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Christmas Gift Guide

Action!

Backlot

Where are you?

Streets leading nowhere

Sound stage

Elephant doors

Wish you were here

The Mill

Batmobile!

Batthingy

Tumbler

Props galore

Vignette

Mr. President

Not so Neo

Need a phone?

My lips are sealed

Back to the backlot

More New York

Courthouse

Costumes

Bane and bomb

Uh, yeah

Potter

Maps!

Stage 48

Central Perk

Mad Max

Green screen

Blimp!

West Wing

That's all folks...

You start the tour at a building at the edge of a lot, then take a tram kind of like a stretched golf cart into the lot proper.

For the full story behind the tour, check out Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Warner Bros. Studio.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The outside area where shows and movies are made is called the backlot. Here, building facades, most empty shells, double for countless locations and eras from all over the world.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Designed to look like everywhere, and nowhere, with a bit of set decoration this could be New York in the 90's, Paris in the 30's, or Spokane last week.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Here, several facades show some decoration from a recent shoot. If you're watching a show or movie and it's not obvious that an actor is in a certain city (like, they're standing in front of the Statue of Liberty), they're almost certainly not. They're probably on a backlot or soundstage somewhere.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Massive hanger-sized buildings called sound stages offer a soundproof and controllable space to shoot a movie or TV show. The WB lot in Burbank is one of the largest in the world.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Each sound stage has massive "elephant doors" so pieces of the set built elsewhere can be moved in and out.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Does this look familiar? I wish I could have gotten closer. That intersection, between that white Lexus and the golf cart, is where one of the most iconic album covers ever was shot.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Whatever you want for your movie, they can probably make it here. The Mill is one of the largest buildings on the lot.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

My tour was shortly before the release of "Batman v Superman", so there was a lot of Batman stuff. In one space, several vehicles from the various movies sat together. Based on car chassis, they all ran under their own power (some better than others).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I had completely blocked this movie from my memory. It's called the Bathammer, if for some reason you're curious.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

In the real world, the Tumbler is by far the fastest Batmobile. It does 0-60 in 5.6 seconds thanks to a 500-horsepower V-8 engine.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The Prop House has millions of props big and small. Anything you need to decorate the sets of your movies, all cataloged and well maintained.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Little vignettes give production designers ideas, and group some like items together. The prop house will rent to just about anyone making a movie.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

President Bartlet's actual desk!

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The two famous red chairs from "The Matrix."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

If your TV show is set in the 50's, it's not like you can run out to Best Buy and get a phone to put on a desk. There's this much selection for pretty much every object you can think of.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Which sets you can visit varies. I've done this tour four times over the years and each time you see something different. It depends what's shooting and what's on hiatus. Turns out we weren't supposed to take pictures in here, so I won't say what show this is.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This is called New York Street, but that elevated train line at the end was used in many episodes of "ER."

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

New York Street, the other way. For a full list of what you might see on a tour, check out Warner's Exterior Sets page.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

That courthouse-looking building, down the end, is part of Embassy Courtyard and New York Park. It has been used in countless movies.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

For a part of the tour you get to explore the Archive, a sort of museum for famous sets and props. Downstairs was extensive Batman memorabilia. Upstairs was Harry Potter.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Leave it to Christopher Nolan to build something like that for real, and have it look like it's actually working.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This was also a Batman movie that was made.

Unfortunately.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Costumes from a bunch of the movies, plus some props, a working sorting hat, and a life-sized Death Eater (for selfie purposes).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

My footsteps were not shown. Stupid muggle blood.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

New to the tour is "Stage 48," a separate building that shows the process of making a movie, from "script to screen." It's a great addition, showing you how stuff actually works behind the scenes.

Amusingly, in the screenwriting section, Robert McKee's "Story" is on the desk, a book lauded by screenwriting teachers and derided by actual screenwriters.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Yep, you get to sit in a reproduction of the Central Perk set. Depending on your timing, you can even take part in a fake "episode" where you say lines and interact (on screen) with Monica and Phoebe. Everyone who did it seemed to love it.

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Costumes from the real best picture of 2015.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Batbike or broom, take a seat and get a video of your riding or flying through a fictional world.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

At the end of the tour there's a room with a few last props and costumes. I didn't know this still existed. One of my favorites of all time. Name that movie...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Bartlet for America!

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I'd like to thank the Academy.

Fun fact! These are actually heavy. More Fun Facts! I have a credit on a major Hollywood movie...OK, "major."

For the full story on the tour, check out Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Warner Bros. Studio.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
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