Magical Moments

By Emma Fleming

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” – J.K. Rowling

In less than 20 years, J.K. Rowling has managed to transform words into a series full of wizards, muggles and creatures with an ever-growing fan base.

Today, I fulfilled most of my friends and family’s dreams. Oh, what they would do to be in my shoes. Don’t worry I have many pictures to share so they won’t feel left out. We not only got to meet with the President of Warner Brothers, Josh Berger, but also got to visit the Harry Potter studios. For those who know me, they know I don’t necessarily enjoy waking up before 9 in the morning. However, once we entered the studios and met with the president (amazing) of Warner Brothers, I was no longer tired. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely just woke up from my nap but it was worth it.

As soon as we got off the train, I knew this town just outside central London was all Harry Potter all the time. It was covered in advertisements on busses and signs pointing you to the Warner Brothers studios. Busses lined up across the train station to take crowds of fans to this beloved site. Even the bus we went on was covered in Harry Potter advertisements and when we got on, a character from the movie (Mr. Weasley) began to talk about the museum over the speaker. A tad alarming when it first came on, but good move on Warner Brother’s part. It was a great way to get the visitors amped for the next few hours.

Josh Berger completely smashed my idea of what a high up person in such a huge company such as Warner Brothers would be like. He was relatable and beyond driven. Obviously this job didn’t come easy but his best advice that I got from this hour was to work your way into the industry and know all aspects of it- become an expert at your field. One of my classmates asked how he started in this business and eventually moved up to such a high prestigious position. He answered by telling us his family was involved in show business his whole life. He studied at Harvard “everything except entertainment” so he could know the in’s and out’s of everything and anything. After taking a year off to live in Italy, he went back to Harvard, graduated, and contacted an old connection from an internship who eventually gave him a job.

Although Josh gets many e-mails a day, he says that his time to answer them is limited because he is so busy. In order to get his attention, you need to be different and bring something special to the table. You need to stand out in a good way.

Now onto the exhibit which everyone has been looking forward to this whole trip. I am going to apologize in advance because I think I took 100 pictures in an hour and a half. The tour started off with a worker asking if anyones birthday was today. Although my birthday is tomorrow….YAY…I raised my hand and was able to open the two main doors to the first set of the Harry Potter movies which was the Great Hall. I can’t say that I am the biggest Harry Potter fan, but after years of my sisters and friends forcing me to watch the movies, I did recognize most of the displays/costumes/rooms featured.

All of the costumes, props, even some sets were all here in this one place and even me, not being the biggest Harry Potter fan there is, was fascinated by almost everything in there. They showed you how they managed to do special effects like flying the broomsticks (I apologize if that’s the wrong term. I think I’m way off) and making explosions or having props move by themselves.

I have to say this whole tour I was anxiously awaiting the famous platform 9 and 3/4. It may have been because I really just wanted a cool picture, but I don’t know if I can admit that yet (I also didn’t get a worthy picture). Half way through the tour, we stopped to get some food and although I didn’t get the butterbeer I definitely thought about it. It just doesn’t sound right to me…yuck! After making our way through the rest of the museum and sets, we finished the tour in the room filled with wands. All of the boxes in this room had a real person’s name on it. These names were of the cast and crew of over 4,000 people and that’s not even including extras.
Once we completed the tour, we entered a gift shop and that’s when it occurred to me that Harry Potter is not just a movie- it is truly an enterprise that makes millions off of book sales, movies, video games and souvenirs. All starting with a bottom shelf book by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter transformed into a worldwide and very well-known franchise and series. They could sell Harry Potter shoes and I’m sure people would rave over them. That is just how big of an impact this series of books has made to millions of dedicated fans.
I guarantee that you can ask anyone in the world if they have heard of Harry Potter and they will answer yes. The franchise that Warner Brothers has built will be one that will be remembered for decades. At this point, they can really rely on their past in order to have a very successful future.
I have to say, those Harry Potter fans are truly one of a kind- more devoted than anyone I have experienced. Now I feel the need to watch all 8 movies as fast as I can. If I do get around to that, I’m sure I will look back at all of my pictures and remember the amazing moments that I encountered today.
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