interesting discovery from the exhibit which helped you step behind-the-scenes and get glimpse of how all these creatures were brought to the big screen was this set of Troll legs, complete with club prop from the very first Harry Potter movie in 2001. In the movie a stuntman wore these over-sized Troll legs to attack Hermione in the girls' bathroom, with the final creature seen onscreen cleverly rendered by CGI.

Gringotts Wizarding Bank goblin puppet featured in 
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Gringotts goblin puppet Harry Potter Philosopher's Stone
Gringotts goblin puppet Harry Potter Sorcerer's Stone
Gringotts Wizarding Bank goblin puppet Harry Potter Philosopher's Stone
Another magical creature glimpsed in the first movie was this Gringotts goblin puppet found in the Wizarding Bank in Diagon Alley when Harry Potter and Hagrid go there to get some money to buy school supplies. This is one of four goblin puppets seen writing in ledgers in the background.

Magical creature production maquettes and 
The Monster Book of Monsters from the Harry Potter movies
Magical creature maquettes Monster Book of Monsters prop
Harry Potter Monster Book of Monsters prop
Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban Monster Book prop
And finally here's a collection of original production maquettes of some of the fantastical creatures that have featured in the Harry Potter movies, including Remus Lupin's Werewolf form, the hippogriff Buckbeak, the Basilisk and even the three-headed 'Fluffy' Cerberus guard dog from the first movie. Above these maquettes was also The Monster book of Monsters textbook prop that caused the Hogwarts students so much trouble in the Prisoner of Azkaban film.

As you can see, so many wonders on display, and if you love all these be sure to check out even more original movie costumes and props from Harry Potter.

It really is a must for fans of the movies based on J. K. Rowling's best-selling books and if you get a chance you really should pop along to the fantastic museum in Burbank, California, and while you're there take a look at the amazing 75th Anniversary Batman movie exhibit downstairs too.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Original Batman Begins movie costumes and props on display...

Just as Tim Burton's Batman redefined superhero movies in 1989, so too did Christopher Nolan's revival of the Bat franchise with Batman Begins in 2005, with Christian Bale as the gruff Dark Knight and his billionaire alter-ego 'Bruce Wayne'.

Batman Begins film costume and prop exhibit
Batman Begins League of Shadows costumes
Christian Bale Batman Begins Batsuit costume
Batman Begins movie costumes
Batman Begins League of Shadows costumes props
These fantastic costumes and props from the movie were photographed on display at the 75th Anniversary Batman exhibit at Warner Bros. Studios VIP Tour Museum on July 29, 2014 and in addition to the Bat-suit from the film, the exhibit also featured a wonderful collection of League of Shadows costumes that I'd never seen on display before.

Batman Begins movie poster
Batman Begins movie poster
Whereas Joel Schumacher's Batman movies embraced gaudy colours and a light-hearted approach to storytelling, Christopher Nolan's Gotham City and its Caped Crusader was much darker and grittier in tone, which is also reflected in the costume design by Lindy Hemming.

Bat-suit worn by Christian Bale in Batman Begins
Christian Bale Batman Begins Batsuit
Original Batman Begins Batsuit
For a closer look at this Batman Begins Bat-suit worn by Christian Bale be sure to take a look when it was previously on display at the London Film Museum.

Costume worn by Morgan Freeman as 
Lucius Fox in Batman Begins
Morgan Freeman Lucius Fox Batman Begins costume
Batman Begins Grapple Gun movie prop
The exhibit also had the wardrobe worn by Morgan Freeman as 'Lucius Fox', an employee at Wayne Enterprises who works in the Applied Science Division and helps equip Batman with his Batmobile and high-tech gadgets, like this Grapple Gun.

Costume worn by Cillian Murphy as
Scarecrow in Batman Begins
Scarecrow burlap mask Batman Begins
Batman Begins Scarecrow costume
Cillian Murphy Batman Begins Scarecrow costume
Rachel Dawes Scarecrow costumes Batman Begins
Batman Begins was a breath of fresh air as it didn't recycle previously seen Bat-villains like 'The Riddler', 'The Penguin', 'Poison Ivy' or 'Mr. Freeze' and kept the threats of 'The Joker', 'Two-Face', 'Bane' and 'Catwoman' for later installments in The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Cillian Murphy starred as Arkham Asylum's 'Dr. Jonathan Crane' and his psychotic alter-ego, 'Scarecrow', wearing this tatty burlap mask and ripped straightjacket ensemble looking like it was straight out of a horror movie.

Meanwhile Katie Holmes starred as 'Rachel Dawes', Bruce Wayne's childhood friend and Gotham City's assistant district attorney.

Costume worn by Ken Watanabe as 
Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins
Ken Watanabe Ra's Al Ghul Batman Begins costume
Ra's al Ghul Batman Begins costume
Batman Begins League of Shadows costumes
Ra's al Ghul Batman Begins costume throne
In this Batman origin story, when traveling the world Liam Neeson's 'Henri Ducard' finds an imprisoned and disillusioned 'Bruce Wayne' and offers to train him in the art of stealth and fear as part of the League of Shadows, run by 'Ra's al Ghul' in China.

Ken Watanabe wears this impressive and rather regal Ra's al Ghul costume and sits atop this throne (with Production Design by Nathan Crowley), but he is in fact a decoy and Henri Ducard is the real Ra's and leader of the League.

Costume worn by Liam Neeson as 
Henri Ducard in Batman Begins
Liam Neeson Henri Ducard League of Shadows costume Batman Begins
Liam Neeson Henri Ducard Batman Begins costume
Henri Ducard Batman Begins costume detail
When Bruce discovers the League's true intentions to destroy Gotham City, who they view as being too corrupted by crime to save, he turns on his mentor and becomes the protector of home city.

Bruce Wayne League of Shadows costume 
worn by Christian Bale in Batman Begins
Bruce Wayne League of Shadows Batman Begins costume
Bruce Wayne League of Shadows Batman Begins costume
Bruce Wayne League of Shadows Batman Begins costume glove
Bruce Wayne League of Shadows Batman Begins costume
After seeing many similar Bat-suits from all seven Batman movies, it was a refreshing change to see this selection of League of Shadows costumes up close, like the one worn by Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, and enjoy the detailed costume design.

Screen-used film props from Batman Begins
Screen-used Batman Begins movie props
Original Batman Begins film props
Batman Begins throwing dart props
Batman Begins Bruce Wayne credit cards
Batman Begins Gotham license plate prop
In addition to all the cool costumes the exhibit also had a great array of props on display, like Bat-shaped throwing darts, Gotham City car license plates, swords and even Bruce Wayne's wallet and credit cards, which were a favourite of mine.

If you like these original costumes and props, stay tuned in the days to come for even more authentic pieces from The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Go further behind-the-scenes of the movie with this book: The Art of Batman Begins: Shadows of the Dark Knight

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