After spending our morning at Sony Pictures Studio, Mike from MovieShotsLA, his fiance Jen, and I headed over to Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank to take their VIP tour once again. I had heard that no two tours are ever alike at the WB and Mike and I wanted to see if that was really true. And you know what? It was! This experience was COMPLETELY different from the first time we took the tour back in September of this year. It was like seeing an entirely different studio.
Our tour started off the same way as last time, with a movie spotlighting the many productions that have been filmed on the WB lot. Then we were whisked away to our golf cart to begin our backlot tour. This time Mike and I both asked to be taken to specific places that we didn’t get to see on our last Warner Brothers excursion. Mike was dying to stalk the New York City Street area, which was closed off during our last tour due to some filming that was taking place there. My location request was to see the stoop Carrie sat on during her visit to the WB in the SATC episode entitled “Escape From New York”. It is on this fake stoop that Carrie, after many failed attempts at smoking in L.A., lights up a cigarette only to have a security guard walk up and tell her to put it out. “But this is New York!” she says, to which he replies “No, Ma’am, it’s a set!” LOL LOVE IT!
Our tour guide, Matthew, pointed out Carrie’s stoop on the New York City Street right as we began our tour – it is located about ten feet away from the fire escape where the upside-down kiss from the first Spiderman movie took place. For some reason the stoop didn’t look familiar to me, and “I couldn’t help but wonder” if our tour guide had made up the location to appease me and, in truth, didn’t really know where Carrie’s stoop was located. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong! As soon as I got home, Mike emailed me a screen cap of the scene with Carrie smoking on the stoop and quite obviously our tour guide had been correct. 🙂 Turns out they really do know their stuff! The fact that he knew the exact location of a scene that lasted only about 30 seconds in one brief episode of SATC that was filmed over eight years ago absolutely amazed me. I think the WB tour guides may even be better than me at this stalking stuff! 🙂
Not only did Matthew know where Carrie’s stoop was located, but he also pointed out that the administration building where our tour began is the very same location where Carrie attended the studio meeting with Matthew McConaughey in the same SATC episode. AND the gate where she entered the studio for that meeting is the very same gate we were taken through at the beginning of our tour. 🙂 Let me tell you, Matthew really knows his stuff! 🙂
Next our guide took us up and down New York Street, which was amazing to see! Countless movies have been filmed there, my personal favorite being the 1982 movie Annie. So I was super excited when we were shown the orphanagewhere Little Orphan Annie lived before being rescued by Daddy Warbucks (pictured above). The orphanage looks a bit different now, as it has been dressed and remodeled for different productions through the years.
Other locations on New York Street include Ross’ apartment building from Friends,
the salon from You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,
the restaurant where Jack Nicholson has a heart attack in Something’s Gotta Give,
and Jack Nicholson’s therapists office in As Good As It Gets.
New York Street was extremely cool – literally every single building there had been used in a famous television or movie production. So much so, in fact, that I can’t even remember all of them!! Next time I need to take along a notebook to write everything down. 🙂
After New York Street we headed over to a small office building which had just been used in the filming of Without a Trace earlier that morning where it stood in for a motel. The episode was supposed to take place in Autumn, so the prop department had brought in fall leaves to place all over the ground.
Then we were driven by one of the studio’s commissaries, which our tour guide told us had stood in for a college campus restaurant where Rory Gilmore and her father eat lunch in an episode of Gilmore Girls.
Next we were driven by another set of offices which just recently were used as the high school in the Sarah Conner Chronicles.
After that our tour headed to the WB lagoon/swamp area which has been used in countless, countless productions including Million Dollar Baby (where a shack next to the swamp stood in for a roadside cafe), ER (the scene where George Clooney saves a boy from drowning during a rainstorm was filmed inside the lagoon) and Fantasy Island (the lagoon ws the location where the boats bringing weekly visitors were docked).
Next to the lagoon is a fairly new set named Warner Village, which was built after the WB’s Wild West Town was torn down. Warner Village is a small street of middle America style homes very similar to the Wisteria Lane set over at Universal Studios. Homes on this street have been used in everything from The George Lopez Show to Cold Case to this year’s An American Carol. Inside the Warner Village homes are production offices for television series and movies which are produced on the lot.
After visiting Warner Village, we headed over to the ER hopsital set. Even though we had seen this set on our last WB tour, it still held a new experience for us. This time the entire hospital exterior was decorated for Christmas and covered in snow, which was really exciting to see. In actuality, the snow is made from the shavings of plastic water bottles, but even up close it looked extremely real.
During this tour, we were allowed to venture inside the Emergency Room facade of ER to snap some pics. The vending machines pictured above are fake, by the way. In reality, they are high quality photographs of real vending machines pasted onto carboard stands. They were so realistic, though, that I actually had to go up and touch them before I would believe that they weren’t real. 🙂
After the ER set, we were driven by a small park-like area where some Ghost Whisperer filming was taking place. AND we even got to see Jennifer Love Hewitt for about half a milli-second as she hopped into a waiting van. JLove was super cute – at least she seemed so in the very brief moment we saw her.
Next we headed to a prop warehouse where everything from furniture to artwork used in various Warner Brothers productions is stored. The most famous prop piece located there? One of the Sam’s pianos from Casablanca, which is actually on loan from an art collector who stumbled upon the piece at an auction a few years back. The art collector liked the look of piano, bid on it, and apparently got it for quite a steal as the previous owner didn’t realize its cinematic significance. It wasn’t until the new buyer got home that he noticed a piece of paper with a Warner Brothers stamp and a serial number tacked to the inside of the piano. When he contacted Warner Brothers to ask about it, the serial number led them to discover the movie in which the piano had been used. And, lo and behold, it was one of the most famous films in history. 🙂
Mike, Jen and I had a blast on our second Warner Brothers Tour and it is definitely true what they say – it’s never the same tour twice. I HIGHLY recommend taking this tour – even if you have already been on it previously. : ) I can’t wait to go back myself for yet another WB adventure! 🙂
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: Warner Brothers Studios is located at 3400 Riverside Drive in Burbank. Tours run every 30 minutes Monday through Friday from 8:20am to 4:00pm. Advance reservations are recommended. Tickets cost $45 per person. You can learn more about the tour here.