In the studio backlot

Central Perk set
Kicking back on the Friends couch.

Movie Lass and I travelled around the Warner Bros studios in an oversized golf cart today on our VIP Studio Tour. I was very excited to do something really touristy, as none of my adventures so far seem to have ticked the “you are totally a tourist” box.

We started off in the back lot, seeing all the facades that they make to be any old street in New York or Chicago or other place. Different places were pointed out as locations from scenes in movies like The Mask and Spiderman, and also Central Perk from Friends, which definitely holds a soft spot for Warner Bros as their most successful TV series.

Passing some craft services set up, I took photos of the picnic chairs and tables and the cakes on display, ostensibly to inspire my next stint at craft services on a shoot.

Then we saw a scene of The Event being filmed, it was a driving scene, so we saw the car being towed by a truck with all the lights and cameras rigged to it. That was pretty cool, although I have no idea what this TV show is.

A stop at the costume museum was fascinating as we saw costumes worn by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, by the cast of Inception and The Town as well as some older films and little props and pieces from the sets. I liked seeing Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Cobb’s totem from Inception, the spinning top. Upstairs was a whole floor dedicated to Harry Potter and the most exciting bit, getting to sit on a stool and have the Sorting Hat put you in your house. I was delighted when it didn’t even hesitate to put me in Gryffindor! I think I would be good friends with Hermione and I would tease Ron mercilessly.

We checked out some soundstages, massive warehouses with rigging all in the roof and soundproofed walls. We were told how the pirate ship from the Goonies was built in Stage 16, as was the ship in Poseidon and that the first dream sequence of Inception had been built in there.

At the art department section we dodged trucks bringing back props to the warehouse and got to have our photo taken in Central Perk, preserved solely for the tourists on these tours.

I also went slightly shaky and excited as we got to tour the studio set for The Mentalist, one of my favourite tv shows. Whilst they were filming on location, we got to have a look around the headquarters and see Patrick’s leather couch in person. I loved that.

All up it was great to look through the studios and get a bit of an insight, but after having been on a film set myself, it would have been good to hear more about the filmmaking process rather than just bits of trivia which were interesting, but not particularly useful.


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