Arts Award – Part B: Be the Audience

Recently I visited the WarnerBros Hollywood studio in California. The tour took us through the WarnerBros Hollywood studio and through an array of different sets and sound stages which, over the years, have been used to film many different films and TV shows such as The Hangover, Inception, Friends, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.

The tour starts with a shot film showing snippets of things WB has down the years before you’re through in groups to a cart to start the tour. Once in the cart, you’re taken across the road to the sets, each tour varies slightly in what is on the tour and in what order. Our tour, however, started with a short drive to a large New York-Style building that we were shown the inside of, inside it was all scaffolding and wooden support beams, showing that, as realistic as the outside may look, they don’t do the same for the inside, because they don’t need to, because we, as the audience, don’t see it. We were then taken through that building to an ally at the back, which we were told, had been used in a number of different projects, such as Friends and Spiderman.

We were then driven through several more sets, such as the town centre for the big musical number in The Muppets and the set for the town of Bluebell, Alabama from the show Hart of Dixie. Nearly anything in the lot can be used to film something, for example, a small patch of grass that wasn’t built for films was used in an episode or Friends. Or a specific building that was built as merely an office building has been used multiple times as a hospital, and another building that houses the writers is frequently used as a school.

We were then taken past Stage 16, one of the tallest sound stages in the world with a 2,000,000-gallon water tank that was used to film things such as Inception.

In the car park, which has a view of the famous WarnerBros water tower, we were told that several things were filmed in the car park, such as a mudslide in Two and a Half Men as well as being used as the helipad on the roof of the hospital in E.R. We were then shown the set of the show The Mentalist. We were taken into the Lobby of the HQ where Patrick Jane works. Being a set, the Lift obviously isn’t real, the doors merely close, the set rearranged, plants and decorations are moved and presto, you have a lobby on another floor. Then, we were show the office sets, which was a full set as appose to a half set, because the show has no live audience they need to house. What was also interesting is that the floors, though made to look like wood, were not made of wood because wood makes too much noise and would be difficult to shoot with.

Then, we were taken through the woodwork section of the studio, where sets are taken down, stripped down and, using old materials, made into something completely different, this was quickly followed by us being taken to the old set of Central Perk from the show Friends.

We had to be quiet ass we passed a few studios and miss out a couple of them as, while we were on the tour, movies and TV shows were still filming as tours continued, which is why the tour took part in a cart, because they make no noise.

Overall, the experience was fun, interesting and very helpful and educational for me as well.

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Warner Brothers Studio tour in Hollywood.

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Brodie Primrose

Director, Scriptwriter, Photographer, Actor, Comedian, Fool.

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