If you read my previous post, you’ll know that this is a continuation of my recent trip to Hollywood with my friend Becky. Thus far in the trip our celebrity sightings had been limited to a guy from Lost, but we knew the next few days would satisfy our cravings for some real live Hollywood stuff.
Day Four: As part of our vacation package, we received a V.I.P. Tour of Universal Studios and Theme Park. This was a big deal because not only did it mean we’d get preferred seating and front-of-the-line privileges in the park, but we’d be part of a limited number of guests who saw the inner workings of the studio itself.
Here are some of the interesting things I learned that day:
- The town square set from Back to the Future is fully intact and is still used by other shows and movies.
- Entire houses are constructed inside sound stages, and many inside walls and half walls are moveable to allow for cameras and crew members.
- Most Mexican food and restaurant commercials are filmed on one set over and over again.
- The ravaged street from War of the Worlds is still intact. Maybe because they don’t know what to do with a wrecked 747.
- Set design guys can make realistic “brick” walls that are really made out of a rubbery material; they can also make a carpet that looks like a dirt road.
- Nine-year-old boys nowadays do not know how to dial a rotary phone. (I learned this during a visit to the prop room.)
- The costume department prefers to work on ancient Juki brand sewing machines.
- There’s a reason why the ladies on Desperate Housewives look so spectacular in their jeans: everything is tailored to fit perfectly. As if being a size 00 wasn’t enough!
- Even if a roller coaster takes place in the dark, I will still squeeze my eyes shut.
- I should not ride roller coasters that go backwards.
- Universal is able to recoup some of its losses from Water World by using the still-intact set as an audience attraction/show. What’s next? Ishtar, The Desert Experience?