Nerdgasm/squee alert! Amy and Faith took Burbank by storm, taking the deluxe tour of the Warner Brother’s studio lot, where they film our favorite, Chuck! The following tale is not for the faint of heart, as our exuberance for all things Chuck came out in abundance. More, after the break!
It all started when I (yeah, this is Amy) arrived in Burbank. My mom made our reservations for this leg of our trip, and low and behold, she booked us at the Amarano Hotel, which served as the front of our own Sarah Walker’s hotel, as featured in DeLorean and other eps. Sadly the room Sarah stayed in was a set, but the front was real. See for yourself as Faith and I pose out front. And kudos to Nick, the concierge/bellman, who is a HUGE Chuck fan.
We proceeded to the tour and were lucky to have Amanda as our tour guide. She, too, is a Chuck fan. I actually found myself apologizing to all of the rest of our group as Amanda was kind enough to tell us any Chuck related trivia and details as we took the trip. I think we managed to convince a few of our companions (who gave us the sad, but predictable “never heard of it” tales) to check it out!
We saw Mrs. Winterbottom’s house, which, by the way, has conveniently been put back together.
We walked through the house where Chuck took the infamous Tic Tac…
…and where the giant blond she-male emerged from the Thai lagoon to rescue Chuck. Turns out they drain the water out when not needed and it is also able to be heated!
We also got to view one of the Nerd Herders and fashionably posed for all of you to admire.
The piece de resistance was when we got to walk inside the Buy More. The big BM itself! My mom reports that I was grinning ear to ear. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take pictures there, but man was it neat! Our final bit of Chuck-ness was experienced in the museum, where they have one of Chuck’s Nerd Herd uniforms on a mannequin. We finished up the day meeting another Chuck fan (@CLB007) that Faith has been chatting up on Twitter. It was a long day, but so worth it!
Faith: As Amy said, it was a fun and awesome day being immersed in all things Chuck. The most prevalent thought that came through, apart from #nerdgasm was that the magic of filming really is magical. These sets aren’t nearly as big as you’d think but they get the job done–with the possible exception of the Buy More which is amazingly realistic and huge. Through the trick of the camera, some foley artist work and amazing set design and acting we get an entire new world for 43 minutes, on a weekly basis and then afterwards to take for granted. If you don’t believe me, come see for yourself as Amy and I take you through the tour in twitter fashion (for at least the ones that we haven’t already mentioned):
– Amy and I had the deluxe tour, which means…besides being a 5 hour tour, we get to hold an Oscar:
– Apart from the aforementioned Mrs. Winterbottom “mansion,” and its across the street neighbor, Kathleen’s house, there was also the house where Jill was rooming in College and where Chuck tried to get her back. This was in the flashback scene of Ex, where the College frat boys were playing beer pong on the lawn…
Now these houses are actually livable, but they’re not as big as you’d think. For starters, there are no ceilings in some of them and no furniture or fixtures.
– From Living Dead, this is…
Stephen’s cabin is in the same lot as the “Thailand” of Phase Three. Unfortunately the pit where Sarah was fighting that guy has since been removed but that doesn’t stop us from feeling tingles just for being where the GBSM wrecked havoc. Apart from the lagoon…
…there’s also the cabin where Chuck was being held. Now Chuck’s cabin is different from Stephen’s cabin, though they’re housed in the same lot, albeit on the other side of the woods.
– If you recall Chuck was able to escape the cabin and…
– The Sprinklers were actually sprinkling when we were traversing through “Thailand,” which added to the fun. I made a comment about the water in the lagoon being sort of gross, but…
– Moving along, we came across:
Bet you didn’t know writers and producers actually had a place to dwell. Well I’m sure you did but it’s till cool to see it. Right up front, there were 3 parking spots with names on them, the only one Amy and I could recognize was Robert Duncan McNeil. Pretty cool.
It’s actually near a coffee place, so I imagine it’s the seating area for said coffee place. Either way, really great job making us believe it was an outdoor bistro or something. The guy that works at the coffee place waved to us, I thought that was really cool lol.
– Now Chuck shoots at 3 different studios within Warner Brothers. I believe it’s Studio 4, 10 and 17. One or the other (4, 10) houses the apartments, including the world-famous fountain exterior set, and Castle, while 17:
– I totally freaked out, as you can tell. Some fun facts about the Buy More:
1. It’s an actual warehouse with actual merchandise.
2. They have overhead cameras that are apparently in constant surveillance because they really don’t want people to steal things. We weren’t allowed past the 5 ft. mark (estimate) of the entrance, again because of the threat of theft but I was 5 feet from the nerd herd desk and I was in heaven.
3. The employee of the month wall was to the right of the entrance, where Morgan was doing customer service one time. Right now the photo featured up top is Chuck’s. On the bottom, photos of the Buy More employees are featured–though I assume that doesn’t mean anything, Jeff and Lester couldn’t possibly have been employee of the months, in ever.
4. The parking lot is a photo. Quite literally. They have it overhead of the entrance and when they need to show it, and it doesn’t have to be that clear they just pull it down and voila, parking lot. I think this was the case in Crown Vic. When they do have to shoot with actors standing on the parking lot, then they use an actual parking lot.
5. There was no Chase ATM near the door when we went in. It’s probably housed somewhere else for the time being.
– We visited all the studio stuff like the props warehouse, the room where they make sounds (foley artists room), and even ate at the restaurant where Chuck almost proposed in the very beginning of Balcony. Stood outside of that same restaurant where Morgan was standing with the horses.
All in all it was an awesome day and it was great to finally meet Faith in person! I hope you enjoyed our squee by squee descriptive journey through our Warner Brothers adventure!