Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Magical Exhibition! + The Printorium

Hullo All!

Remember back in November when I mentioned seeing this poster after watching Wicked?

Well we finally got the chance to go last week! Yey!

Of course, I am a massive Harry Potter(head)! So of course I had to dress up for the occasion!

This is my Gryffinclaw outfit. I've always fancied myself as a mix between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
This is my Gryffindor on the outside look.

But I'm Ravenclaw on the inside!
According to my Sorting in Pottermore more than a year ago, I've officially in Ravenclaw House.

This is actually one of the five Harry Potter Hogwarts shirts I bought--I just had to buy them all! I have a shirt for each of the four houses--and a Hogwarts shirt as well. I bought them all from Pottershop.

My scarf and nails celebrate being Ravenclaw as well!

It's a good thing both houses share a shade of yellow/gold/bronze So I had a patterned yellow hoodie to segue between the two!

It better be--Gryffinclaw! I wonder where the Sorting Hat would really put me though?

My brother got into the Harry Potter spirit too! He wore his Filthy Mudblood shirt! I have the same shirt in white! We bought ours almost two years ago at SM.

(*Trivia: My brother was officially sorted into Slytherin in Pottermore, although he likes Ravenclaw. So, he's a Slytherclaw.) Also, look! The keychain that I'm holding has the Dealthy Hallows design on it. We're so super excited!

We've arrived!

To be honest, I wondered if going to The Exhibition versus The Wonderful World of Harry Potter was going to be the same experience. There is a different feel from just seeing the props on display versus actually being in the world albeit those being constructed too. 

Still, there was some part of me that knew I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't go, knowing all the while that it was just in the city, basically my backyard. 

It was almost $30 to get in! And I felt so cheap that I didn't take the audio tour--the only part of the exhibition I regret. I think if you ever get the chance to go, don't skimp out on the audio tour--there are a lot of prompts during the exhibition for the audio tour so I can tell you that it's worth it even if I didn't experience it myself. If I ever find a job and start earning before the exhibition closes in April, I will definitely go back and go through everything again plus the audio tour. 

Posters of all the films displayed near the entrance of the exhibit (the posters for the final two films were on the opposite wall).

BOO this sign! No, really, I was very bummed after finding out that I couldn't take any photos inside the exhibition! Why this rule exists, I'll never understand! I suspect Umbridge is behind this! :(

So you can understand how very slowly I went through the entire exhibit. The problem was, my brother and I were the first one on queue so we felt like we were holding up the line when looking through the exhibit. Boo. 

I'll tell you a bit of what the exhibit is like (if you don't mind spoilers). If you don't want to know what to expect then skip on ahead!

                          Inside the Exhibit: the part they won't let you take photos of :(                    

There is a room where they let you try on the Sorting Hat. Three people got sorted from our tour group. I didn't volunteer because I already knew my house and there were a few kids that wanted to have a go at it. The lady at this part of the exhibition, I suspected, had a fake English accent--but that's me being knit-picky.

Then they let you into a room with different portrait screens, showing you a montage of clips from the films to get you into the mood. I liked this, and wondered how one starts directing an exhibition. Oh, the things that go into my mind!

And then it was the exhibit proper. Since I don't want to totally spoil your experience, I'll just say that they guide you through the different parts in a seamless manner. You start off seeing props from several individual characters from the films, actual props and costumes that they used and bits and pieces of bigger sets (like the dormitory beds). Then you go through more parts like classrooms, faculty office pieces, creatures, etc. There is a section for all the darker characters and a section devoted to Quidditch and the Yule Ball. 

Definitely some of these props and costumes would already be familiar to most that watch the films, especially the costumes since they figure prominently on the screen. However, the real gems of this exhibition were those things in the sets that you don't get a good look at--sometimes just fleeting over them on screen so fast that you don't get to really appreciate the details!

And, guys, there was just so much detail! The fact that some shots are so fast make you wonder if the effort put into the details of the sets was even worth it. But I'm so glad that the set design team thought it was because it made this exhibit worth it!

I won't spoil it for you (there was so much detail I was trying to commit to memory, I swear, I wouldn't be able to share it with you all anyway)! I will tell you some of my favorite bits though; for instance:

1. The Gryffindor Notice Board. 
- There is so much to see! Including the illustrations, posters for tutorials, sign-up lists for study groups. I think this was one big collection of props that I had to go back to in order to absorb properly.

2. Ron's Belongings.
- I present to you the only ninja photo I was able to take! Shh!

I'm not sure if you know this by now, I adore Ron (and Rupert)! He's my favorite character in the series and I love knowing more about him! This is his display of belongings! You never even see these on screen but they have so much of him pegged down through these props!

Just look at his Chudley Cannons t-shirt! They even got the fictional Quidditch Team to sign it! I also now want to have my own copy of The Quidditch Teams of England and Ireland! And what about those Cram It! study brochures? So Ron!

I got guilty and paranoid after so I didn't get to take any more ninja photos. :(

3. The Quidditch Pitch.
- There is actually a part of the exhibit that is interactive--and this is one of them! There are three hoops set up and you can throw actual Quaffles into them! I scored through all the hoops! And the Quaffle itself was wonderful, I wanted to take it home with me! See, if Quidditch were real, it'd be the only sport I'd be dedicated to.

4. School Supplies.
- I don't suppose many people know that Hogwarts issued official exercise notebooks for the students to use during classes? Yes! I saw so many of them in the displays of the characters and along with the belongings of the faculty! They even have "This Hogwarts Notebook belongs to _______" stickers on them! 

Photo from The Printorium

*Trivia: when I was in high school, I bought a Hogwarts binder notebook with Hogwarts houses as the fillers. My friends and I assigned a Hogwarts subject to each of our own subjects and it made us more motivated to study--not joking!

School books: these were awesome! You should definitely take in everything that's written on the Advanced Potions Making book that Harry owned (aka. The book of the Half-Blood Prince)! If you can manage to decipher Snape's scribbling that is! My brother said, "I can't read Snape's handwriting!"

Other books: Gilderoy Lockhart's entire set--I would buy even if he was a fraud! The covers were so wonderfully done! 

Photo from The Printorium

And I don't think I can count the number of times I've told people that I really want JK Rowling to come out with a published version of The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore!

5. The Daily Prophet

Back in out Potter Class in college (I know right!) we had to turn in a parchment wherein we wrote in the style of Rita Skeeter. I went the extra mile and formatted the entire paper to look like the front page of the Daily Prophet. My professor liked it so much that she asked me to turn in a copy for her personal file and gave me additional points for my house! Amazing!

That's how much I love the creation of the newspapers and poster design of the films! My brother and I even went to lengths to try and read everything on the pages!

And so finally we got to the gift-shop where it took me fifteen minutes deciding whether or not I wanted to buy the Marauder's Map (I didn't. It was $50)! But we did manage to get these!

Yes! I managed to try one of these thanks to my officemate before. I ate dirt (not a euphemism). Now I have an entire box for myself! The other box is something I treated my brother to--some bit of fun for him and his friends when he goes home.

Photo from The Printorium

I sort of wished they came out with a more official box of this though--like this box design that they had in the films rather than branding this as something "Harry Potter."

And we also got a copy of our photo!

I had not originally wanted to get this gift/commemoration photo--but I figured I would just this once. I'm not very touristy when it comes to things (except obviously Harry Potter).

Look! I look like a Weasley! I just need to marry one now to make it official!

That was my experience at the exhibition. As I said earlier, I would totally go back and get it with the audio tour next time!

I also said that one of the things I loved most about the exhibit were all the design aspects of it! And now, I can actually own some replicas! The Printorium is the official design agency that worked on all eight Potter films! Their head designers Miraphora (sounds like a Rowling-issued name!) Mina and Eduardo Lima were the ones that established the amazing, strange and visual style of Harry Potter. Check out their website and drool over it all!

One of these days, I will buy all the things from them! They're way too expensive for my wallet right now though!

My brother and I went elsewhere after the exhibition, but that will be for another time!


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