One of the things I was keen to do in LA was a movie studio tour. I flailed around trying to choose one, but once I realised the Warner Brothers Tour featured both Friends and Gilmore Girls I couldn’t book it fast enough.
Unfortunately, due to underestimating the LA traffic, we were 20 minutes late, but since customer service is considerably better in the US than it is here, it wasn’t a huge problem and we were quickly “caught up” to our tour, with the guide who took us showing us the things he thought we might have missed, like the car park which doubled as the helicopter landing pad in ER.
We went in one of these little buggies, which I’ve had a hankering to travel in since seeing them in Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. Did you ever see that? I showed Stella a bit I found on YouTube and, blimey, it was weird.
Once we were caught up to our group, we went to the props house and had a good look around. Warner Brothers has a ridiculous number of props for use for their own films and also by other studios, so that was interesting. I particularly liked how the guide explained that if props are done correctly, you shouldn’t even notice them, but how every single thing in a character’s office, house, whatever, should say something about the character or be something the character would have chosen themselves. Works for book-writin’ too, I’d say.
I did a silent squee at the sight of the president’s desk and seal as used in, obv, The West Wing
And then we went somewhere even more exciting…
Our guide explained how the room was set out to look realistic on camera, but wasn’t really a realistic room – with items like coffee cups and paintings getting smaller towards the back of the room and that kind of thing. I stood there thinking, “This isn’t right.” It really didn’t look like the Central Perk in my mind. There wasn’t enough room for that table where Joey’s interviewed by the woman from TV Guide (“A ‘mento’? Like the mint?” “As a matter of fact I do!”) or where Phoebe sings. But I took some photos and after the tour I looked at them on my camera and there was Central Perk.
I can’t tell you how weird it is seeing it like that on the photos after standing there and thinking it looked completely wrong. Really very strange indeed. (Clever though, obviously!)
From there we went to the soundstage that’s used for Chuck. You’re not allowed to take photos of a show that’s still on the air, but it was so interesting. And it made me want to watch Chuck. If only to see how the view from his apartment is really a curtain (with thinner bits to shine light through for night scenes!).
Me and Stella had been most excited about seeing Stars Hollow and though the guide hadn’t planned to go there, we convinced him (by hopping up and down and squeaking, with tears in our eyes). Unfortunately it was dark by the time we drove through and the tour was almost over so he didn’t linger, but we both still welled up. Not seeing it properly was, for me, the only disappointment of our time in LA, but it was still so exciting to see it at all. Mrs Kim’s shop! The church! The bandstand! Luke’s! Miss Patty’s! I kind of regret not throwing myself off the little bus and making a run for it.
Last stop was the WB museum, which was really interesting, featuring costumes from various TV shows and movies (Hey, guess what? Actresses are really friggin’ teeny! I don’t think Harry could squeeze into Ellen Page’s clothes) and then we were done – and we went to Starbucks to calm down.
As was to become a theme over the next three days, we really didn’t want to leave…
* Anyone else know this? I sang it (in my head) the entire time we were there.