Saturday, October 3, 2015

WB Studio Tour

After the workout my buddy Thomas (who's visiting from Ireland) and I went to Warner Bros to do their studio tour. I've been wanting to do that tour for years so when Thomas asked if I wanted to join him I of course said yes.

I've heard great things about this tour so I was really looking forward to it. We got there about a half hour before our tour time and sat in the lobby and waited to be called. First thing you do is go into a screening room and watch a short film about the history of Warner Brothers.

We then are introduced to our guides (our guides name was Lisa) and she was very knowledgeable about the studio. What's great is there is no script or planned tour, it's pretty much up to the tour guide where they want to take you. Of course there are certain points and places they have to hit but what this means is you can do this tour over again and get an entirely different tour.. which is pretty cool.

We drove around the lot and since it was Saturday it was pretty dead. Some of the highlights of the tour was seeing the set for Pretty Little Liars. Now I don't watch the show but these sets are complete sets.. meaning their are four walls and no audience. They also have a great Batman vehicle room where you can get an up close and personal look at the various Batmobiles and well as some other cool vehicles. We took a foot tour of their "prop" building and the WB has rooms full of props. There are some well known props like the two chairs from the Matrix movies when Morpheus is talking to Neo about the blue and red pills. We walked through room after room of amazing and some very recognizable props.

Afterwards we did more of the "backlots" and saw various houses of well known TV shows. We then stopped off a the museum of sorts. The first floor is all Batman stuff, mostly costumes from all the movies. But the second floor is all Harry Potter.. this of course is what I have been waiting for and it was amazing. They even had a guy up there with a sorting hat. I mean it's just a recording repeating itself but if you line up right you can get the house you want.. I tried for Hufflepuff but I got Gryffindor which was cool as I was wearing my Gryffindor shirt. I took a ton of video and pictures.. this is a must see of all Harry Potter fans.

After the museum we headed over to another sound stage.. unlike Pretty Little Liars this TV series I love.. we got to go on the set of The Big Bang Theory.. and when I say on set I mean in the audience area. These sets are alot different then the Pretty Little Liars sets as these are missing the fourth wall and have a live audience. It was cool see and working in the entertainment industry I always knew that the sets look a lot larger on screen then they do in real life and this was no exception.

We pulled up to the final stop and got out as the rest of the tour is guide free and at your own pace. When you walk in the building there is a cafe which is of course title Central Perk (Friends). To the right is the gift shop and to the left is the beginning of a walking tour of some cool behind the scenes of your favorite WB shows and movies. They have a costume section as well as pre-production, make up and other various parts of movie and TV making. You then get to see the mock up of Central Perk, it's a prefect recreation of the set and the best part is you can walk around in it as well as get your picture taken sitting on the couch with a nice cup of joe.. that was pretty fantastic!!!

And since it's getting close to Halloween they had a section where there were famous horror costumes and props.. like Freddy Kruger's knife glove and sweater. They had a illusion prop where you could look as though just your head is on a platter.

They had a force perceptive Hobbit table (of course this was a favorite of mine). Both Thomas and I took turns sitting in the opposite seat so he was Gandalf and I was Bilbo and then he was Bilbo and I was Gandalf.. so much fun.

The next part section were interactive. You could ride a broom, batman's batcycle or float in space (ala Gravity). This part of the tour was extra if you wanted to purchase video or a picture of what you did. But you could do all three things for free and not purchase anything.. I of course did the Harry Potter broom ride and purchased video and a picture. They had some rather crude motion capture screens where you could move a digital dobby. They also had a cool sound room where you could watch the first few minutes of Gravity and hear all the different components of audio. And then the final room had props and costumes from some classic WB things... like Wonder Woman's outfit or Superman's cape, just to name a few.

This was the end of the tour but of course you have to walk through the gift shop to exit and get on a tram back to your car.. but this gift shop is amazing and I could have spent so much money there but I spent enough on the Harry Potter video so I resisted. 

Overall I knew I would enjoy the tour but what I didn't know is how much I would enjoy it. This is an amazing tour and if you're a fan of TV or movie and want to see some cool behind the scenes stuff then check it out. It is a bit pricey at $62 a ticket but honestly it's worth every penny, especially if you're a fan of Batman, Friends or Harry Potter.

Thanks to my buddy Thomas for sharing this experience with me. And if anyone wants to go on the tour I'd be happy to join you. It really is a must see when you visit LA.

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