Studio Tour Information Thread - Warner Bros, Paramount, and Sony

Discussion in 'Southern California' started by hurleysweety, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    We liked all 3 of the tours, just for different reasons. Like I said before, Paramount is really good if you like Old Hollywood. We got to hear a lot of stories of Lucille Ball and when she was a big wig. Heard some stories about Paramount 'owning' the greatest old costume designer (Edna from the Incredibles is based off her) and big time stars from other studios sneaking into her office for fittings.

    Paramount also definitely had a bit more movie based stuff, like we got to see the 'water set' which was a parking lot at the time. The tour guide has a little tablet where they can play scenes that were filmed in that location. Also, Paramount has the best photo option of all the studios. You can take a picture which includes the old Paramount gates, a pretty fountain, and the Hollywood sign. You can't see the sign from the other studios.

    Another way to put it is that I didn't feel like I'd wasted money on any of them, they were all very different experiences.
     
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  3. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    The free photo op may or may not have to do with HP....
     
  4. sksjasams

    sksjasams DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for the detailed report! I really appreciate it.

    I was unsure about the WB tour, since we don't watch shows like the Mentalist. But when you mentioned the HP floor and best of all the Tumbler, I knew we would have to go. DS is a big HP and Batman fan, with the Tumbler being his favorite Batmobile. It would be fun to see the BBT time machine, and DH and I would love to see the Friends set.

    Thank you again for all the info!
     
  5. danaesacto

    danaesacto DIS Veteran

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    We just got back and OhioStateBuckeye covered all the important things- I just wanted to add- SO WORTH IT! It was a great experience- my 12 & 14 year old girls loved it even though much of the focus is on the shows they don't watch. You will still love seeing how the sets are different for sitcoms vs dramas, plus lots of insider secrets about how they do things and how they fool the viewers eye. The Chuck Lorre shows- Big Bang Theory as Two and a Half Men were on a break this week so we went into those sets- we had to sit in the audience area because the sets are ready for next week already- but we got to see how the cameras work, how small the sets are, and other neat things. We got to walk all through the set of The Mentalist- got to see how they add depth to a 2 dimensional camera shot, how the sun moves across the "windows" and much, much more.

    Our tour guide was Soni- seriously- call to book your tour and see if she is working the day you want to go. She worked on the sets for years before getting tired of the super long hours so she doesn't just recite facts- she knows things. She was so awesome. HP fans will love the museum.

    Side note- my daughter has some knee issues so we asked to take the elevator to the second floor- the security guard has to call for it, unlock it and send you up. He gets on his radio as you are leaving and we hear, "The guests are arriving, please meet them at the elevator". That alone tickled my daughter- it sounded so serious and like we were someone special :thumbsup2

    We had an 11:30 tour on a Tuesday- left Anaheim at 9:30 and got to the studio right at 11 am... traffic was making me nervous!
     
  6. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    Very awesome! Can you remember any of the facts your tour guide said, or was it more just little things sprinkled throughout?

    Also, one thing I was wondering. If you got to sit in the stands of BBT, where did you sit? We were in the second row very extreme left hand corner. I am wondering how the view of the 'side' sets were from other seats. Like any set that was not Penny's apt, the boy's apt, or the hallway.

    Glad you had a good time :goodvibes
     
  7. danaesacto

    danaesacto DIS Veteran

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    Thanks!
     
  8. stitchy626

    stitchy626 Living the Dream in 2011

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    Great thread-thanks for the reviews! I'm planning on doing the WB tour in June. I can't wait and am dying to know if there is anything related to the TV show CHUCK still around?
     
  9. vakamalua

    vakamalua DIS Veteran

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    We're planning to do the Warner Bros in late May. LOVE the Big Bang Theory; I'm sure they'll be done filming so hoping we at least get to see the set. We're not really that familiar with the other TV shows mentioned but are Harry Potter fans.

    Really like old movies so we would love to do Paramount also but won't really have time this trip...anyone think we could do both in one day?
     
  10. GenGen22

    GenGen22 DIS Veteran

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    Here look at this: http://vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com/category/now-filming/ This is what is currently filming. Enjoy :thumbsup2
     
  11. OhioStateBuckeye

    OhioStateBuckeye DIS Veteran

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    I totally think both in one day is doable. Just make a reservation the earliest you can at one, you'll have a few hours for travel and lunch, then schedule another in the afternoon.
     
  12. vakamalua

    vakamalua DIS Veteran

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    We'll be traveling up to Warner Bros from DLR on a Tuesday morning so we can't leave too early or we'll just sit in traffic...
     
  13. vakamalua

    vakamalua DIS Veteran

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    Will be at DLH in May. Renting a car for one day and doing the Paramount Studio tour in the morning and the Warner Brothers tour in the afternoon.

    Bought tickets this morning and wanted to pass along discount codes to save $5 per ticket if you advance purchase online--

    Paramount: CDAD (all caps)

    Warner Brothers: perks
     
  14. GenGen22

    GenGen22 DIS Veteran

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    When I called WB they said if you have AAA you can also get. $5 off per person discount...
     
  15. vakamalua

    vakamalua DIS Veteran

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    Also, just wanted to mention that several tour times at WB were already sold out for the date we wanted in May.
     
  16. ShelsGoingToDisney

    ShelsGoingToDisney DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for posting this. I figured I had a lot of time yet but I checked and sure enough there were several sold out slots for May 25th. I was able to get a good time for the 5 of us at noon.

    Also thanks to the posters above about the PERKS code saved us $25! The CONAN code mentioned in an earlier thread did not work though, maybe expired?
     
  17. GenGen22

    GenGen22 DIS Veteran

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    Another coupon code that get's you $5 off is WBInsider.
     
  18. hurleysweety

    hurleysweety <font color=deeppink>DISPrincess in Training<br><f

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    Hey All! OP here and just wanted to apologize for never updating this thread with our photos. It was a weird year here and I've been on hiatus from DISboards after cancelling a 12 day vacation the day before we were supposed to go. Anyway, I'm back now and we're planning another California vacation for May. I'm hoping to update the original post with photos and additional info that you have all complied.

    Thanks everyone for keeping up with the current info! :)
     
  19. vakamalua

    vakamalua DIS Veteran

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    We rented a car from Alamo at DTD to do both studio tours in one day. We decided to do Paramount first since it is closer to Anaheim, have lunch and then do Warner Brothers in the late afternoon. We left Anaheim about 8:30 am and it took over an hour and a half to get the 35 miles to Paramount in Hollywood.
    After that tour and lunch in that area, it took about 15-20 minutes to get to Warner Brothers in Burbank. Parking for both tours is very convenient.

    Here's our detailed review of each (feel free to PM me with any questions):

    Paramount

    This is a great "Hollywood" experience! Including the two of us, there were only six people on our tour which allowed for lots of conversation and questions; we had a very knowledgeable guide, Ryan. We are big movie history buffs and this was a great tour that encompassed Paramount's involvement in the entrainment industry from the golden age of Hollywood to the present.

    It started with an explanation of the premises by looking at the map and explaining what we were going to see (it also encompasses the old RKO studio premises). The tour is by golf cart with lots of stops to get out and experience parts of the studio. This is the only major studio still in Hollywood and is over 100 years old; it is the only one from which you can see the Hollywood sign. We learned about the founding and history of Paramount with lots of fascinating stories about the old studio system, as well as writers, directors, producers, costume designers and stars. In fact, we learned the origin of the term, 'movie star.' We saw where they had their offices and dressing rooms. The section on Lucille Ball and Desilu was one of my favorites.

    The tour of several blocks of a city street was great. Ryan's explanations of how the sets are used and reworked was very interesting. For example, how one building is always the one that is exploded. We went into some of the facades to see which ones are just flats and which ones can be used as interior rooms. We really enjoyed seeing a sunken parking lot that can be flooded for scenes on the water.

    We visited a sound stage where the current daytime TV show 'The Doctors' is filmed. The guide took his time to explain the schedule, lighting, moving sets, audience participation, etc. We also walked through a set that is the process of being built for a new sitcom. The guide was very knowledgeable about how the studios are used by many production companies and how it all works financially, especially since most big budget movies are no longer made at any of the studios in LA.

    One of the best things about this tour was that the guide had an iPad on which he would show us scenes from movies and TV shows that had been filmed in the places we visited (e.g. a scene from 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' in the room we were standing, or the building in front of us blowing up).

    If you're interested in the history and techniques of Hollywood, this tour is a 'don't miss' and worth the money. Warner Brother Studio Tour later that day was disappointing compared to Paramount's since all they talked about was current TV shows being produced there despite WBs rich history.

    Warner Brothers

    We are movie buffs and were really looking forward to this tour; we were terribly disappointed! WBs has an incredibly rich history in the entertainment business from classic movies like Casablanca, modern fare like the recent Batman movies and even Looney Tunes animation. The almost two-hour tour started promising when they show you a short film highlighting all the history and accomplishments of the studio but it was all downhill from there.

    The tour groups are large--about 15 people--so it was hard to ask questions since a lot of the tour is riding around in a trolley. Our guide (Alisha) did not seem very knowledgeable or interested in talking individually to anyone. We saw an outdoor street set, a couple of houses used as exteriors, a stretch of woods used as the 'jungle' and some TV/movie vehicles. We went on two sound stages--'The Mentalist' and 'The Big Bang Theory'--but since they were on hiatus, the sets were totally covered in tarps but she told us that if they weren't on hiatus, we might not get to go on at all. We also went on the old coffee shop set of 'Friends' which is preserved like a shrine (the syndication right stills earns WBs a $billion a year).

    You spend a very quick 15-20 self-guided minutes at a very small costume/prop museum which feels like an afterthought to the tour. The upstairs is a small but interesting collection of Harry Potter memorabilia. The downstairs is a mishmash of costumes from different eras of movies and TV; there is little explanation and it is curated poorly.

    The guide repeatedly referenced the same TV shows over and over and over--'The Mentalist', 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Friends'. She NEVER talked about the history of WBs, barely referenced any movies from any era, never once mentioned their animation history, had no interesting stories about any part of the TV/movie business.

    At $50 a person, I could not recommend this tour; unless you know absolutely nothing about the making of TV or movies and you are wildly interested in the current TV shows being produced there.
     

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