It’s my birthday!!! I turn 20 on Friday the 13th this year, weird right? So today we went to the set of The Office, Technicolor, and a taping of Two and a Half Men.
The Office pretty much took the cake. Jackie, our tour guide, was so sweet and kind for inviting us in. I mean, I got to sit at Jim Halpert desk. How many people can say that?
During the tour, we got to sit in with one of the editors, Rob Burnett. He was so awesome with sharing information about the editing process with us. But what was SUPER awesome, he shared some older script supervising notes with us (I just so happen to very interested in the script supervising) I never even thought about writing notes on Excel. His notes were so clean and clear, it made mine seem like barely coloring inside the lines.
That night, we went to a Two and a Half Men taping at Warner Bros Studio. It was my first live sitcom taping and to be completely honest, I was sort of disappointed. The entire stage, other than the set being shot for that scene, was blocked off by large black curtains. We could barely see anything and we were rushed off set as soon as the taping was done. From what I heard of other live studio audience tapings, I expected a little more. But oh well, you can’t win them all. We have more tapings to go to and I’m sure each is it’s own experience. We’ll just have to wait and see!
So I’ve been saying that every day was super awesome and a few were my possible favorites, and I wasn’t lying when I said that, but today probably wins. On day 11, myself and a handful of my fellow students traveled to Central City Studios. On the outside, it’s just another warehouse looking building, surrounded by others that look the same. On the inside, is years of famous movie history. Seriously, this building was a movie-makers dream come true. Remember in Bruce Almighty, when Jim Carrey got paged to a mysterious building; stepped in a giant puddle, met Morgan Freeman/God in the big white room (clap on), walked on top of the puddle? Ya, that was filmed at this location. Also filmed here? The Dark Knight Rises! We even collected pieces of an explosion shot for the movie and were still at the studio. A little “fan-boy”ish of us but I have no shame.
Anyway, we spent the day with production designer, Ralph Lliteras and his son, Isreal. What was so awesome about this place was how many different sets that were built in there. What we did was walked around the 4th floor of the building and together, help design and dress multiple different sets, some almost finish, some half built, and some completely from scratch. My personal favorites were the police precinct and the Japanese themed dining room/ living room.
Now, I’ve been an art PA before, usually working under my extraordinarily talented friend, Callen Golden. And I always enjoyed it, but the concept of going into the art department aspect of movies and television never really seemed like an option for me. Only because of my complete lack on artistic ability. I’m just not incredibly creative in a design type of way, which was always fine with me. But after this day on set, my mind set on that changed slightly. When designing in the precinct, everyone was working together, collaboratively on the set as a whole. But one room that I kind of took on as my own personal project was the small office declared as the captains office. I had worked on the forensic lab with Callen and we made that room look so legitimate. So I wanted to give my try at doing a room by myself. It was so incredible of Isreal and Ralph because they honestly just let us go to town. Isreal would work with us at an equal, there was no order or direction being given. The creative freedom we were given was a breath of fresh air that I have never experienced before in my few years in this profession. As I worked and completed my captains room, there was true feeling of accomplishment, because it was something that was all me, all my vision and design that I wanted. I can only imagine that’s how most writers, artists, etc, feel when they complete their work.
This epiphany opened my eyes more than ever to the possibility of art design in television and movies. I still have doubts about my creative ability but what Ralph, Isreal, Lucy, and Marguerite (owner and office manager of Central City Studios) gave me by being gracious enough to invite us to their studio was an absolute creative freedom. It was the most reliving feeling I’ve had out here. Like I was holding something built up inside of me for a LONG time and I finally released some of it.
So when I say that this day was my best day out here so far, I’m being honest, and I can only hope that I will be able to go back every opportunity I get while we’re in LA. Thank you Central City Studios, and everyone who works there.
This is Tony Dinozzo’s desk, Rachael speaking..
Well today was interesting to say the least. Early this morning, we woke up and drove to Paramount Studios to watch back-to-back tapings of Dr. Phil. Now I’m going to be honest, I’d never seen his show before this morning, not out of lack of respect, more like a lack of watching those types of shows.
Well that’s changed.
First show was a heart breaking story about a young girl, now 18, who came back to tell her tragic story about how, from the ages of 2 to 8, she was locked in a closet. It was really tough to witness but there’s something to be said about this young woman’s courage.
The second show took it to a whole new level. It was titled 17 Years Old and Out of Control. This girl was like a bipolar mind grenade, and not awesome in any way. Cat fights ensued and the show ended with her being shipped of to Utah for a couple of months.
And the studio we went to was insane! Their enormous lighting grid and massive studio cameras were so impressive. And I have to say, I was quite envious of their jib! If only, if only.. Also, can I just mention, that this is my second show taping I’ve been to and there is no one in this world that can wrangle a cord quite like a studio, steady-cam wrangler? I’ve also never seen a camera man hit the return button on their camera so many times. But hey, they are the professionals, they must know a thing or 2.
After, we traveled to Valencia Studios where we met Scott Williams, a writer for the number one show on television, NCIS. And not only did we get to talk to him, we also got to walk around the set! He explained to us the details of writing for a show as big as NCIS and the process. Pretty neat stuff, I must say.
So today was pretty much amazing. We went to the Ramada Inn conference room (appropriately titled the Celebrity room) and witnessed several great guest lectures by some incredible people. Some of which, were Production Coordinators for films such as Avatar and Desperado, while others were Directors of Photography on greats such Titanic.
First we had Susan Dukow, Pam Jaeckle, Mike Kehoe, and dooner, and let me tell you, these four could have filled my whole day alone with their stories. They and they’re experiences were hysterical as well as helpful and informative. And Susan was nice enough to give us gifts; handy lunch bags which, ironically, we all need really bad right now. Thanks Susan!!!
Then we had the inspirational Ed Gutentag, a master cinematographer and film maker. He has some fascinating insight on social networking that I never thought to take into consideration before.
Andy Borses was next, giving wonderful advice to us individually about things such as portfolios and staying connected on the internet. Karen Winchell was after, with information about a great opportunity after college with CBS. I would just about burst with excitement if I got to work on Dancing with the Stars.
Wrapping up was the amazing Eve Honthaner. Seriously, if you ever get a chance to pick this woman brain for information about anything in this profession, do it. Or you could just take one of her classes or read one of her guidebooks for the industry. She was incredible and made the lecture very hands and fun. I gained a lot of insight into this world I’ve decided to jump into.
After today, I feel I’m a little more ready to take that jump.
So today was possibly one of my favorites. We went all over San Francisco, from the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Warf. In was perfect weather for an incredible cultural day. The Golden Gate Bridge in the morning was beautiful and I bought my first churro (I was pretty excited). After, we climbed the hill through the national park all the way to the top, stopping along the way to take pictures of the breathtaking landscape. After, we cruised down to Stinson Beach, we’re we watched the sun set (it wasn’t actually as corny as it sounds). It was so gorgeous and everyone with a camera was having a field day. The water was freezing but that didn’t stop a lot of us from standing in the surf anyway.
Though I recommend having something to wipe the sand off your feet, sandy flats are not as cool as they may seem.
We ended our day at the Warf, eating incredible sourdough bowls filled with chili. I proceeded to walk around with a couple of friends, where we came across the most epic candy store right across the street from where we ate. They had all the sweets you could think of and EVERY flavor of taffy you could imagine. We were like kids at a candy shop!! (sorry, it was tempting..) Anyway, happy and full of taffy, I ended the night on a high note.
Good day. =)
Hello fellow bloggers. Day 4 has come and gone with great success. The day started early with a visit to The Walt Disney Family Museum and guest lectures with ILM animators Anthony Shafer and Giovanni Nakpil. They talked to us about when goes into animating characters like Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean (which just so happens to be my favorite movie series). Did you know that Jones’s look was inspired by a styrofoam cup filled with green Gatorade and the color pallet a sea cucumber? Mind. Blown. And I never really thought about how anatomy fit into animation of a creature, animal, alien, etc. Gio explain a lot about the anatomical direction and study needed to portray a realistic looking character, even if it’s some species we’ve never seen before. We’re such visual beings that we don’t think about it because we just expect it.
After the museum, Anthony invited us back to the ORIGINAL Industrial Light and Magic in San Rafael!! We got to see the place where greats like Star Wars and Jurassic Park were born! Ya, I would be jealous too…