Happy New Year! We survived 2016!
Though 2016 was a rough year for America and the entertainment industry (in memorandum at the Oscars this year will be acutely painful)… I got knock it too hard because it brought me to LA!
My roommate and I rang in the new year by walking over to our neighbors’ apartment across the street for a party in what was the most convenient night possible, and very low-key fun.
On January 2nd, I turned 24 (queue the one year premature quarter-life crisis). I have never really liked my birthday because I always want it to be really special– as special as I help make the day for all my friends– but it never is (except when I turned 10 and my mom threw me a surprise party and it was the best birthday ever). To make matters worse, my birthday fell on a Monday… SO I decided that my roommate and I would celebrate the day of my birth (and my first birthday in LA) by getting brunch (my favorite meal) and going on a studio tour!
Originally, we thought about going to Sony because it is ten minutes from our house, but it was closed on Monday so we picked the studio on based on where we could brunch… As it happened, I knew a great brunch spot in Burbank (my mom and I discovered it when we went to the IKEA there) so we decided to pay ($67 per ticket…. thanks, Mom) a visit to Warner Brothers.
First, let me tell you about this brunch. The spot is called Another Broken Egg Cafe, and they make fantastic hollandaise and delicious home fries. My roommate went for the traditional eggs benny, while I went for eggs benny on black bean patties, tomato and avocado with chipotle hollandaise. Let me tell you, it was amazing and if this place wasn’t so far away I would probably be there every weekend.
Once our stomachs were full, we made our way to Warner Bros. which is HUGE. There were about 8 gates, and it took us a good five minutes to find the right one.
But we made it! What was great about the tour was that there were a ton of people in the reception area… like everyone had the same idea about how to spend their day off or you know, tourists were here for the holidays, but they broke us up into groups of about 10 or 12 people so it was a more intimate experience.
Once we were assigned to our group leader, we piled into our golf cart and headed to the back lot!
Our first stop was what they called Midwest Street, aka, Stars Hollow. Though the lot was deserted and painted/decorated for other shows and I went to the Stars Hollow Festival of the Seasons and got all the Stars Hollow magic I could hope for, this was still a bit of a surreal experience. Our tour guide took us off the cart and through what was once Mrs. Kim’s antiques and more recently, a frat house for a party Lip from Shameless attended, and next door to Lorelai’s front yard. Also fun fact, we learned that there was one Seinfeld scene filmed on the WB lot and it was in Stars Hollow which was used for the setting of the town where they got arrested for violating the “Good Samaritan” law in the series finale.
After that, we drove through Hennesy Street, host to Gotham City in Tim Burton’s Batman; New York Street where the New York scenes of the Gilmore Girls Revival were filmed, and another street that was made to look like Chicago… On one of these streets lay the setting for the coffee shop that Mia worked in La La Land, unfortunately the area was not still painted in bright, swoon-worthy colors.
Next, we got out of the cart and went into a museum that housed real costumes from the WB’s latest DC superhero endeavors and Harry Potter paraphernalia including robes, wands, text books, the terrifying, full-sized Aragog (Hagrid’s Spider from Chamber of Secrets *cringe*), and Dobby himself!
After twenty minutes of ogling, we sped along to the front lot where the stages were. At this point, we could not take photos but we got to see Ellen’s stage which was beautiful, and we learned that a lot of people, like Ellen and the Fuller House production team, rent out stages with no affiliation to Warner Bros. which makes sense because they have the room… why not make the extra dough (not that they need it…)
As we moved on, we got to see where they house ALL the Batmobiles which was such a surreal experience, and we got a peak at their prop house which was UNREAL. It was packed with an absurd amount of stuff– every light fixture you could imagine, trophies, phones, artwork, and a whole collection of Presidential portraits, White House inspired furniture and a replica of the Resolute desk which was used in The West Wing, Veep, and Scandal.
What was cool was that some things were tagged for shows– I saw several for The Last Tycoon, an Amazon pilot that got picked up to series (one of two of Fitzgerald based projects). So it’s someone’s job to go shopping in the prop house and tag things that they want for their set. And what we saw was only a portion of the first floor, and the building has four floors…. can you say blissful insanity?
Finally, we came to the end of our tour which was supposed to serve as an “interactive exhibit” that is meant to showcase each of the steps that go into making fantasy a reality– from writing to set and costume design to CGI and sound. We saw a dry erase board that belonged to the writers of Shameless which featured charts for the storylines of each episode and the big moments for each character. It seemed to be Tim Burton day because in the next room where some costumes from Sweeney Todd, a Martian from Mars Attacks, and to my absolute delight, the figures from The Corpse Bride.
They also had sets from The Lego Movie which were also incredible to see. For the Friends fans out there (My roommate and I are not. Seinfeld forever), this is where they keep Central Perk.
And for the tours grand finale? ….. I got to hold a real Oscar.
It was beautiful and heavy and full of power, and I can’t wait until I can hold one anytime I want because it will belong to me.
What a way to ring in 24, am I right?
For more movie magic fangirling,