So long as you even slightly enjoy the cinema, a studio tour is a must do while in LA. We decided to take the Warner Brothers Studio Tour because out of the few we looked into it was the best price. For $62 per person, you are driven and walked around various parts of the studio lot.
We chose an overcast day for our tour (saving the hopefully upcoming sunny day for a trip to Venice Beach).
I don’t know about the other tour guides, but ours was exceptional. She seemed to live, eat and breathe Warner Brothers interesting facts.
We learned that at the studio there are sets that are “false fronts” meaning they have nothing inside, or they do have rooms inside that are used for offices and such rather than filming. We also saw sets that are “practical sets” where they are used inside and out for filming.
Right away we saw the town used as River City, Iowa in a musical I have been obsessed with for the past year: The Music Man. (Just ask Lance. Not only did I make him watch the entire thing, but I also play the song ‘Ya Got Trouble’ probably forty-five times a month).
If you have seen the movie, you might recall Professor Harold Hill running around this corner when the townspeople are chasing him towards the end.
We passed different ‘town’ sets that are used in various films and shows. They are painted and accessorized differently by the production company in order to not be recognized every time they are seen.
Warner Brothers Studio is an open lot, meaning that they film everywhere. Our tour guide told us that for the episode of The Big Bang Theory where Leonard is on the ship, they filmed his scenes on the boat in a Warner Brothers parking lot! We also saw small, very small, grassy areas used as Central Park in shows like Friends.
If you grew up watching Adam West as Batman, the above steps may look familiar as the stairs Batman would run up when he was going to see Commissioner Gordon. (Side note: Please tell me you are watching the show Gotham where we get to see Gordon before he was Commissioner. It’s a little bit of a guilty pleasure show for me.).
Batman is a big deal at Warner Brothers Studio, as is Harry Potter. There is a stop on the tour fearing two exhibits totally devoted to costumes and props of all the Batman and Harry Potter movies.
My favorite in the Harry Potter floor was the display of Weasley ‘candies’. Yum?
While the Batman floor offered mostly costumes and recognizable bits and pieces from the films, the Harry Potter floor had a few interactive exhibits, such as being sorted by the Sorting Hat. Lance got into Gryffindor…and I got into Hufflepuff. Anyone who knows me knows there is no way I’m a Hufflepuff, but I’m not going to get into it. I’ve accepted the hat’s decision.
I was admiring the suits of the Weasley twins, I particularly liked the ‘W’ pin, when Lance got in trouble for pointing a little too close. In other words, for touching.
Can’t take him anywhere.
Our tour car drove past the set for the new show, Supergirl.
This was about the time that my camera started acting up and I had to keep my cool in order for the people we were with not to think I was a psycho.
I really should one day take a class to expand my understanding and knowledge of my cameras.
But it is so much more fun winging it!*
* Sorry, sarcasm doesn’t always come through clear in text.
My favorite part of the tour was visiting the prop department where props are used and reused for various films and shows.
We were able to see props used in some of our favorite films…
…like weapons from the movie, 300 (Gerard Butler, droooool, am I right?),
…or the chairs used in the movie, The Matrix.
Does this lamp look familiar?
We also saw some props marked for upcoming use in shows.
The mountain background outside WB Studios is the back of the famous mountain, Mount Lee, where the other side is home to the famous Hollywood sign.