7/07/2009 07:46:00 pm

Back Lots and Knights

Posted by Unknown |

Yesterday was very expensive and very worth it.

At the beginning of the day we went on the Warner Bros. Deluxe VIP Studio Tour. That's 5 hours of touring the back lots and sound stages of Warner Bros. studios in Burbank. It's $150 more expensive than the 2 hour version, but it's oh so fun.

I love back lots and sound stages. In fact if you said to me, where would you like to spend the rest of your life, I reckon a working film studio would be top of my list. I spent much of my childhood looking at books full of pictures of studios. And then yesterday I got to spend 5 hours at one. I was so happy.

We arrived to find our parking lot just down the road from the famous Warner Bros. Water Tower. I kinda geeked out at that stage.

We got our tickets an hour before our tour started so we sat out the front reading books. I kept looking up at the sign that said "Warner Bros. Studios" and getting excited that I was actually at them.

When it was time for the tour we were shown a short film (because every tour you do here in the States has at least one film you have to watch) and then we met our guide and group. Seeing as the tour is the expensive deluxe tour I was hoping we would have die hard film fans, not rich people who just did it because it was better. I think we got a mix.

When the tour started our group looked like it was going be a bit of a problem. There was a woman and her family who was angry at the tour guide because he made them sit three people on the seat in the cart, which she found too squashy. There was a rich mother and daughter from just outside Chicago who came because they watch a lot of TV. And there was a mother and daughter from Norway. The daughter was a huge Friends fan and came just to see stuff from the show. So she got very upset when our guide told her that due to the fact that Friends is no longer filming all the sets have been archived and are no longer set up.

Still, I was very happy. And Lesley wasn't angry about anything.

The guide first took us too the back lot and showed us the fake New York streets, Chicago Streets, the New England town, the suburban street, the jungle and more. We got to walk around them and go in some of the buildings. We saw the jungle were Leo was stuck in Vietnam in "The West Wing". We saw the shop where Mog Wai was bought in Gremlins, we saw where Annie sang Tomorrow in Annie and we saw where Spiderman kissed Mary-Jane upside down in Spider Man, to name just a few.

We learnt that every building on the Warners Lot is built to look generic so it can double as something else. Some of their offices look like a motel. Some look like the entrance to a hospital, some look like a high school. It's very cool. The whole place is made to act as on big filming location.

We got taken into the sound stage for Two and a Half Men and we got to walk on the set of Chuck's apartment complex in Chuck (I've never seen the show, but I love sets). Oh it was all so fun. I love sets and lights, and set dressing.

We got taken to the work shops, and into the ADR (dialogue replacement) and orchestra recording stages.

We got given a very nice meal in the Commissary, where the stars eat, or so we're told.

We were taken to the prop storage, which was really fun, because I love props. We also got taken into a room off the side which our tour guide had deliberately not told us about. It was a room where they had set up the actual set of Central Perk from Friends. The girl from Norway got so excited. I think she might have cried a little bit. It was great to see. She'd been sad all day, and then all her dreams came true. I'm not a big Friends but I did enjoy seeing the set.

At the end of the day we got let loose in a museum full of Warners memorabilia on one floor and Harry Potter memorabilia on the other. That was lots of fun.

Then we had to go home. I can't really express how much fun I had. It was like one of those days when your dreams come true. I wish I could live at a film studio. That would just make my life.

The evening we spent at Medieval Times, which was exciting in a whole different way. I was inspired by Dicker's Mum and The Cable Guy. It's a themed restaurant set in medieval times where you dinner and watch a show of knights riding around on horses and pretending to kill each other. It was pretty tacky, and very fun. We cheered for our knights, ate meat with our hands of pewter plates, and were served by wenches. If you get the chance, you should go. The world needs more tacky themed restaurants.

I even got to go back to Medieval Times today because I left my camera there last night. But it's back safe with me now.

Today Lesley went to the Getty Centre, while I drive across LA and back getting my camera. I think it's good I didn't go to the Getty Centre too, because while it's a cool building, what I did see of it didn't really interest me much.

And now we're at the Airport, waiting in the good old ReLAX lounge ready to go home. I'll be fun.

America has been good to me. I do like this country. I'm coming back.