Bronson Canyon – The Batcave and More

Over the years on the blog, I have made my love of two particular TV shows, Batman and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., very apparent, whether through cosplay, cons, museum visits, or filming locations. One thing these two shows have in common is the use of the Bronson Canyon and Caves as a filming location, and we recently made the pilgrimage to this famous filming spot.

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Batman ’66 Exhibit

Over the weekend some of my friends and I went to the Hollywood Museum to see the recently opened Batman ’66 exhibit. We also took time to explore the rest of the museum, which is housed in the famous former Max Factor building, a stunning Art Deco masterpiece. So, needless to say, this is a pretty picture heavy post, as it features my outfit, pictures of the Batman exhibit, as well as parts of the rest of the museum.

Being the huge 60s Batman fan that I am, I had to do some sort of themed outfit! Which included late night crafting to make an utterly ridiculous headpiece to wear. I was inspired by my favorite scene in Batman: The Movie where Batman is attempting to get rid of a bomb. The whole scene is comedic genius, and Adam West’s deadpan delivery of “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!” gets me every time. Not familiar with the scene? Watch it here!

The Batman ’66 exhibit is made up of toys from the era, a combination of screen-used items, and scree-accurate recreations, as many of the original costumes and props did not survive, and more.

Continue reading to see more of the museum, including a pair of the Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Marilyn Monroe’s famous USO dress!

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Fine Finney Fiend

First off, Happy Halloween! I hope you all had a lovely pre-Halloween weekend! And that today brings you lots of fun tricks and treats!

Over the weekend Patrick and I attended Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con. When I found out that in attendece were going to be Adam West and Burt Ward, the caped crusaders from the 1960s, and my personal favorite version of Batman, along with Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether, who both played Catwoman; Newmar in the series, and Meriwether in the film, I decided to go with a Batman costume for the event. But with so much else going on in the month of October, I opted for an easier cosplay that involved less sewing on my part. Inspired by a vintage showgirl style tux ensemble I scored years ago, I created a female interpretation of The Penguin, who was portrayed impeccably by the talented Burgess Meredith in the 60s series and film.

Going into this, I already had an abundance of respect for Burgess Meredith (his various roles on The Twilight Zone were especially outstanding), but after shooting this costume, I have even more respect for him! Not only was it a massive struggle to keep the monocle in, but my jaw hurt tremendously from clenching that darn cigarette holder! And Meredith’s Penguin is never without his monocle, and rarely removes his cigarette holder when delivering his lines.

One thing that I always loved about Penguin’s costume from the Batman series were the fuzzy details. Penguins waistcoat is actually fuzzy, as are the tops of his gloves (with the exception of his thumb), and his spats. And as I knew I wouldn’t be able to find such details, I embeleished both the gloves and spats, while making the waistcoat myself.

I had the pleasure of meeting and getting an autograph from Julie Newmar, my favorite Catwoman, and as I already had autographs from the other Batman cast in attendance, we enjoyed the rest of the con, and later in the day attending the Batman ’66 Reunion panel, which was moderated by Kevin Smith, and the cast discussed their time on the show (which you can view here), and Adam West said what I have believed about the Batman series all along – the who wasn’t just camp, as so many wrote it off as, but was indeed a “full out satirical comedy.” The series was actually incredibly smart, witty, as well as completely hilarious.

Batman, specifically West’s version, was my first ever love. For some reason before age two I was completely obsessed. My parents recall me running around the home singining “Na na na na na na na na Bat!” Not “Batman,” just “Bat” because I didn’t know how to say “man” yet. I also apparently would wake them up at five in the morning demanding to watch it, and when I had to stay with my aunt and uncle in Denver while my parents were away for an event, they realized they forgot our VHS copy of the movie, and frantically had to scour Denver to find a copy before leaving. And for my second ever Halloween I went as Batgirl, and my dad even dressed as Batman, silver tights and all, and that right there continues to mean the world to me.

In other news, it is finally Halloween! I can’t believe October has now come and gone! What a crazy month it has been! We were constantly busy, and I still didn’t do everything I originally set out to do! As for our Halloween plans, we’re off to Knott’s Scary Farm with some friends later this evening. Then looking ahead, Dapper Day is next weekend and I still have no idea what I am going to wear! That right there is a real scare!

Costume Details
Jacket: Vintage find ages ago…I don’t remember where now…
Shirt: Who knows…
Hat, Waistcoat, & Bowtie: Made by me
Skirt: Switchblade Stiletto
Wig, Cigarette Holder, Fake Cigarettes, & Monocle: Amazon
Fishnets: Nordstorm
Spats: Amazon, then covered in fuzzy fabric by me
Gloves: Spirit, then covered in fuzzy fabric by me
Shoes: Miz Mooz
Umbrella: Stolen from Pat

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

Warner Brothers Studio is the powerhouse behind some of the greatest classic films of all time. Casablanca being at the top. But they also produced James Dean’s three major motion pictures, East of Eden, Rebel without a Cause, and Giant, along with some wonderful television series. And today the Warner Brothers continues to make great and award winning movies and  TV shows. What some people may not know is that you can actually visit Warner Brothers Studios and take a tour of its backlot and sound stages! I was thrilled when I found this out, and Patrick surprised me with tickets over the weekend.

First, I’m always happy when I can visit filming locations, but Warner Brothers’ backlot holds a special place in my heart with its ties to the James Dean’s films, the 1960s Batman series, and my favorite show, the little known series The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (Some readers may remember that my devotion extended into me making not one but two cosplays of the character of Dixie Cousins.) However, I knew ahead of time that where the majority of Brisco filmed no longer existed. Like many studios, Warner Brothers had a western area on their backlot. Built in 1957, at the height of westerns, Laramie Street, as it was called, had scenes from not just Brisco film there, but the James Garner classic show Maverick (perhaps my favorite role of his), and Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles shot there as well. But as westerns grew less popular, and family sitcoms and one hour contemporary dramas began to take over the airwaves, Warner Brothers saw little use for Laramie Street, and bulldozed it in 2004 to make way for Warner Village, “a New England-style residential street” where the homes are not just facades, but working production offices as well.

However, Laramie Street is not the only location on Warner’s backlot that Brisco used. They shot extensively on their “New York” sets as well, which acted mostly as San Francisco. Including the Westerfield Club, the Horseshoe Club and the hotel where Brisco and Socrates dangle from a window. (All of the screencaps and their counterparts below are shown respectively.)

And like all shows, Brisco also shot on sound stages. Warner Brothers Studios’ stages all feature plaques that have a list of all of the movies and shows that have filmed on that stage. We were lucky enough to pass by one of the ones Brisco used, stage 19.

We also passed by the building used as police headquarters in Batman, as well as building that acted as the police station that an intoxicated Jim Stark was dragged to in Rebel Without a Cause. Which is currently being used as a high school for Pretty Little Liars.

The tour also featured a museum that rotates exhibits. During our visit the first floor was dedicated to Batman, since the new Batman vs. Superman movie is coming out soon, as well as it being the 75th anniversary of the caped crusader. However, the floor was given to Batman films beginning with Burton’s 1989 version through Batman vs. Superman. The upper floor on the other hand was dedicated to Harry Potter. At the conclusion of our tour we visited Stage 48, part museum, part store, part coffee house, that allows guests to gaze upon items from the archives, such as costumes, artwork and props, as well as experience green screen technology, forced perspective use, and sound mixing. I was most excited over the original Scooby-Doo pitch board and the puppets used in The Corpse Bride.

The Warner Brothers Studio Tour is similar in some ways to the tour at Universal Studios Guests. However when visiting Universal Studios you are mostly visiting an amusement park. The Studio Tour is a part of their heritage, and offers a peek into how movie magic is made, but they do not shy away from gimmicks. Warner Brothers’ tour is different in that it stays away from gimmicks, the tour group is smaller, and guests get to step off of their tour buses and walk along portions of the backlot, as well as onto sound stages (we walked onto the stages for The Big Bang Theory and Ellen), so overall, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour feels much more like a real working backlot, rather than a ride, as with Universal, although Universal is still very much a working set. I was so pleased to be able to visit such locations that mean a great deal to me, and I would honestly go back and do the tour again sometime in the future or when interested friends or family visit.

Other notable movies and shows that have used Warner Brothers’ backlot extensively are A Star is Born, Blade Runner, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Bonnie and Clyde, The Dukes of Hazard, ER, Friends, Gilmore Girls, and Pushing Daisies.  For those wishing to visit the Warner Brothers Studio you can book through their website.

Geek Out!

Alright, it’s my last Wizard World post, and then it’s back to the vintage, I promise. So if you’re not into Batman, Bruce Campbell or Star Wars, or never much cared for costumes, you’ll find this post pretty boring. But let’s face some facts here, I’m a girl with a lot of different passions.

The weekend was quite interesting to say the least. There was a lot to see and do. If I had infinite money and time and magic heels that didn’t hurt after being on my feet for hours on end, I think I would have tried to make it to nearly every celebrity table there was.  Portland’s Convention Center was packed with celebrities from Elvira to William Shatner to four members from Walking Dead and even the legendary Stan Lee was there.  Other booths were packed with all sorts of goodies from action figures to swords and of course comics, because what is a comic con without comics?

My attending cons is solely based upon celebrities. And this year, as mentioned, three of my favorite all-time actors were in attendance, and since the con was three days, I was able to dedicate a single day to each celebrity in terms of attire.  Friday was dedicated to the first love of my life, Adam West, and I wore a vintage Batman tee.

Read on for more fantastic geekery, celebrities and stellar costumes!

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