Thank you all for bearing with us during our brief hiatus from the blog – all our students, staff, and faculty at Oxbridge at UCLA have had a jam-packed end to our third full week here in Los Angeles, and we’re just starting to catch our breath!
Following the students’ major classes on Thursday, we piled onto a bus bound for just about the most unapologetically fun spot in Los Angeles: Universal Studios Hollywood! It’s an iconic piece of living movie history, and the star of it all is a tour of the studio’s back lot. We saw the original shark from Jaws (his name is Bruce) jump out of the lake on Amity Island, a massive plane crash set from Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, a realistic simulation of a flash flood in an old Mexican town, and so much more. Our students were also among the first to experience the newly reopened Jurassic World ride, as well as other attractions like Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade Village and a convincing replica of the Simpson family’s Springfield. We were at the park for eight glorious hours. The mood on the bus on the way home was electric – we were so lucky to have had a day there.
Check out the beautiful views of the city from the hill Universal Studios sits atop! And see below for two highlights from the Studio Tour – the New York City street sets on the back lot, and Bruce the shark jumping out at the tram.
On Friday, we had a slightly calmer schedule to account for the students’ busy workdays in their major and minor classes. In the evening, our students split into groups to explore The Broad, a new contemporary art museum located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, or to see an improv comedy show right here in Westwood!
Saturday was possibly our busiest day yet, with a full schedule starting after the students’ morning major classes. We left Westwood and headed straight for Hollywood Boulevard, home to Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the El Capitan, Madame Tussaud’s, Ripley’s Believe it or Not – and, of course, the Walk of Fame. When you think of Hollywood, those stars are perhaps the first imagery to come to mind after the Hollywood sign itself, and for good reason. They’re an iconic part of the city, honoring everyone from Aretha Franklin and Marilyn Monroe to Jeff Goldblum and Motley Crue.
Our filmmaking students were plenty busy Saturday morning as well, with a visit to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. They took the studio tour of the lot, where they saw lots of movie magic – including this massive spider from the Harry Potter films!
Even after the Walk of Fame, though, we weren’t quite done with Hollywood! Later that evening, the whole program took our seats in the iconic Hollywood Bowl to see a wonderful new show led by our favorite Australian songman – “Hugh Jackman – The Man. The Music. The Show.” Singing for his full audience of 17,000 people in LA’s premier outdoor summer concert spot, Jackman brought so much energy and excitement to the stage with his Broadway chops.
Later tonight, we’ll bring you many more pictures and stories from our two group trips today. Thank you for reading along, and we hope you’ve enjoyed these updates!