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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Warner Brothers Studio Tour, Part I

Last October, were back in Los Angeles visiting family and took time to visit the Warner Brothers Studios. It was our son's 17th birthday, and thought it might be fun to connect with his cousins (who had recently returned from living overseas for several years) and experience something new and different is Los Angeles.

Back in 2008, when we were living in Los Angeles, my wife and had a chance to visit Warner Bros. Here's a link

Back then, our kids were too young to go on the tour. The tour actually has a minimum age limit of 8 years old. Which is a good thing. It's not that it's so scary or inappropriate. It just that younger kids would be bored. If you're thinking about visiting, as a parent I'd suggest a minimum age of 13. Actually, 15+ would be ideal.  

Unlike Universal, Warner Brothers is not a theme park. It's a real working studio. Every tour is different. Some areas might be off limits due to current production. Other times, you can literally get out and touch the sets. And, as the groups are limited to just 14 people, you can ask lots of questions. 

As I shared in a previous post, our experience at Universal was less than stellar. You can read my review here. In contrast, we really enjoyed our time at Warner Brothers. 

The first stop was the New York styled "Hennesy Street" sets. 

Hundreds of movies, television shows, and commercials have been filmed here. 

BugsyDick TraceySpidermanBatmanRentMinority Report ... 

... Annie, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and many other movie were all filmed here. 

While we were able to get out and explore a couple of outdoor sets later in our tour, we noticed a group walking along Hennesy Street. My guess is that they were part of the longer (and more expensive) tour. 

Our tour guide was an encyclopedia of information. No way I could take it all it - and I mean that in a good way. 

View from our tour cart (which felt like an extended electric golf cart). 

Look out and up towards the alley. 

Looking back on Hennesy Street.

A final view before moving on. 

Several of the offices on the lot are designed to be re-purposed for movies or TV shows. This can double as an public library or government building. 

More offices, which can double for a motel or suburban apartment building. 

These offices look like, well, offices. We were there on a Saturday. I'm curious what this looks like when they're actually filming something out front. When we lived in Los Angeles several years back, we had a chance to see "on location" filming in several L.A. neighborhoods. Here's a good example (filmed along Sunset Blvd) from the 2009 drama It's Complicated (which, no I did not see). 

Continuing on into the jungle section. 

This is where the infamous scene from Jurassic Park where the T Rex was chasing the jeep was filmed. Obviously, the final product was more exciting than driving through a few hundred yards of trees. 

Warner Village. According to "This collection of residential houses was built in 2004 on the site of the from Laramie Street Western sets, with a crescent shaped residential street set in a woodland environment. This set has eleven two-story homes in a variety of styles, sidewalks, plush green lawns, driveways and garages. From certain angles you have the Hollywood Hills as your backdrop and from others lush established trees and a small neighborhood park."

The Warner Bros Bridge Building - which is a yet another office building on the studio property According to our tour guide, it's entrance is often used for exterior shots of hospitals.  

Which looks, well, exactly, like a hospital. My understanding is the name is based on the fact this area is a "bridge" between the backlots and sound stages. 

More next time

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