MuggleNet Reviews Studio Tour Special – It Was a Real Treat!
Review written by MuggleNet staff member Laura Louise Rafferty.
I’ve always loved the exhibitions that Warner Bros. has hosted throughout the year; so far I’ve only seen the “Christmas/Hogwarts in the Snow,” so I was very excited to see its new exhibition, “Sweets and Treats.” The aim of this exhibition was to show people how the food seen in the films was made and how they made it look so real.
Dotted around sound Stage J were small little trailers where crew members who had worked on the movies were set up, making food. It looked delicious, but if you tried to eat it you may lose a tooth or two. In the first trailer that I came across there were two crew members making various kinds of treats: chocolate frogs, candy skulls, and the glorious ice cream that can be seen in the storefront of Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor.
Out of the two crew members, one was a professionally trained chef; she would design glorious looking cakes and treats such as the delicious-looking cake from the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret’s movie. They then had an entire different team of workers dedicated to reproducing these works of art, in a more durable and long lasting form (because as we all know, real food left on set starts to really stink under the hot studio lights after a while, right!?).
As it turns out, the ice cream and other treats were not made of anything edible in the slightest. Most foods were made of resin and glass particles, or they were molded from the original food with silicone. The ice cream cones were made from resin, while the ice cream itself made from poly-filler mixed with ink and piped into the cone to create these great looking treats.
The studio tour staff was also dressing some of the sets with food and drinks, in particular the Gryffindor common room, which was decorated with a butterbeer keg and party foods such as sausage rolls and biscuits. It’s currently Quidditch season, so the common room walls were also adorned with Gryffindor team posters. One fun fact they told us was that the butterbeer used on set was actually apple juice since most of the cast members enjoyed it, and the cookies would indeed be real so that the cast could eat if they wanted.
Moving on to sound Stage K, we were greeted by a crew member in Diagon Alley outside of Florean Fortescue’s; she was making ice cream towers, which looked absolutely stunning. We were allowed to pick up and touch the fake ice cream scoops, which were surprisingly heavy. Each scoop had a small ring on it, which would be attached to a long pole, allowing the scoops to be attached and arranged accordingly. In the art department, they had some nice concept arts on display, one of the Slytherin House cake and several different versions of concept art for Bill and Fleur’s wedding cake in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
On the whole, this exhibition was very fun and informative, opening our eyes to a department within the crew that we didn’t know very much about beforehand; sure – we have all seen the food in the films and thought it looked amazing, but it is difficult to fully appreciate the sheer amount of work and dedication that goes into creating these things just from seeing them on screen.
Special thanks as always to the extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff at the Studio Tour!