Paramount Pictures is the studio responsible for hit films such as “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” “Titanic,” and the “Transformers” franchise, as well as TV shows like “Glee.”
While most studios shoot their projects off-site, the majority of Paramount’s projects are filmed right on the historic studio lot that still functions today in the heart of Hollywood.
The studio offers tours for film and TV buffs, and we took the most intensive one available — “an in-depth, insider’s experience, which includes access to Hollywood history and magic unavailable to the general public.”
Four and a half hours later, here is everything we saw. As promised, it was magical.
Behold the iconic gates guarding Paramount Pictures -- the oldest surviving studio still located in Hollywood.
This is what's known as 'The Bronson Gate,' which at one time was the main entrance to the studio. Many visitors ask if the gate was named for actor Charles Bronson, but it's actually the other way around: Bronson named himself after the gate!
Near the entrance is a screening theatre where Michael Bay watched 'Transformers' 31 times to tweak it before release.
The studio also displays the actual bench on which Tom Hanks muses 'life is like a box of chocolates' in 'Forest Gump.' Years later, Tom Hanks came back to sit on this bench and pass out chocolates to Paramount employees.
Here's the courtyard where they often film 'Community' and 'Glee.' Inside the buildings are actual offices.
There is a large warehouse where sets are constructed on-site for shows like 'Glee' and 'Rizzoli and Isles.' Dozens of sets are being worked on at a time.
Stage 18 is where most of Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' was filmed. The large studio doors are called 'Elephant Doors.'
This special printer can print on any material, including a 2-inch wood door. The ink dries immediately.
Fake brand names are often used in films to save costs. The products are printed here but must look 20-30% different from the original branding.
The iconic water tower is 150 feet tall but no longer contains water. Sometimes actors are dared to climb it. It once took Michael Keaton 20 minutes to get up but an hour to get down.
This parking lot can be filled with water to film ocean scenes. It takes 950,000 gallons of water to fill it.
Sets on site are often made to look like other cities, such as New York. Sprinklers on top of buildings create rain.
These buildings are supposed to resemble New York's SoHo neighbourhood. 'Ghost' and 'Vanilla Sky' have been filmed on these streets.
Each production is responsible for everything from choosing door knobs to which trees they want to use.
This police station is currently used in 'Rizzoli and Isles,' but in the past was featured on 'The Addams Family.'
This building was the exterior of Angelina Jolie's office entrance in 'Mr. And Mrs. Smith.' It was also used to create the Financial District in 'Transformers.'
Stage 25 is known as the 'lucky stage' because long-running shows 'I Love Lucy,' 'Cheers,' and 'Frasier' all shot on it.
The archive room stores props and costumes from past Paramount films -- like Tom Cruise's leather jacket he wore in 2005's 'War of the Worlds.'
But at night, the studio often turns into a party scene -- hosting events for their many TV and film projects, such as 'The Newsroom.'
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