Where you lead, I will followJuly 24, 2017 in the United States
The continuation of my Hollywood Pilgrimage started with a tour of Warner Bros Studio. Unlike Paramount, the tour operation was much more frantic and commercial with hundreds of people and buggys zipping around the lot everywhere you looked. Group sizes were slightly larger too. However, this did not dispell any of the magic the day would bring.
Unlike Paramount, WB have retained many of its older sets and back lots for visitor appreciation. That being said the majority of these back lot sets have been used to shoot multiple films and shows over the years.
Whilst I don't generally publicise this fact much, I am a huge 'Gilmore Girls' fan. Those that know the show will know it enjoyed a Netflix revival last year after 10 years off the air. The sleepy New England town of Stars Hollow was entirely created on the WB backlot so you can imagine my excitement when I got to set foot in the town where Lorelei and Rory's story was set. Similarly, WB is also home to 'The Big Bang Theory' and we were also permitted to see full sets in their sound stage which gave me tingles. No photos allowed there unsurprisingly! Lastly, as the home to 'Friends', they have recreated the Central Perk set for fans like myself to hang out in and take photos.
I met a great young couple one of which was a composer from London. He too was doing Hollywood for the first time so it was fun to share our experiences so far. We even had a couple of mutual film friends back home. The world continues to shrink on its axis.
The tour also included a browse around the humongous prop store which I know several dear friends would have got exceedingly giddy about. I wish you could have been there!
Following my tour I decided I needed to at least see the Walt Disney Animation Studios. Unsurprisingly, these are very closed off to the public but I knew the infamous 7 dwarf pillars could be seen from the road. It was about a 20 minute walk from WB through Buena Vista Park. Whilst I'd have dearly loved to venture further into the lot, the security guards were very kind and let me come through the entrance for a few snaps. It was worthwhile. The entire boundary has Mickey Mouse heads on top the fence posts and of course the water tower is suitably branded. I'm glad I made the extra journey.
I returned to the apartment for a dip in the pool which was heavenly. I don't often have to remind myself how lucky I am right now! It was at this point I clocked the miniature Hollywood sign in the bushes of the garden. This made me chuckle. I later discovered that this was so my host could tell chicks he could see he Hollywood sign from his pool. Genius.
I headed up to the Observatory for a Hollywood sunset. This time I was successful in getting parked and was not disappointed. I stayed around for an hour or so afterwards to enjoy the LA skyline at night and the Observatory. I also went in search of 'Cathy's Corner' where the poster shot for La La Land was filmed. Unfortunately it transpired you can only reach this on foot and as it was dark with the park due to close in an hour I decided against getting lost in the woods. Instead, I headed home to get ready for the biggest of days tomorrow.Read more