AngelAnother Angel Set Visit
Friday 27 February 2004, by Webmaster
I know that Bookie and Gray Sunrise did a set visit and posted about it here. Sharvie and I had the great fortune of getting to visit the set today and we had such a fabulous time! :love:
Below is the report that I posted at my livejournal regarding the experience. I just copied and pasted because it’s been a long day and that report took me hours to write. Just ask Sharvie! She was sitting right next to me!
Mods, if this doesn’t belong here, please feel free to move it! :smile:
Anyway, here it is, and it’s really, really long. I apologize for that.
We weren’t supposed to be there until noon and despite waking up late, we made it by 12:30pm. Luckily, we had no trouble finding the studio either. I’ve passed by where Paramount Studios is located several times, but I never figured that that was the exact location where Angel was filmed. Go fig.
After going through security, we used our little map to guide us to sound stages 5, 6, 7, and 17. We wandered around outside for a little bit asking where we could find Dan until someone told us to follow him and in we went to sound stage 5. From the very beginning everything seemed surreal, but it was even more unbelievable when we finally walked in to the stage. The first part we walked through was one of the hallways of Wolfram and Hart (Sharvie says it was possibly the one where Spike bit Cordelia in "You’re Welcome") and there were several lawyer-type people lounging about.
When we got to the lighting room, we were greeted by Tom, the electrician we met at the party and told us how nice James is. He and Sharvie quickly jump into talk about lighting stuff that I didn’t understand until Dan comes in and scoops us out for a really quick tour of the sound stage. We met Sparky, the prop master and saw the canvas (technical term: translight) that is suppose to be the cityscape outside of Angel’s office window. Going back the other way, we ended up at the snack cart that faced towards Wes’ office, and guess who was there filming? Alexis Denisof himself, of course. And it just so happened that today was his birthday, so they had a cake for him (of which I have a picture). We stayed there just watching the action going on. We weren’t that close and we were watching through a window with blinds, so it wasn’t easy to see, but it was still fun!
Afterwards we met Jerry, the best boy, who took us around the rest of the place. Being a huge lighting geek, the first thing we went to see were the dimmers. Don’t know what that is, but they were big and outside the sound stages in their own little sheds. Then we went into stage 6, where a few moments before an international press junket had been held and most of the cast members had attended. Jerry told us that James had just been there, but then hopped on a cart and was taken to his trailer. We were given a call sheet by Dan, but James wasn’t listed for any of today’s shootings. He had only been there for the press junket. Though it would have been nice to see him, I think Sharvie and I would have completely lost our minds; as it was we were hanging by a thread trying to keep mellow.
Back to stage 6, the first set we saw was a dungeon that had been used for the previous episode they had filmed. It was also the same place where the junket had been held which was why there were several nicely set up tables and people from the catering service where picking everything up. It was still really cool to see how absolutely detailed the whole place was. The stone walls looked so real, but upon touching them, they were foam-like. Several torture-device props were set up throughout the dungeon giving it an even more real appearance. From the dungeon we were directed to Fred’s bedroom. All the furniture was covered up, but we got a good idea as to what it looked like. Apparently it might still be used in a future episode which was why it was still up.
After checking out Fred’s bedroom, Jerry took us to stage 7 where the first thing we saw was Fred’s lab. The lab itself looked pretty spic’n’span, again, extremely detailed with all kinds of testing tubes and jars placed all over. There were a couple of construction guys in the lab who were really nice and took a picture of Sharvie and me. Fred’s office was nearly completely destroyed. The glass from the windows was all over the carpet and her desk had been pushed to the side. Things like the Dixie Chicks poster were still up, but the office did look somewhat empty.
Going out through the back entrance to Fred’s office, we ended up in what used to be Spike’s apartment. It looked nothing like the apartment since it was stripped bare. For that matter, it looked more like an alleyway, but apparently that was the same place where Spike’s apartment had been set up. Then came Angel’s penthouse— another elaborately decorated set. And the bed is super soft and comfy too! The place was dimly lit, but with flash I managed to take some good pictures of the place. Compared to the rest of the sets I had seen up to that point, I think Angel’s penthouse was the biggest. It looked just as roomy as it does on TV.
After seeing everything that stage 7 had to offer, we made our way to stage 17 which will be used in a future episode. Today they were constructing the actual set. Once construction is over, the lighting crew will come in and do their thing. On that same stage we saw this giant green/black looking thing that will be used in an upcoming episode as well as the egg that came out in "Smile Time."
After stage 17, we were dropped off with Dan again (it was lunch time) and he took us to see the rest of stage 5. On our way in, Alexis and Drew Goddard were just walking out, and to our surprise, Drew recognized Sharvie from Saturday’s party! We spoke to him for a little bit and then asked for a picture. He was extremely nice and totally agreed. Dan suggested we take it in front of the Wolfram & Hart sign behind Harmony’s desk, which we did. The pic looks awesome, too! Upon Sharvie’s suggestion, Drew sat on Harm’s chair and we stood on either side of him. Knowing it was his lunch time, we didn’t want to bug him more, so off he went while we lurked about the lobby of W&H. We went into all the offices and took pictures of pretty much everything. Dan told us (at the party, actually) that stage 5 is the same one that was used for the Brady Bunch, and that the staircase in the lobby is the same one that was used for that show.
I loved Angel’s office! It’s probably just as big has his penthouse. There was this thing against the wall in the conference room that is absolutely stunning. It reminded me of all the Indian art I saw at the British Museum.
Gunn’s office was set up as a place where the actors could lounge about while waiting for their turn to rehearse or film. Each chair in the office had a name attached to it, for example there was one for Mercedes McNab, Drew Goddard, and there we saw the name of one actor in particular (not JM) which I won’t name here in case there’s a spoiler-free reader, but feel free to ask me later if you are curious.
Wes’ office was messy. There was some stuff from the filming but otherwise it was just as Wes’ office is on TV. I have pictures of all of this which I’ll share with everyone.
Since it was still lunch time, Dan took us to the craft services truck where we were free to order anything we wanted, no cost. Sharvie was so stunned with everything that had happened so far that she couldn’t think straight enough to order, so she ended up ordering white rice with sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce. She doesn’t even like sun-dried tomatoes OR alfredo sauce! I ordered a baked potato and rigatoni with marinara sauce... not something I would combine normally, but I really didn’t know what else to order. Other choices they had available were beef au jus (sp?), grilled salmon, grilled chicken, salads, fruit salads, and I don’t know how many other things. While Sharvie and I were getting our utensils I spotted Alexis at the benches with the other crew workers. As we were leaving that area to go eat in Dan’s truck (huge thing with lots of lighting stuff in it), we passed by Mercedes who was ordering her meal. She seemed so adorable!
During lunch we met several other members of the crew, including Dan’s girlfriend, Heidi, who is a stand-in for Fred and Spike. Actually, she attended the party this past weekend, but I couldn’t really remember her. They both told us that last year’s party was better in terms of how many cast members showed up. Then again, last year it was a Buffy and Angel posting board party, so that made a difference I suppose. Heidi also mentioned that Amy Acker had strep throat, AD was in London (for Alyson’s play), JM was with his son, and I don’t remember what she said about DB.
All the people we met were just *so* nice to us. Dan kept on introducing us as his fan club, which we really are now. While we were eating lunch, he went to the office he has in the trailer truck and brought out a t-shirt for us having something to do with lighting. Though I have no clue what it’s about, Sharvie was all excited about it; she knew I would let her keep it with no protests since, like I said, no clue. Had it been an Angel t-shirt... we would have had problems... *g*
Once lunch was over we made our way back to stage and Dan offered us a piece of AD’s b-day cake. You really think either one of us would say no?? How many fans can say they’ve had a piece of AD’s b-day cake?? (If you can, don’t tell me. I like to feel special sometimes.) Then we just hung out in the lighting room for a long while, whispering to each other while filming took place. Tom and Sharvie talked shop while I listened to all the lighting jargon. At one point, Dan called Tom on the radio and told him to put Sharvie on the board so that she could move some of the lights. She was so excited!
Here’s the best part!!! At some point they were done shooting a scene where Wesley was in his office talking to a couple of people (if asked, I’ll let you know who) and they were going to begin rehearsing the next scene, which included Amy, AD, Mercedes, and Andy Hallett. Since they were only rehearsing, we were allowed to watch from just outside the office where we could catch a word here and there. Gosh, it was so freakin’ awesome! All of them were in make-up, Lorne in all his green glory and Fred(????) in all her... coloring...
Before Amy and Mercedes went in to the office to do their part, Amy turned towards us and smiled. The girl is really tall, thin, and beautiful. Mercedes is of the much shorter variety, but I think she’s still taller than me. Both of them are incredibly beautiful. Sharvie and I spent maybe a good 20 minutes just watching them rehearse the same scene about 4 times. By the way, AD is so hot! He has such a perfect smile too!
Soon after that it was time for us to leave. Jerry came in a cart to pick us up and take us back to the gate through which we came in. Along the way he asked us if we were "Angel-ed out!" Like that’s possible! We asked him if they get people visiting the set often, and he said that it’s not often, though sometimes there are people with connections who bring in people who are fans. One example he gave was the daughter of some major guy visiting, and while he was giving her the tour, JM came up next to her and Jerry asked her if she would like to meet JM. When she saw him she was got so excited she started crying, so JM hugged her. Lucky, lucky, lucky.... Everyone we kept on talking to, by the way, when asked who was our favorite character, and we told them, they always told us that JM was "such a nice guy," "he’s a people person," etc.
We thanked Jerry profusely for all their time and extreme hospitality. He told us that at the lot they are family, when someone is invited, they’re like family. As if we hadn’t felt incredibly special and privileged to have gotten such an opportunity, Jerry managed to make us feel even more welcomed. The whole experience was just utterly amazing.