While my road trip in California, our last stop was Los Angeles. Who says Los Angeles, says Hollywood. As a big cinephile it was a mandatory stop to go visit the studios. I had the opportunity to visit the behind the scenes of most of the TV shows and movies produced by Warner Bros. You could spend days there visiting the different studios and departments working together to create movies. It is really hard work and I understand better why there are so many people listed at the end of the movies in the credit section and definitely pay more attention to their names today.
If you have the opportunity to visit it, I highly recommend it, you will be like a kid. We started with a short video introduction about the story of Warner Bros from the creation until today before being split by groups with different tour guides. We then went to see the outdoor movie sets. Funny story is that film makers have to rent the sets which come basically naked like a blank canvas and then have to fill it up with decoration and accessories, to adapt the script to reality. So basically, the same outdoor movie set can be used for different movies.
By the time I visited the studio, it was the promotion of Batman VS Superman movie and I had the chance to see a batman exhibition showing the different costumes of the super hero since the beginning, the other characters and the different batmobiles. It was unreal to see all of that.
The visit continued within some studios where they were shooting new TV shows. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed obviously to avoid any leaks. But it was impressive to see the amount of details in term of decoration. A team is actually responsible for picking all the different objects that decorate the set. Their job is to imagine according to the script how a scene will look like.
It is a huge amount of work considering that they need to go pick each item in their local storage warehouse in a four storey building. You can have an overview of it in the photos below. It is like Ikea but for movies, and of course all the materials used is rented by the production. It is like they call it the "Ikea of Hollywood".
We pursued the visit into stage 48 where they explained the movie creation process from writing the script, creating the story board, designing the costumes, adding visual effects and sound effects in the end. It is a long process and you can better understand what each team is responsible for. A movie is like a puzzle, and each team represents a piece of the puzzle.
Moving forward, there is the set of the famous cafe in F.R.I.E.N.D.S aka Central Perk and the living room in two and half men. It was so weird to see it as everything looked so small compared to seeing them on TV. That's the magic of cinema, they shoot videos under some angles that make everything look bigger than they really are and will use some techniques like putting small objects on the front and big ones at the back of a set to play with the perspectives. Sneaky!
Overall, this visit was definitely worthy for the price. I paid 62$ for a 2-3 hour tour with a guide, but there is so much to see. There is also a deluxe tour that lasts longer and provide you with a more VIP tour. Obvisouly it is more expensive, 295$ but it lasts for 6 hours. If like me you are a fan of cinema, you won't regret the experience. I am planning on doing it next time I go back to Los Angeles.