Monday, June 2, 2008

The Media Fans the Flames!

By this morning papers in England were reporting that Universal Studios Hollywood had completely burnt to the ground!

Well, I am dead tired from working there all day, so it's definitely still standing. Many specifics and the overall enormity of the Universal fire were inaccurately reported.

I do know how the fire started, but being a blogging insider is not worth my job... I'm sure it will come out in due time. I will confirm it did start on a sound stage, but it had nothing to do with something filming.

I will tell you this:

* Only 1% of the lot was burnt.

* The theme park, City Walk, Studio Tour and most sound stages were business as usual today.

* With the exception of the "Legal Eagle" building, New York and New England Streets were destroyed.

* Only two of four sides of Court House Square (where Ghost Whisperer currently films) was burnt. Contrary to reports, the Back to the Future "clock tower" is still standing. Furthermore, the building just looks like a court house for Ghost Whisperer and the recognizable eve and clock are stored elsewhere.

* Reports said the King Kong attraction was partially damaged; in fact, it is completely destroyed.

* Reports said thousands of patrons were turned away; only about 800 (on the high end) waited around for the park to open; they all received free passes.

* Some reports said Wisteria Lane, Whoville and the Bates Motel and Psycho house were all effected - that is completely inaccurate. I rode past all that three times today on the tram.

* Reports said lacking water pressure hindered the firefighters; the water pressure was fine.

* While plowing trenches for the water to run through a gas line was hit, causing the reported explosion and injury eight firefighters.

* Absolutely no irreplaceable TV or Film footage was lost.

* In 1990 New York Street also burnt; this is slightly worse since it took King Kong this time; in '90 the sets were rebuilt in three months.

* Stephen Spielberg was on the lot in flip-flops and a baseball cap to do what he could... not sure what that means, but he was there. My bosses said all the big-wigs were there and everyone looked like bums, having thrown on whatever was lying on the floor and rushing out the door!

I have pictures, both from my walking tour Friday and of the destruction today that I will share soon.

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