1 review of The Bridge Studios in English
Bridge is a working TV/film studio, and as such not generally open to the public. I was able to go on a visit to the set of Stargate SG1, on a day when they were not actually filming. I got tickets through an auction raising money for charity, organised by the Gatecon convention. More recently they’ve still been doing visits (though to the Stargate Atlantis set of course…). Unfortunately the bigwigs in LA realised it could earn money and it’s now done for profit. Sigh…
Hmmm… how to compromise between those who know the show and those who don’t… hopefully I will succeed! For those that haven’t seen the show, it’s about a huge great stone circle that opens a wormhole, allowing travel to other planets. It’s apparently being held in a military installation in the US, and the show follows the adventures of a mixed team of military and civilians who travel through it.
We were shipped from the convention venue in busses. Outside we got a quick look at Richard Dean Anderson’s bench made of hockey sticks, before heading in. I needed to go to the loo so actually got a sneak preview as I was taken down by a staff member! But most had to wait to let a previous group clear out.
First area is quite large and had the Gate iris (for those that don’t know, a sort of cover to block the gate…) hanging from the ceiling. From there we got to see a series of smaller rooms, which are dressed differently for different uses, e.g. Daniel’s office, and an area they’d set up especially for us as Sick Bay. Then into corridors: there’s several of these, painted as on the show, but actually not making a lot of sense as corridors… LOL. It was also funny to see how, when I got my sneak view, you walked through some of these and then round a corner into a normal corridor with wardrobe etc offices.
Unusually Stargate SG1 also had some rooms built as they appear on the show. Basically the Gate Room, the Control and Briefing Room overlooking it, and the General’s Office off the Briefing Room. You really could look out from the Control Room, then climb stairs up to the Briefing Room.
Finally we got to see the Gate Room itself… well, I’d already been through on the way back from the loo, but we won’t count that! For those that have seen the show, the Gate and ramp does look exactly as it does on the show, even close up. Though as it’s actually made of resin it feels a bit plasticky. One thing that did surprise me is just how much of the room it takes up. It totally fills one end, and there’s hardly any space between the end of the ramp and the control room wall. Must make for some tight squeezes with cameras. After that we got some time to wander there and in the corridors that led back to the starting point.
The crew who took us round were wonderful. All very relaxed and pretty much let us run riot! They were happy to let us lie on the beds in sick bay, sit in the General’s chair and pretend to phone the Whitehouse, and of course run up and down the ramp… Only time I got called back was when I explored some spiral stairs going up from the Briefing Room. Turns out they actually give access to the lighting gantries, which we were not allowed to go into.
One of the highlights was actually in the space behind the Gate Room wall (which is actually plywood by the way…), where we got to see how they do the gate effects. As I’ve already said they have a detachable iris. They also have another version of this painted to look like it’s glowing with heat. Most fabulous is when they do green screen effects though… They have a whole wall covered in green fabric, and the entire back wall of the Gate Room could be pulled back to allow the Gate to be filmed with it behind. Appropriate images can then be spliced into shots of live action in the Gate Room. So, a group of us were back there learning about this from a member of the crew. Who then demonstrated how easy it was to move the wall… you should have seen the looks on the faces of people in the Gate Room when the wall slid sideways!
Anyway… a great experience and lots of money raised for charity. But of course Bridge isn’t just used for Stargate shows… There’s a full list of credits on the website, but films I noticed include Juno, Reign of Fire, Jumanji, Ledgends of the Fall and a few more I recognise. There’s actually quite a few stages. If I remember correctly SG1 was in 5, and Atlantis based in 6 (though I think maybe they kept 5 for that too?). Plans on the website… If I’m remembering correctly then the Gate Room would be in the area where the writing is on the stage 5 plan!
One last bit of fanish natter… I remember once hearing some star (or maybe crew member?) off Star Trek going on about how much trouble they had not getting the sound of footsteps on the hard sets ending up on film. On Stargate of course they rather made a feature of the noise from the metal ramp… It is rather a thrill hearing that noise under your own feet!
Comment Be the first to comment on this review for The Bridge Studios
Write your review of The Bridge Studios
Places nearby The Bridge Studios
Your bookmark has been removed
Your bookmark has been saved
Did you know?
You can access your bookmarks from our mobile apps!
From now on, we'll make sure you get updates about this place.