WWW (WGA/WB Wednesday)

4 Apr

What a great day.  Gotta tell you all about it.

We began our day with a private tour/reading time at the WGAW Foundation Library.  Looking back on it it seems so funny.  Here I’ve had all these opportunities to see how wild and crazy these Christian screenwriters are, but the library brought their studious passions to the surface again.

Most of us were under the impression that the library would be gigantic and we were getting a tour the whole time.  Not so.  The library is quite small, square footage-wise.  It houses only scripts that have won awards or been enormous commercial successes, and it contains more TV scripts than film (because TV has so many, many more episodes/scripts).  They also house many historical radio scripts.  So, the tour began with a brief informational overview of the library, and then we were set loose to read whatever we liked.  Many of us were groggy, but you would have thought there were tornadoes wizzing through that room when these writers got the opportunity.

I read several pages of the 1943 Jane Eyre script, the pilot episode of Veronica Mars (a-mazing writing), skimmed the next episode and one of the Gilmore Girls scripts.  To give you a little clue here, both TV shows are hour-long: VM is around 66 pages per episode, but GG is in the 76 range.  That’s how fast they talk on GG, how much banter they can squeeze into 40-something minutes of actual TV air time.  What fascinated me about JE was that they actually quoted from the novel itself in the descriptions.  I loved that.  I find it amusing that I chose JE to read because adaptations are something I’m very interested in.  There’s just so much wonderful source material out there to choose from!

After lunch at the Farmer’s Market, it was up to Burbank for our WB VIP Studio Tour.  They showed us a quick “commercial” for WB, divided us into four groups, and put us into golf cart trolleys to tour the lot.  For the most part we were not allowed to take pictures, but the highlights are as follows:

I saw the exterior fire escapes where they shot Annie & Spider-Man and other exteriors of Gremlins, Zohan, A Little Princess, and George Clooney’s apartment for ER.  Next was “the jungle” — they’ve got a wooded area with a water “tank” that they use for jungle/outdoor pick-up shots, as in Jurassic Park and Million Dollar Baby.  WB Village is a suburban street scene that has been updated from an old Western set.  The houses are not empty — they house many production offices and writers staffs, including two of my favorites: Chuck and The Mentalist (neither of which air on WB).  Speaking of…

Chuck – Our guide took us to one of the sound stages where they shoot the home of and Nerd Herd back room for Chuck.  We walked in this dark “hallway,” and when I saw the green “employee signs” up on the wall, I knew.  Shriek.  It was super-duper-fan-tastic cool.  A crew member was touching up the set because it’s that time of year that the shows come back to film, and they will be shooting there in two days.  I was able to peek inside Chuck’s bedroom, where there’s a black Comic-Con bag hanging on the closet door, and stand in his courtyard and front doorway.  Which is where I almost fell to bits.  I was standing in Chuck’s front doorway peering into the living/kitchen area, when I realized where I was.  For one out of body moment, my inner teenager shrieked uncontrolably.  It’s just one of those moments that are so awesome I can’t even describe.  “I’ve been here before, but I haven’t been here before.”  It’s just a show, but it’s not.  If you know what I mean, you know what I mean.  Zach had been in earlier…we had only missed him by a little while.  Drat if I don’t have the worst luck.  Oh, but it gets worse.

The Mentalist – So I’ve been “Simon Baker this” and “Simon Baker that” all afternoon, and one of my Exec pals turns to me and says, “That was the guy from The Mentalist.”  “What?  You mean you think it was.”  “No, it was.  He just drove by.”  She had waited till after he was gone to say anything.  She is now dead to me.

Another highlight for me was the town square.  It’s currently dressed for the new series Eastwick, but what I cared about was that it used to be Stars Hollow, the town exterior for Gilmore Girls.  I stood outside of Luke’s Diner (which is now unfortunately, an art shop).  How cool am I?  The gazebo has been replaced with a fountain that gives witches their power, and the trees have been plucked and dressed with fake autumn leaves, but it will always be GG to me.

Then there was the super-duper-fan-tastic-licious WB Museum.  Also no cameras allowed.  For Pete’s sake.

First floor – Right off the bat inside the front door: the Bat-suit and the Tumbler model.  Heaven.  Costumes from The Matrix, John Wayne’s rifle from some film (it’s not very big, folks), The Last Samurai, 300, Miss Congeniality, Casablanca, and Willie Wonka.  Can I just say how much I despise, I mean, envy Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, and Ingrid Bergman for how tiny-waisted they are?  I can now ruin two black and white movies for you: Ingrid Bergman wore an orange sash/cummerbund in Casablanca, Sam’s piano was painted peach with happy pastel flowers on it, and Errol Flynn wore a burgandy swashbuckler coat.  Johnny Depp’s got skinny legs and arms, but Willie Wonka’s and Charlie’s costumes were very touching to me.  At the back are 5 of WB’s Oscars.  Oscar does not wear well.

Second floor – Harry Potter Heaven.  Privet Drive street sign.  Hogwarts school invitation letters from Prisoner of Azkaban.  Dementors, cupboards and costumes — oh, my!  The Tri-Wizard Cup.  The Slitherin hourglass and Professor Slughorn’s pajamas are already on display.  The first horcrux, Tom Riddle’s diary, and Harry’s cupboard are there.  And the “prom” dresses from Goblet of Fire are wonderful: Cho’s dress is actually a much warmer color than it appears on screen (it’s silver on screen but beige in person), and as tiny as she is, she is twice the size of the microscopic Hermione.  I almost fell over when I saw how small she is/was.  They must not have any wind in England because she would blow away entirely in Oklahoma.  Miranda Richardson’s vibrant green two-piece and quill.  Quidditch equipment.  Hagrid’s suit with the baby Harry bundled.  Let’s just say I was very excited to be there.

We were also shown the WB gas station, the car “showroom,” the props from Central Perk, and by the end of it all I was bushed.  It’s hard work being an annoying tourist.

(Cross-posted at Tumblr.)

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