Sunday, 27 November 2016

A glimpse into another world

Not my photo. I couldn't take photos when I was in this room...
May 2010 on the Warner Bros Studio backlot in Burbank, California.

I was on a private tour and lucky to step into places tourists never get to see.

The Eastwood Scoring Stage, originally built in 1929 and renamed for Clint Eastwood in 1999, has seen the recording of musical scores for such films as Casablanca, The Wild Bunch and Back to the Future.

My guide had to step away to take a phone call and I was left on the stage to take in its history. I chatted briefly to a technician who was setting up for the next recording session.

“What are you setting up for?” I asked.

“Michael Giacchino is coming in tomorrow to score the final episode of Lost.”

Giacchino had won the Oscar that year for his work on the Pixar film, Up. And he was about the record the music for the highly-anticipated final episode of a television phenomenon.

“Are you a VIP?” the tech asked me.

“No,” I said. “I make short films at home. I write scripts but this is the big time.”

“That’s what we’d like you to think.”

And he went back to plugging in cables and running leads across the hardwood floor. Not too hard, though. You could see indents from the endpins of a cello or double-bass.

My guide explained that Warner Bros thought of turning the scoring stage into another soundstage. Eastwood objected; this was his favourite place to record the music for his films.

Warner Bros wanted to replace the floorboards. Eastwood objected; any changes would affect the sound produced there.

I was standing on the Eastwood Scoring Stage of Warner Bros Studios in Hollywood where one of the biggest composers in the world was about to record the soundtrack to the final episode of one of the world’s most popular television shows.

And the tech who worked there didn’t think it was the big time.

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? He just saw it as a job. I saw it as a glimpse into another world.

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