Lights, camera, action! The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood in Burbank, California, provides student groups with an exciting opportunity to go behind the lens and learn about some of their favorite television shows and films and to learn more about production from script to screen.
The visit begins in the self-guided Storytelling Showcase. Guests explore the studio’s innovation evolution over the past century from silent films to streaming. “It introduces the history of Warner Bros. and the beginnings of the studio lot,” said Helen Albrecht, trade account manager. “Students learn about the actual Warner Bros. highlights through artifacts, including Jack Warner’s actual phone book — where you’ll find the phone number of some notable guests — and his collection of leather-bound scripts.”
After an introductory film, visitors meet their guide and head into the working studio lot for a one-hour guided visit. Tours vary based on the studio’s production needs and are available in English or Spanish. The expert guides live and breathe Warner Bros. so they are able to answer questions from the group and focus on topics of interest for young and old alike.
With 10 backlots sprawled across 110 acres, a studio cart ferries groups of 14 to exterior sets like Mid-West Street. The set has been featured in nearly 400 movies and shows since the 1930s, including favorites like Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, The Music Man and Growing Pains.
The next stop is Stage 48: Script to Screen. During this self-guided experience, students go behind the scenes and follow the process of putting together a television show.
The Production soundstage features the real Central Perk set from Friends as well as sets from The Big Bang Theory and costumes from classics to modern-day award winners. ”You’re encouraged to explore the famed set and take pictures. At the exit of the exhibit, you can find the Central Perk Café, which is a real working café with food and beverages, featuring a specialty menu with drinks named after your favorite characters and a New York-themed bakery,” Albrecht said. Students can take a break and enjoy their treat in re-creations of the iconic Friends sets.
Once shooting ends, postproduction begins. Students can test out various techniques from CGI (computer-generated imagery) to camera effects like forced perspective. The Automatic Dialogue Replacement Simulator is another interactive studio where students can dub over scenes from shows and films.
“The Green Screen experience is the ultimate souvenir purchase — riding a broomstick like Harry Potter or maybe taking the Tumbler down the streets of Gotham,” Albrecht said. “It’s a great memory of your time here.”
Newer to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is Action and Magic Made Here. In this final showcase, students step into the worlds of the DC Universe with re-created sets and props. Next, students can swish and flick their way through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. Fans attend their very own Hogwarts house sorting ceremony, mix potions and snap an unforgettable photo inside the cupboard under the stairs.
The tour concludes with the Celebration of Awards Season exhibit. Students can pose for their own red-carpet moment!
An all-new Studio Store is full of memorabilia and exclusive merchandise. With themed departments like animation, DC and the Hollywood classics, there’s something for everyone to take home — just like there is something for each student to enjoy during their Warner Bros. Studio Tour experience.
For more information, visit: wbstudiotour.com/contact/groups
Article by Michael McLaughlin
Main image: Tours start with a look at the beginnings of the Warner Bros. Studio in Storytelling Showcase. Credit: Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood