Posts Tagged ‘studio’
Some of Our Private Tour Guests Enjoy a Studio Tour, Too
Access to the major movie studios is tightly controlled as you would expect. Sony/MGM, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. all have well organized guided tours of their facilities and we recommend them all. Each is somewhat different from the others when considering the size of the tour group and the time spent walking and riding but they are also all quite similar in terms of visiting backlots and studio interiors as well as other departments involved in television and movie production (props, sound, editing, costume, etc.). When we are asked about which studio to visit to see the art and craft of filmmaking we ask questions of our guests and make recommendations depending on their interests, schedule and budget. Many of our guests like to combine a studio tour with their private sightseeing tour of Los Angeles with us. We gladly accommodate their arrangements and can begin a custom luxury tour of the city at the studio or leave our guests at the studio after seeing the city. We also often incorporate the studio tour into the middle of our time with guests if that works best. Warner Bros. (above) has a 2-hour guided tour (that generally lasts 3-hours) that starts at times throughout the day and fits nicely into a 3-4 hour sightseeing adventure in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. They also offer a Deluxe Tour that lasts much longer and includes lunch in the commissary (it is always a treat to eat with the people making the movies). Whatever our guests wish to do we will make sure happens for them in the best way. Call or write us today for more information about a combination studio and private city tour.
Paramount Pictures Is the History of Hollywood for Our Private Tour
If we pass by any movie studio on a Los Angeles private tour it will be Paramount Pictures. One of the big six, this studio began here in Hollywood in 1912 and continues to produce movies and television shows every day. Originally known as Famous Players and helmed by Adolph Zukor, the production entity soon merged with Jesse Lasky‘s production company and the distribution company both producers used, Paramount Pictures. Through these gates the greatest stars and filmmakers of the earliest days of Hollywood came and went. The business flourished as the U.S. and the world developed a growing hunger for feature films. New studios opened in and around Hollywood and in 1923 the giant sign, Hollywoodland, appeared at the top of the mountain overlooking the Los Angeles basin. Hollywood was now the capitol of filmdom. Our luxury tour guests love to talk about their favorite Paramount films and television shows like The Godfather and Star Trek and our guides will bring up other movies and programs to talk about as we drive around the studio. The studio has a lovely walking tour of the lot where our guests can visit some of the departments in action and see what a working movie studio looks like. Right behind this landmark “dream factory” is Hollywood Forever cemetery which we can drive slowly through and remember many of the celebrated actors, directors and artists whose creative efforts are cherished today. Many of these famous people were themselves Famous Players at one time.
Let’s Get This Private Tour to Where the Kids’ Film Studios Are
We meet lots of families and enjoy carloads of children over the summer when mostly everyone is out of school. We also see them during winter and spring breaks. Parents of those families joining us for a Los Angeles private tour regularly question us before the tour about making the sightseeing interesting for kids. We assure them that our G-rated tour covers all the bases. We get the parents over to Paramount Studios and the Culver Studios and talk about kid-friendly productions associated with the old studios at the same time we talk about the history and the movie and tv stars familiar to the adults. But then we venture over to studios like Nickelodeon on Sunset, a former night club and then legitimate theater with a wonderful Los Angeles history that today is the home of a number of “Nick” presentations like Henry Danger. There are other Nickelodeon locations around that we can visit for the young folks aboard as well as the Jim Henson Studios (originally Charlie Chaplin’s studio) just around the corner in Hollywood from Nickeldeon on Sunset. Also, we make it a point to explain to everyone what a nickelodeon is. That’s right, it’s a thing, a place from the very earliest days of the movie industry.
Hogwarts Charms Our Private Tour Guests
Why would anyone be surprised that in a land of magic there rises up a magic castle? Hollywood’s Universal Studios theme park now hosts The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the centerpiece is Hogwarts Castle. In the part of the San Fernando Valley where the soundstages not only of Universal Studio but also Warner Bros. and Walt Disney create movie and television magic the adventures of Harry Potter are now there to enthrall visitors to the park and provide a magical addition to the many other movie/tv themed attractions. The Mummy, the Simpsons, Jurassic Park, the Minions, Fast and Furious, Transformers, Waterworld and Shrek are all rides and attractions that can keep visitors busy all day long. Here is what we suggest to our private tour guests in Los Angeles. Sign up for the Universal Studios VIP Tour. This is a smaller group tour that gets its passengers not only through a visit to the inner workings of the studio but also guarantees that every attraction is seen in the most expedient way. The entertaining Universal Studios tour guide manages the schedule and with Front-of-Line seating there is very little if any waiting and always great seats. Plus, for live performances you get to stay after the show and have an opportunity to speak with the actors. Enjoy the magic of Hollywood soon and visit us here in Los Angeles.
A Private Tour of Movie Studios Brings Us to Disney
There are five major movie studios in the world that anyone can likely name: Universal, Paramount, MGM, Warner Brothers and … Disney. Ask a young person to name the major movie studios and you probably only get one name back. Yes, Disney. We grew up with Disney in our parents’ days and the same for most grandparents around today. Of course, young folks have even more Disney films, television, music and products than ever before. When we have a family on board enjoying a private custom tour around Los Angeles we get lots of Disney-related questions from the youngsters. Often that means we will journey to Burbank and drive around the The Walt Disney Co. studios. We can point out the features of the lot that speak to our young guests and impress their parents with stories, facts and statistics that make this studio facility stand out. This particular studio has been the home to Disney films since 1939, constructed with the profits from Walt Disney’s hugely successful first full length animated motion picture, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Last year revenue for the studio exceeded $50 BILLION. That’s incredible when you think of Walt’s modest start in a Los Feliz garage (ask and we will take you to see that). Disney really is everywhere in our lives and especially around Hollywood. Of course, Disneyland is less than an hour away. Yes, we like to think of ourselves as an “E-ticket” ride through Disney’s world.
Our Private Tour Guests Really Feel Like They Are in Hollywood
Of the major Hollywood studios only Paramount Pictures remains in Hollywood. Others that began here or nearby have since moved and expanded, studios like Disney and Universal. The Chaplin Studios remain but are now the Henson Company. Sunset/Gower Studios and Raleigh Studios are a part of Hollywood and movie history but do not possess the historical gravitas of Paramount Pictures. The main entrance to this grand filmmaking facility is the Melrose Gate though our private Los Angeles tour guides like to show their guests the less glamorous ways to get into and out of the studio. When the tour stops here, as a custom tour might if our guests wish, we can point out the Marathon Gate, also a famous Hollywood landmark as seen in countless photographs of Hollywood but also, as always, used in movies and later television whenever the director thought the look appropriate for filming. Our Star Trek fans love getting to this point of the tour to see where Star Trek was born (Desilu Studios) and continues to be made (coming this summer, Star Trek: Beyond). Our guests learn about RKO studios and Famous Players and the creative people who started Hollywood and led ultimately to this grand studio facility. We talk about the former restaurant, Nickodell, once a part of the studio and Lucy’s El Adobe still going strong right across the street after more than 50 years. Finally, there is Hollywood Forever cemetery just behind the studio’s back wall where some of the most famous names in the movie world are buried. We can drive or walk through this old graveyard and talk about the resident population as well as a popular summer feature of the memorial park, movies shown against the wall of the mausoleum beside the Fairbanks monument. Not creepy at all watching a movie into the night surrounded by gravemarkers.
Our Private Tour in Los Angeles Keeps Kids Smiling
One of the many destinations we keep in mind with young folks aboard a private tour of Los Angeles is the Henson Studios in Hollywood. In the beginning this was Charlie Chaplin’s studio built in 1917. Two buildings and Chaplin’s former swimming pool have been converted into recording studios. The facility still maintains a small, homey atmosphere. What captures the eyes of our kinderfolk is the green statue of Kermit the Frog standing above the studio entrance dressed as Chaplin’s tramp character and doffing his bowler hat. The studio possesses a considerable amount of Hollywood history from Chaplin, Red Skelton and Perry Mason to Herb Alpert and then The Muppets (Jim Henson Company). Our guides will fill everyone in when they stop here for photographs on their luxury tour. Nickelodeon has studios nearby for another nod to the culture of kids and places to go on a tour over Spring Break and Summer Vacation. Besides the studios there are playgrounds and museums, celebrity dog parks and other places, some little known, that are special for young people when sightseeing in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
Our Private Tour Guests Plan to Attend
a Show Taping at CBS
Hollywood is a fairly regular destination for all of our private Los Angeles tour families and groups, as anyone would expect, but there is a lot to see and do when in Hollywood. Many of our guests request that we show them historic movie studios, recording studios, film production stages and offices, talent agencies, publication offices, television studios – places of importance for the production of films, television shows, radio shows and music recording. These guests often arrive in Los Angeles with tickets in hand to see a television show taping. We have much to choose from: talk shows, game shows and sitcoms all desire audiences. Each taping is different in its excitement and ambiance. One of our regular destinations as we show off our Hollywood studios is CBS Television City where wonderful and familiar shows are filmed during their seasons. Bold and the Beautiful and Young and the Restless have their homes here. James Corden recently took the well worn late night talk show seat of Craig Ferguson. Bill Maher works here. Drew Carey hosts The Price Is Right. Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance and Rising Star are taped at this large complex conveniently located right next to the Original Farmers Market and The Grove. You often see game show contestants in their odd costumes having coffee with other studio and Hollywood people at the market.
By Air or By Tram the Universal Backlot
Thrills our Private Tour Guests
Our guests wanted to see the Hollywood studios, all the studios, and wanted to see them from both our helicopter and by car on a private tour of Los Angeles. Our pilot was happy to comply. The studios are used to seeing helicopters hovering overhead believing them to be film crews. We were filming but using instead our digital SLR camera to capture extraordinary images for our guests’ tour photo album. The Universal Studios backlot is enormous and occupies the side of a mountain. Several levels are home to tiny neighborhoods (Whoville) and suburbs (Mockingbird Lane) and set pieces from movies (the jet crash from War of the Worlds and the Bates Motel and Psycho house). The Universal VIP Experience which we recommend to all of our guests takes a small group of people through all these parts of the studio backlot including the somewhat European neighborhood in the center of the photograph here. Warner Bros., Paramount and Sony (MGM) also have active backlots that are fun to fly over or visit later on a studio tour.
Our Private Tour Guests Wonder if All
Studios Look Like This
When we arrive in Hollywood at the area on Hollywood Boulevard where we park to visit Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Walk of Fame and maybe get a snack somewhere in the Hollywood and Highland Center, we can also take note of the large audience awaiting entry into the historic Masonic building to enjoy a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. The grand building was constructed back in 1921, years before Grauman’s Chinese and the Egyptian Theater arose on the famed boulevard. The Masons made use of their building until 1982 after which it changed ownership and purpose a number of times until the Walt Disney Company purchased the property in 1998. Disney also owns the El Capitan Theater next door. The fact that the theater only shows Disney movies and the temple is now the home of an ABC late night talk show not so subtly reminds us that The Mouse prevails on Hollywood Boulevard. The arrival of Jimmy Kimmel Live just adds that perfect “it’s a happening place” touch to this part of Hollywood Boulevard as does the Dolby Theater across the street where the Oscars take the stage every winter. We eagerly suggest to our star struck private Los Angeles tour guests that they make arrangements to join the audience to see Jimmy Kimmel’s rocking show just because it films in an historic building in the center of this burgeoning entertainment neighborhood.