Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paramount Studios

The above picture is that of Bronson's Gate, the main entrance to the studios. The gate was named after a street which once ran in front of the studios. We took a tour of Paramount today and, according to our guide Stacy, the gate was not named after Charles Bronson. It was the other way around, he took his acting name from the gate's moniker. Paramount Pictures has a logo of a mountain surrounded by 21 stars. The mountain is located in Utah, the stars are for the original 21 stars at Paramount. The studio was named after Paramount Apartments which were around in 1914 when the studio was started- someone just liked the name. And in the picture below is a running list of what talk shows, and television series are currently being shot on the lots.
 Well, that is barely readable, so I will list a few:  Dr.Phil, The Doctors, glee, Happy Endings, and Community. The later two sets are presently live- meaning that they are in use and set up for shootings, no pictures can be taken by us on the tour.  For Happy Endings we toured the bar where many of the scenes are shot, and also the apartments of the characters. That was fascinating to see; how a setting is decorated so close to reality, when actually most of it is an illusion. Equally interesting was the set for Community where we toured the dean's office, library and cafeteria (the story takes place in a community college).  Also intriguing were the street scenes outside of the studios. Our guide pointed out to us how scenes can be set up to show any typical street in the world. I never realized that Chicago's fire hydrants look different than New York's fire hydrants. While we were there a street scene was being shot for Happy Endings. The building which is currently being used as a bar for that show is sitting on a corner where a scene for Breakfast at Tiffany's was once shot.
Stacy had a lot to show us in this little section of Paramount (note the above picture). She played on her iPad a scene from the Brady Bunch,  which took place below the tree.  In another corner of this area is where Paramount has their day care building. Lucile Ball was one of the first mom actresses to insist on having her children near her while she was at work. And speaking of her, the door at the far end of the building (with the awning above it) was her dressing room. Audrey Hepburn used it before she did. Our tour took about two hours and the time flew. It was all quite interesting, so totally another world. My last picture to share with you is that of Forest Gump's bench. I believe now that John and I have seen three out of the four which were made for the movie. The other two we saw are located in Savannah, Georgia.

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