Amy & Faith’s Excellent Chuck-venture!

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.

The Amarano Hotel aka Sarah's Hotel

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.

Vanna's got nothing on us!

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: 

 

I'm sure Yvonne will be earning one of these one of these days! I just get to fake it!

 


 

 

 


– 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…

2 houses down from Kathleen's house

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.

Look, ma, no ceiling!

– 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.

– Next…

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:

…houses the Buy More. Commence nerdgasm!

– 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.

One of the many prop rooms

Another room of props. This is part of a 4 story warehouse full of goodies!

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!

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About Faith

Eternally faith-ful at least as it relates to my beloved Los Angeles Lakers. Yes that's where the username comes from. Other than that self-professed Chuckaholic, Laker blogger and part time internet addict. Ok, full time.
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10 Responses to Amy & Faith’s Excellent Chuck-venture!

  1. atcDave says:

    Very fun you two. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Verkan_Vall says:

    Wow, that sounded like fun.

  3. Judy says:

    Thanks, great post!

  4. thinkling says:

    Amy, Faith I am so happy for you guys. Sounds like it was a really fun day … memories to keep for a lifetime. Thanks for sharing your photos 😀

  5. joe says:

    I believe it was the poet Robert Browning who said “Oh, to be in Burbank now that Chuck is here!”

    Or something like that.

    Great report, Amy & Faith. And wonderful pictures! It’s so nice to see something bigger than the thumbnail gravatars. 😉

  6. milkyway says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Besides, I plan to take my 14 year-old daughter for a WB tour on Oct 31st. How can we be sure that we’re going to visit the Chuck set? Do we have to mention it when we reserve the tickets? Would you recommend the Deluxe tour? I don’t want to be disappointed because we travel from far (Eastern Canada). Thank you for your advice.

    • Faith says:

      Unfortunately there can be no guarantee that you will see the Chuck set. Even when we talked to the very awesome Amanda (our tour guide) she could only say that she’ll try. The number one thing that can and do hinder being able to see the set to begin with is if they’re filming. Then no one’s allowed. Of course they do have down times so you may get lucky and catch a glimpse of the actors but being on the set itself becomes a no-no during filming.

      Now she did tell us about this “Chuck” tour set up by a Chuck fan that’s exclusively Chuck related. I don’t know if that means they get to set foot in the apartments, or Castle or even just do what we do which is set foot at Buy More but pretty much all they do is Chuck things. By that I mean, they don’t even bother visiting the Friends set, or seeing all the other sights and scenes of WB’s storied history. I’m going to try to find out about that fan (unfortunately I don’t know her, if one of you guys do, let me know, her name is Kate and I think she’s from the UK) and see if she’s going to set up another group tour. It’s not a regular thing, it’s just something that’s happened the past couple of years with no specific date. With Chuck being done in studio by Thanksgiving who knows if it’ll happen again. Anyway I’m told it’s 20+ Chuck fans that Kate organized to go on tour together, hence “Chuck tour.” In terms of WB, they have no such specific tour that they’ve set up that you can pay a certain amount for because we’re such chuckaholics (if there was, I’d have taken that 😀 ). I’m pretty sure that Kate called up WB studios and said, “I’d like to take a tour with 20+ people” and here’s our money, can we please see Chuck things” or something to that effect lol.

      The best I can tell you is if you do take the tour, tell your tour guide that you’re a Chuck fan. Wear something Chuck related so they notice it right off. I can get in touch with the tour guide that took us around and find out when she’s working and she can be your tour guide too. She went so far as to say that when she sees Chuck fans she sometimes takes them from other tour guides and she takes them around. She did our deluxe tour and it was totally worth it so if you can rationalize the cost, definitely take the deluxe tour. Apart from having plenty of time (it’s 8 hours) to do the tour and see more things, you also get meal included at the same restaurant where Chuck tried to propose to Sarah in the very beginning of Balcony.

      Apart from that follow a couple of the twitter accounts that scouts on location filming of Chuck. You may get lucky and get to see Chuck film like I did for Cliffhanger.

      Hope this helps, and have a great time!

  7. milkyway says:

    Thank you very much Faith. If you can get in touch with the guide, that would be great. I can go Nov 3rd or 4th also. Thank you again.

  8. Pingback: Beware the Bear- It’s Shadenfreude Season | Chuck This

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