×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warners goes Downtown with new plaza façade

Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank opened its first new exterior set in almost 20 years, Downtown Plaza.

Touted as the largest permanent metropolitan exterior set on any Southern California backlot, Downtown Plaza is the first permanent exterior set that Warners has built in nearly two decades. Downtown Plaza is a grouping of contemporary high-rises surrounding a usable street and park, available for use by Warner Bros. TV and film arms as well as outside production companies.

Set includes a number of distinct facades: a smoked-glass atrium, a wide bank of chrome and glass swinging doors, an outdoor cafe area and a brass-and-marble deluxe entryway atop a broad-based staircase. Another set feature is a glass-walled lobby space, usable for interior shots with a number of exteriors. The set’s U shape allows for myriad camera angles.

“Downtown Plaza will satisfy a number of production needs with its modern facades and versatility, while providing the benefits of working in a controlled studio environment,” said Warner Bros. Studio Facilities prexy Jon Gilbert.

Variety of exteriors

Downtown Plaza joins Warner Bros.’ array of distinctive exterior sets. Some of those housed at the 110-acre studio in Burbank are Brownstone Street (a block of upscale residential walkups, seen in “ER”), French Street (a section of European storefrontsonce used as the settling of 1940s Paris in “Casablanca”), Hennessy Street (1920s New York tenements also used as the backdrop for Gotham City in three of the “Batman” films), the jungle (billed as the only such set left in Hollywood) and Laramie Street, one of the last standing Western town sets.Filming on three feature pics will have a positive impact on Kern County’s fourth-quarter receipts despite a drop in production for August.

Shoots spent 36 days on location in Kern in August, bringing in about $394,000 to local businesses compared with August 1999’s $770,500.

“With only five commercials shot in Kern in August, the Screen Actors Guild strike contributed to our low numbers,” said Barry Zoeller, Kern County film commissioner. “But the most obvious deficiency is the lack of feature films shot here last month.”

That’s about to change. Extensive lensing is skedded for “Rat Race” in the Rosamond area for three weeks in October, the Disney pic “Bubble Boy” will lense in November, and the new “Planet of the Apes” is slated to begin production before the end of the year in the Ridgecrest area.

Shane Black, Bill Broyles, David Chase and Paul Mazursky are just a few of the Hollywood notables attending and participating in panel discussions during the seventh Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference. More than 3,500 screenplays have been entered into the 2000 competition.

The conference is skedded from Oct. 12-15; the film fest runs Oct. 12-19. For info or to register, call the festival office at (800) 310-FEST or visit www.austinfilmfestival.com.

More Voices

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

  • Black Women in Medicine BTS

    Hollywood Needs to Include People With Disabilities on Both Sides of the Camera (Guest Column)

    In five years, nothing has changed. Despite open calls for greater diversity and inclusion, recent research shows that there was little change in the number of characters with disabilities in popular films in 2017. A study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that [...]

  • Seven Seconds

    Fighting the Racial Bias at the Core of Hollywood’s Cop Shows (Guest Column)

    If fiction is the lie that tells a deeper truth, the TV crime genre has been, for the most part, the lie that simply tells a lie. As a storyteller (Veena) and an advocate for racial justice (Rashad), we collaborated for the past two-and-a-half years in an attempt to reimagine the roles of cops, victims, [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Trial

    Column: Documentarian Barry Avrich Ponders Whether Harvey Weinstein Will Be Convicted

    Will Harvey Weinstein go to jail? That’s perhaps the most debated topic in Hollywood. It’s a question that makes me miss my friend Dominick Dunne, the controversial Vanity Fair columnist who would have already succeeded in interview-ing the chambermaids at Harvey’s sex-addiction clinic. Dunne once prophetically told me there would be a massive reckoning in Hollywood. He [...]

  • Janet Mock Pose

    'Pose' Writer Janet Mock on Making History With Trans Storytelling (Guest Column)

    I first met Ryan Murphy on location in Hollywood in July. The set was a nightclub, filled with background actors staged as glistening go-go dancers, shirtless revelers, and twirling drag queens. They were all basking under the glow of a spinning disco ball — a fitting setting for my first Hollywood job interview. I was [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content