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Monday, April 06, 2009

Tour of Warner Bros. Studio

Today was our last day with Paula; she's going home tomorrow. :( We have had a fantastic time - it's been wonderful to spend this kind of time together. I'm really sorry to see her leave.

We toured Warner Bros. Studio. Randy and Paula really enjoyed themselves. I had a good time, but my expectations were too high, I guess. Of course, I was so hoping to see some celebrities and didn't, so I was disappointed about that. But, mainly, I thought we would see more TV or movie sets. We only saw two.

Our tour started by walking along street sets. These sets are used in several current TV shows as well as movies. Their facades are tailored to the particular show or movie being shot at any particular time. Some details were pointed out to us that will be shown a future episode of on "Without A Trace." If you watch that show and see an episode set in Chinatown, that's what we saw, too. The guide also showed us "buildings" used in "Annie" and "Rent."

Orphanage in "Annie"
Apartments in "Rent"
Street sets
We were afforded a very special opportunity that most folks don't get. No cameras were allowed, so I can't show you, but we were allowed in the Eastwood Scoring Set. This is the place where the soundtracks are recorded for movies and TV shows. Normally it is use, but today there was no one in there, so we got to go in. At one time the studio was going to tear it down, but Clint Eastwood stopped them by telling them he liked that set. So, they kept and named it for him. Eastwood is an accomplished musician who scores much of the music you hear on his films. Cool, huh?

One of the two sets we did tour was "The Mentalist." That was neat because Randy and I watch that show. We were able to walk through the offices of the California Bureau of Investigation and see where the action happens. Again, no cameras were allowed.

The last thing we did was the most special. "Friends" had been filmed at this studio for ten years. When shows are over/cancelled, sets are immediately taken down and gotten rid of somehow. The set for "Central Perk" was kept in tact for sharing with folks who tour the studio. We were able to see this complete set and get pictures. It was very surreal - and so very cool.

A back story of one of the characters on "Friends": Gunther, the waiter in Central Perk who always had a crush on Rachel was played by a guy who lucked into the job. In the first season, apparently no one knew how to operate the espresso machine you can see behind the counter. A fellow on the set, not an actor, said that he was a barrista and could show them how to run it. He did it so well the producers had him do it on the show. He was so good they kept him and the character developed into Gunther! Very much a consequence of being in the right place at the right time, wouldn't you say? :)

Central Perk
The menu of Central Perk on the last episode of "Friends"
As we headed back to the drop-off point, we passed part of the "ER" staging. We got to see the "outside" of the hospital area where the ambulances pull up as well as the "el tracks" you always see the cast coming off of. It was a little sad since "ER" is no more.

It was a good tour, but I'm not sure it was $40 worth of good. I much more enjoyed our tour of the movie stars' homes. But, I am glad we did it.

Paula and Joe had dinner with us again at the rig. We had one more evening of laughter, then it was time to say good-bye. Joe was a fantastic host for us and helped us to see things we may not have seen otherwise. It was so good to see him in his world and know that he is enjoying life. Paula leaves tomorrow morning. I know her hubby, Lou, is ready for her to be home. I'm just so glad we got to spend this time together.

Not sure what's on the agenda for tomorrow, kinda depends on the weather. There's rain in the forecast so we may not do much. Guess I'll let you know!

Until the next time . . .


  1. mary slater2:26 PM

    I am soooo jealous-I loved Friends!

  2. COOL!
    I'm so glad you got to spend time with Paula and Joe (it's so hard to not call him Joey!).