06 March 2016>
Besides my Academic endeavours at Seattle University this Winter Quarter, (both teaching and Public Lecture), this visit to Los Angeles (LA) & – Hollywood should to the best part of my visit to the US. Academically it has been a very fulfilling Winter for me – especially the preparation part. And then to be accompanying the students in their academic endeavours, and winning their confidence, too. More about it in a later post.
And then preparing the Public Lecture – was one massive task. Initially, I just did not want this visit to the US, very specially because what the Public Lecture meant to me. Then, gradually, I reconciled to the fact I would HAVE to.
It’s been plenty of hard work; some sleepless nights too.
Public Transport in LA is a mess! And too rare and inaccessible, too, for a high-profile city like LA & Hollywood. Probably, that is its very “status” as a VIP City! When there are the most glittering personalities living here, who would use public transport? Those who can’t afford, but still live here, don’t have the luxury of being impatient, either. That makes your travels in LA a misery on the run!
Today, on 6th March, it was Eddie who came to my rescue – all the way from Culver City to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) – to take me. First, Eddie took me to
Loyola Productions Inc., (LPI). There I watched some of the brilliant productions by LPI! Wow! I told him, that was typical of Hollywood! He said, otherwise LPI could not market them (to networks like HBO!) LPI has done some wonderful video productions, and it keeps producing quite a lot! That’s incredible from Eddie and his team!
And then, Eddie took me to Universal Studios. All the way to Hollywood’s Universal. Then, of course, he did something more – to ensure that I return home after the visit, safely and without any botheration! Wow!
As I approached Hollywood, my excitement knew no bounds! Eddie started laughing! But he himself is very appreciative about it.
At Universal, we started with a guided tram-tour to the studios – recreations and real experiences of the Universal films and sets: King Kong of Peter Jackson, Jurassik Park of Steven Spielberg, Psycho of Alfred Hitchcock, rain sets (with actual rain on us) leading to floods, the real Boeng (Bates Motel and Mr Bates shifting the dead body to the car dickie! And what’s more, he actually chased us!) and cars and motors employed by Spielberg and others. Who can forget the 3-D and 4-D experience of rains, animals chasing, escaping through the darks caves…!
By mistake I entered the Krustyland twice! It was The Simposons Ride! And it was slightly different experiences. Wowww.. what an experience. To begin with, I thought I would puke and swooon! Screaming was a way to deal with the shock and scare! Remembered my Bavaria Studio experience in Germany in 2013 – 7-D experience. You experience every emotion here, including the fear of death!
Then we were given a live demo of Special Effects used in different films by Universal. Sound effects (such as Psycho Scream, beating, etc.), stunts with doubles (models) as well as real fight sequences, fire stunts (which are actually real!), air flying (with our real volunteers!), killing and cutting, stunts, motion capture, etc. It was awesome!
Water World was fun -with actual characters fighting in the water body using fast-boats, and canons and everything! Who wouldn’t love the Animal Actors with the dog, cat, parrot, chicken, guinea pig, mongoose, etc. Every animal was adorable – performing real-time tricks!
The super-science fiction brought the guts out of us! Transformers with high-sci-fi with 3-D in HD. Revenge of the Mummy was terrifying, with screams as the only outlet for fear! We were shaken and chilled to our spine, with Linear Induction Motors (LIM technology! Jurassik Park was fun, too climbing and chasing and running away from the huge, scary and funny (spewing water!) dinosaurs. And the Despicable Me. Again funny and scary, and shaking.
Spent sometime watching cute Despicable Me. Finally on the sets of Harry Potter.
My mobile battery let me down. After the initial few pictures, I had to put off the cell, lest when I looked for Uber, I missed every last help! Returned home late and tired, but excited and enriched. I thought it was a very costly ticket to Universal- more than one-and-a-half-times of my Seattle – LA air ticket! But the at the end of the day, every cent of it was useful and enriching.