During the Easter Holidays, our Film Studies students jetted off across the Atlantic to spend the week in Los Angeles.
Below is a write up of the trip, written collaboratively by Molly James, Molly Stevens and Merryn Hobson.
We kickstarted our trip with a coach tour of Los Angeles. Firstly, we were mesmerised by the magnificent view of LA from the Griffith Observatory, as seen in the famous ‘La La Land’ Planetarium scene, as well as a close up viewing of the Hollywood sign. We then travelled back down to the Hollywood walk of fame as our brilliant tour Guide, James Berry, told us some interesting facts about LA. On the Walk of Fame, we stopped off at the TCL Chinese theatre and then The Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars ceremony is held every year. For lunch, we visited The Original Farmers Market, as well as The Grove shopping centre. To end our coach tour of LA, we visited Los Angeles Plaza, the central point of Los Angeles historic district, as well as Los Angeles Union Station. We then said goodbye to our tour guide James and made our way back to the hotel. Everyone then enjoyed some free time in the evening with many trying out some American fast food and looking around Hollywood some more. Overall, it was brilliant start to the trip!
At 10am we bustled on to the coach for a day of exploring the world of film making! Our first stop: The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures! A huge museum packed full of interesting facts and displays of the history of film. Each level held something different, from ‘Star Wars’ memorabilia, the costumes from ‘The Godfather’, and looking into the work of different directors, composers and producers- even a model of Bruce from ‘Jaws’ was on display! The experience immersed us in film making, showing us the stories of moviemakers and cinema, and to top it all off, we had a rooftop view overlooking the city.
After a quick stop at the Farmer’s Market for lunch, we were able to experience the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Split into groups, we were given a tour around the lot where we were guided through the places where films had come to life. We stood on the backlot that was modified into becoming ‘Gotham City’ for the ‘Batman’ films, and for films such as ‘La La Land’ and ‘Annie’. We even stood in the place where the famous ‘Spiderman’ kiss was filmed between Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst (who played Spiderman and Mary Jane). Our guides took us around the set of ‘Gilmore Girls’, and we were given a photo opportunity in front of the ‘Friends’ fountain, sat on the iconic orange couch. We were also able to go into one of the huge soundstages which are used to create the sets indoors and produce effects such as stormy weather, which they are unable to do outside in sunny California. After this, was a self-guided tour, where we took photos on the remade sets of ‘Friends’ and ‘Big Bang Theory’, and saw costumes from DC films, and even the Bat Mobile! We were also sorted into our ‘Harry Potter’ houses by the sorting hat and took photos in Harry’s bedroom under the stairs!
After a long but very exciting day we headed back onto the Walk of Fame for food and some further exploring of our own. Although the exploring was mainly reduced to places such as Target!
The big day had arrived! 10-9 at Universal Studios. Some students however managed to sneak in a quick trip to the incredible Hollywood Bowl concert venue before setting off! The venue was awe-inspiring with the huge legacy behind it, from The Beatles to Frank Sinatra.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed we rocked up at Universal ready to take on the rides. From Harry Potter themed rides to Springfield and a studio tour involving a King Kong/Jurassic Park crossover. Fast forward 8 hours and some of us slightly burnt and most of us tired, we met back up in the evening to recount our fun filled day before heading for some tea at the CityWalk. It was a brilliant day.
It was our last day 🙁 The week had flown by and suddenly we were on the coach to Santa Monica for a relaxing morning by the beach. Everyone headed out along the famous Santa Monica Pier, dancing with a busker or getting ready to go on the Ferris Wheel. Some students headed down towards Venice Beach and some headed up the shops, while others took on a dip in Santa Monica Bay (Pacific Ocean)! The sun was shining, and it was a lovely end to our fantastic time away. Early afternoon the time came, and we got on the coach to LAX, bracing ourselves for the 11-hour flight home!