Our last day was designed as a free day. Neither one of us really had an interest in LA. But we didn’t have anything we were dying to do in Santa Barbara, and were a little nervous about getting to LAX in time for our flight, so we ended up leaving SB early.
We researched lunch places on the way. We were originally going to eat in Malibu, then decided maybe we’d check out The Ivy. If you don’t read celebrity gossip magazines, I will first commend you and then tell you that The Ivy is where I was hoping to see Beyonce or Ben Affleck or someone famous, because that’s where the famous people always go. But when I thought about that more, it actually sounded kind of annoying, and then I looked at their menu and saw that a SALAD was $25, so then we looked elsewhere.
We settled on the opposite end of the spectrum Pinks. Ever heard of it? It’s a Hollywood eatery known for their chili dogs. Their little food trailer is lined with autographed pictures from every famous person ever. Our meal was $14 for the both of us. The chili dog was definitely good, but I’m not sure it’s the best chili dog I’ve ever had.
Then we headed to Sony Pictures Studios for a tour. LA has a lot of bums and on the way there we almost got beat up by one because we wouldn’t pull up where he wanted us to, but he settled for making inappropriate gestures and cussing us out instead.
The studio was HUGE, several city blocks. If you know me well at all, you know that I am the opposite of a movie buff. First of all, I don’t have the attention span for movies. For me to devote 2+ hours of attention to something at one time? A movie is not at the top of the list. Second of all, I usually fall asleep when I do watch a movie. Third of all, I have never seen classics like Top Gun, Footloose, Braveheart, or (insert any classic movie). The husband often quotes movies and I just think he’s clever. I’m just not into them.
But this studio was freaking cool! It gave me a new appreciation for movies. Sony has a rich history- it includes Columbia and MGM pictures. Some of their productions include Wizard of Oz, Spiderman, Jerry McGuire, Men of Black, and many more. They produce Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of everything on the tour, but we were able to capture a few.
We saw several Academy Awards. We learned that the Oscars are closely tracked- the winners have to sign them out and promise that if they ever want to sell them, they will first offer to sell them back to the Academy for $1.
We learned about sound production and went into some of the rooms where voice overs are done. When I think of voice overs I think of things like animation, but we learned that they’re used much more frequently. Voice overs are often necessary because correctly positioning the microphone would ruin the scene- they are especially common in action movies. So the actors shoot the movies and worry about the audio later. Many months after shooting wraps, they come back in to do the voice over. Sometimes it’s hard to schedule big name actors to come back in. There is a whole industry of people who sound like famous actors! They come during post production to do the voice over. Whoever is doing the voice over- the actor or the sound alike- watches the movie and just speaks their lines to match the picture.
We also saw a room where they do the background noise. Things like dishes clanking, footsteps, doors slamming, etc. The room looks like a junkyard with all sorts of random stuff all over the place. The process is similar, these noise technicians watch a film and make the appropriate noise at just the right time. Our tour guide says that kissing sounds are usually a noise technician making out with his hand!
We learned that the movie studios try to use their sets whenever possible. Their grounds have been Central Park, cemeteries, downtown areas, etc. Here’s an example of a set that has been used in many different ways- they can change the facade, change the signage, etc. There is nothing behind these doors and windows.
We saw the studio they film Jeopardy in and we actually got to go on Wheel of Fortune, where we won big!
We also saw some of the cars they use in Breaking Bad.
So the studio tour was a huge success.
After that we had an awkward amount of time. Technically we had enough time to do something else before we needed to get to LAX, but we were worried about running into traffic or long security lines and didn’t want to push our luck. So we got to the airport three hours before our flight.
We had a fun trip! If it’s one you’re considering taking and you want to talk about it, shoot me an email!
Up next- LOTS of snuggle time with our baby! Can’t wait!