On Saturday, September 10, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden welcomed local residents, community and charity partners to join in a celebration of 10 years of film and television production in Leavesden.
In the first event held of its kind, the local community were welcomed through the gates of the Studio. There were live music performances from local charity partner, Electric Umbrella, and stalls, talks and tombolas from Peace Hospice Care, Watford Mencap, Herts Inclusive Theatre, Small Acts of Kindness, The Chamber of Conscience and Rolls-Royce Leavesden.
On the main plaza, there were interactive wand lessons with Harry Potter wand choreographer, Paul Harris, a green screen photo opportunity and demonstrations on prop-making and special FX. In addition, there was also an exhibition of props and costumes from iconic Warner Bros. films including The Batman and other DC films. Family fun was provided by the onsite childcare facility The Wonderworks and Health and Wellbeing Service Zone10 with a popular face painting stall and circuit training competition.
Emily Stillman, SVP Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, said: “Today has been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our community and our history here at Leavesden. It’s been wonderful to bring together so many of our neighbours and charity partners to enjoy a day of fun.”
When discussing the event, CEO of Watford & West Herts Chamber of Conscience, Chris Luff said: “Today has been a great opportunity to bring the community, charities and local businesses together in a fun celebration. Warner Bros. has been integral to the development of the Chamber of Conscience from inception to where it is today.”
The Studio has hosted the production of many loved films and television programmes including, The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, Wonder Woman 1984, Mission Impossible Fallout, and most recently, the highly anticipated television series House of the Dragon.
Prior to the Studios opening its doors, the Leavesden site was used to manufacture aircraft and helicopter engines by Rolls-Royce.
A new era began in 1994 when the next in the James Bond franchise of films, GoldenEye, became the first film to be shot on the Leavesden site. All eight Harry Potter films followed from 2000 – 2010.
Following the successful conversion from aircraft hangers to sound stages, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden officially opened its doors to the purpose-built production facility in 2012 with its first feature film, Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.
Within the community, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden has forged strong relationships with many charities, schools and local organisations. Partnerships have included hosting a special conference to raise awareness around the issue of ability in disability with members of the local business community, nurturing budding filmmakers by sponsoring the Watford Palace Theatre Young Film Festival and supporting and volunteering with Small Acts of Kindness to help achieve the charity’s growth goals.
Lynne Misner, CEO of Small Acts of Kindness said: “We have collaborated with the team at WBSL from the inception of Small Acts of Kindness and their continued support has helped us to continue reaching even more households in the county.”
Dan Dark, EVP, Worldwide Studio Operations, said: ‘’It was fantastic to see everyone come together for a day of celebration. On a personal note, seeing so many people who have been connected to the studios over the years from charity partners, to neighbours was very special.”