Tabz, the Producer @ Universal Studios - photo by Pastor Matt (my dad)
I was born and raised in Southern California, but only went to Universal Studios once (when I was very little). So I was excited this past week to finally visit.
Universal Studios can only be described as “an experience”. While it’s reminiscent of a trip to Disneyland or another theme park, but with the world of movies and television given a tourist treatment. I’ve been fascinating with TV/Movie production since I was a kid, so the day was extremely entertaining. The best part being the tram tour, that takes you through many of the studio back lots (including Wistera Lane from Desperate Housewives), Norman Bates’ hotel from Psycho, and more.
Of course, as I said, this is the tourist version of a studio backstage pass. But throughout the park you get a nice idea of how films and TV are made on the Universal Studios back lot. Along with how special effects work, an idea of how scale can be used (giant ducks and all) and a lot of hydraulics.
Now for where the Whedon comes in. Since Universal Studios made Serenity there’s a couple of small nods to the movie in the park. The first (and largest) being the Mule, which rests with famous cars along the tram tour:
The Mule from Serenity - Photo by Tabz
The tour goes quickly past this part so blink and you may miss it (make sure to sit on the left hand side of the tram car if you go).
Then, a small nod to the movie can be found The Universal Experience, a small interactive exhibit of props and memoriablia:
St. Christopher Medallion from Serenity - photo by Tabz
Of course, there’s little Buffy (since that’s WB, UPN and Fox owned), but I did meet a very nice bloke that owes Spike money:
Do I look like a meal? - Photo by Pastor Matt (my dad)
All in all, it was a fantastic day at Universal Studios Hollywood, after the studios I hung out at the Things from Another World shop on the Universal City Walk (outside the studios, you can visit that anytime) and drooled over all of the Whedon/comic book merchendise! You can see Things from Another World online too: http://www.tfaw.com/