Lights Camera Action!

Hollywood is more than a neighborhood.  The magic you know as “Hollywood ” actually takes place all over the Los Angeles area from Burbank, to Pasadena to downtown LA and beyond.

If you’re in the LA area and want to watch the magic in the making, here’s what to look for:

Hollywood magic takes many magicians from actors to makeup to lighting to catering.  Signs like these will be posted at freeway off ramps and major intersections.  Rarely do they say exactly what is being filmed but you can follow the signs just as the members of the cast and crew do to see Hollywood at work.   This particular photo shows the signs of 2 productions!

You will know when you find them by the number of large, white trucks and thick cables everywhere.  Every shoot has security, but we stood across the street one day in Pasadena and watched a popular television series shoot some scenes with the show’s leading stars.

Except in the height of summer when most of the television shows go on hiatus, there are TV shoots happening all around the area.  Even in summer,  commercials, music videos and movie productions are every day occurrences in the LA area.

Most of the studios are in Burbank rather than Hollywood so a lot of outdoor shooting happens in Burbank and nearby Glendale or Pasadena.   Its also easier to get permits to shut down a residential street off the beaten path than in the heart of LA.

The exception is at night and weekends when the business day is done.  Then its not unusual to see bright lights shining in the windows of the largely vacant buildings awaiting renovation throughout downtown.  On a recent weekday evening we saw 2 separate productions filming scenes on the streets of downtown LA.

Long Beach is another popular home for popular shows such as Dexter and CSI Miami where the harbor doubles as Miami when mixed with Hollywood magic.   A website called “Seeing Stars” lists the actual addresses of some of the iconic scenes from shows such as Dexter.

If you want to peek behind the curtain to see the wizards at work you can go on a studio tour, be in the studio audience for one of your favorite shows or follow the signs to catch a glimpse of Hollywood magic in the making.


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