Our 4th anniversary was on the 28th. Dan gave me three gifts: two tickets to a taping of The Big Bang Theory, a "coupon" entitling me to "one entire awesome day at the famous Dan's Super Spa Day for Caties," and a gorgeous Xavier bracelet. Today was The Big Bang Theory filming.
One word: Legen--wait for it... --dary!
We got to Burbank (more like Brrrrrr-bank!) with just under an hour and a half to spare before showtime. On our way to the studio, we even saw the water tower where they keep the Animaniacs! Then we stood out in the cold, cold Burbank night until they let one large-ish group go, then we waited some more. We were told that there were no cameras or cell phones of any kind allowed in the studio, so Dan ran back to the car to store them. There went my hopes of snapping a few pictures. A big group of people showed up and got to go in immediately -- this peeved me, but it turns out they were friends and family members of the cast and crew. Finally, they let in another small group. We were the last to get in. There were more behind us, but they were denied entrance due to lack of room because of the friends and family members. We were tickets 100 and 101 out of about 220, so nearly 120 people did not get in.
We were led through security and the Warner Brothers studios lot. We stopped right before entering TBBT soundstage for a bathroom break. I ran off, and Dan held our place in line. When I got back, Dan pointed out Simon Helberg (Wolowitz) standing outside having a smoke before filming. That was cool. THEN Johnny Galecki (Leonard) came out too! Alas, my camera and phone were locked up back in my car so I couldn't get a picture. *sad*
Once everyone had returned from the restrooms, we entered the actual soundstage for TBBT. We had to pass through a second security checkpoint and make our way through a maze of heavy curtains and up some stairs to the audience seating area. We sat down and waited for the filming to start. It was still a little ways off, so they were showing the episode immediately prior to tonights filming. We got to see not ONE but TWO new episodes. Boo-yah! (BTW, it was the Christmas episode -- very funny! It will be on this Monday, so be sure to watch!)
Filming a half hour show takes a surprisingly long time. Seriously, they filmed for three hours tonight, and that doesn't even take into account all the filming they did earlier today or yesterday. Anyhow, they shot one scene at a time in chronological order. They usually did about three shots per scene, sometimes with different lines and jokes (possibly to see the audience's reaction to the jokes) and sometimes just did one-liners to get a better shot from a particular actor. One time, Jim Parsons (Sheldon) forgot one of his lines, and while he was checking, an audience member yelled, "It's okay Jim, we still love you!" He thanked the person and we all cheered. \o/ Some of the scenes in stages that couldn't be seen well by the audience were shot yesterday or earlier today and played on the monitors above us to record our reactions -- cheers, gasps, or lulz. We were seated in the front left corner, right in front of Penny's apartment. Yes, it really is just one staircase used over and over as the guys are going to or from their apartment -- they just change the decorations and apartment numbers. Facts: Leonard jumps up and down in place right before filming starts, and Penny dances to the music played for the audience.
There were some kind of long breaks between scenes when the actors had to change or get their makeup touched up or review their scripts -- or one of the millions of other reasons that might delay filming. To keep the audience entertained during these breaks, they had a host tell us jokes, do “magic,” and run little contests with the audience members. There was a dance-off, a dating game, and songs sung in native tongues. The host gave out candy and some lucky people got autographed pictures. Finally, right before the very last shot, the host announced that the person to cheer the loudest and clap the hardest at the end would get a prize. They did the scene, then hosty-man basically said the credits while the cast came out for their curtain call. I jumped up, clapped real hard and screamed and hollered my head off. I was still clapping and watching the actors when a crew member came up and handed me something through the railing.
It was a script! The whole script for the entire episode, dated and everything. I was flabbergasted. Meanwhile, the curtain call had ended and people were filing out. Dan and I hung back because it was going to take forever to get out anyway, when what should happen? Kaley Cuoco (Penny) walked up, armed with a sharpee! She signed a bunch of people's programs, including my script! Kunal Nayyar (Raj) came up while Kaley was still there, and he signed it too! He even talked to me... despite the fact that I'm a girl. *gasp* Then, to top it off, Johnny Galecki stopped by too! Jim Parsons had disappeared right after the last shot, and Simon Helberg pretty much ran away, so I missed them. BUT, 3 out of 5 ain't bad! ESPECIALLY on a script! How totally awesome is that???
( PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN )