NCISLA Magazine Visits Set of NCIS Los Angeles – Part Two –

sindee & Diane at Paramount Lot Stage 8&9 Entrance ©sindee

sindee & Diane at Paramount Lot Stage 8&9 Entrance ©sindee

In Part One on Tuesday, I described what it was like to visit the Paramount Studio sets of NCIS Los Angeles.  After getting a tour of the lot, we were escorted into Studios 8 & 9 to visit the home of NCISLA.  The first floor of the Mission was amazing and we had a chance to visit all the iconic places that we watched every week on our TV screen.  It was time to explore the top floor of Ops and as we walked up the tile floor, sindee and I tried to act very nonchalant but things were getting exciting.  As we stood in front of the entrance to Ops my eyes were as big as platters.  Standing around the Ops table was the rest of the cast waiting for the scene to begin.  We were encouraged to get up as close as possible to watch the scene being filmed.  Well, you didn’t have to tell me twice!  I stood in the doorway but quickly realized that if I didn’t pay attention, I was going to bump right into Linda Hunt who was standing a foot  in front of me waiting for her entrance.  She really is very small and petite and obviously very cold as she was bundled in a long winter coat to keep warm.

The scene began as Chris O’Donnell walked into Ops to assume his place around the table.  The director, Steven DePaul called for action and we watched as the cast recited their lines from a unique camera angle.  Cut! We watched again as the same scene was filmed from a new angle.  It was fascinating to see the controlled chaos revolving around us.  Makeup and hair artists scurried around the cast, technicians adjusted the lightening and prop masters put final touches on the set in between every take.

After a couple of takes, the members of the cast took a break and walked out of Ops.  Suddenly I was surprised to see Eric Christian Olsen standing directly in front of me holding his hand out to say hello!  Daniela Ruah and LL were close behind and we were delighted when Daniela welcomed us both with a huge hug!  Chris joined them and we talked about how far we had traveled and Chris and Daniela thanked us for the special mugs we had created for each of the cast from the magazine covers.

sindee & Diane with Eric Christian Olsen ©sindee

sindee & Diane with Eric Christian Olsen ©sindee

Before we knew it they were all called back into Ops to start filming again and Erin ushered us into a small area to continue watching the filming from a room that was built for the director and the other tech crew.  The room was filled with multiple monitors that would capture the cast from all different angles.  While there we had a chance to talk to Stephen DePaul (director), Diana Valentine (script supervisor), Brook Stenstrom (hair) and Chris Burgoyne (makeup) and a number of other technical staff who were constantly walking in and out of the room.  It was a joy to talk to them all about their job and it was so amazing how warm and welcoming they all were towards us.

sindee & Diane with Barrett Foa & Chris O'Donnell ©sindee

sindee & Diane with Barrett Foa & Chris O’Donnell ©sindee

We still had some more fun waiting for us when we heard Eric Christian Olsen calling for us from down the hall.  We asked if  he would take some pictures with us and  Eric entertained us with stories about his really bad German accent in Beerfest (“Towards the end of the film, I sounded more Jamaican than German!”).  Barrett Foa stopped by to say hi and luckily we had a chance to take a great picture with him and Chris before we had to leave.  Unfortunately, we never did get to say hello to Renee Felice Smith (who was very busy in Ops) which was very disappointing but she sent us a very sweet tweet later to say hello.

Our final stop as we left the sound stage was outside in front of the front doors of the Mission.  We noticed the condemned sign was missing, but we stopped to imagine Sam or Callen’s cars parked outside of these two giant doors.  The space seemed smaller than it looks on screen but there have been some fun scenes filmed at this location especially the episode where Callen replaces Sam’s lost Charlene with a new Challenger.  Great memories!  It was a fitting ending to our visit.

sindee & Diane "outside" NCISLA Mission ©sincee

sindee & Diane “outside” NCISLA Mission ©sindee

The day was almost complete…but not yet!  There was still one more special person we were looking forward to meet but he was missing in action!  Dave Kalstein was on a set location visit and wouldn’t be returning to Paramount until 4 pm.  Erin assured us if we could hang around a bit more he would like to meet us.  How could we say no?!  We had some lunch at the commissary, walked around the gift store and sat outside in the warm LA breeze to wait for Dave to join us.  Before long we saw Dave walking up to greet us with a surprise guest in tow….Rafael Kayanan!  What a treat to meet both Dave and Rafael and be able to sit down and talk to them about our visit and this wonderful show that we all have come to love so much.  We talked about the new spin-off and about what made the franchise so successful and why it was so well- loved by all the fans.  After signing a copy of his book for us to auction off for the ASPCA and a script for me to cherish, there were hugs all around and it was time to go.

sindee & Diane with Dave Kalstein & Rafael Kayanan

sindee & Diane with Dave Kalstein & Rafael Kayanan ©sindee

Mark Harmon's Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame ©sindee

Mark Harmon’s Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame ©sindee

Two days later we completed our NCIS pilgrimage by walking to Hollywood and Vine in  search of Mark Harmon’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Harmon received the 2,482nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 1, 2012.  After taking the obligatory picture of Mark’s special star, we wondered if  one day we would see an NCISLA star sharing that same honor.  Fingers crossed!

What can I say?  It was a fairy-tale week from start to finish.  It took days for me to finally grasp all that happen on that visit.  It was really very surreal and hard to comprehend that we got to visit with all these special people.  A big thank you goes out to all the cast and crew for making our time in Los Angeles so memorable and enchanting.  You guys are the best!

7 thoughts on “NCISLA Magazine Visits Set of NCIS Los Angeles – Part Two –

  1. OSPliasion

    So schöne Fotos! Und bei Mark Harmons Stern wart ihr auch 🙂 Danke für den Bericht, man kommt schon beim Lesen ins Schwärmen 🙂

  2. PriMary76

    I´am so happy for you!!! It is nice to see that the crew gave you a warm welcome. That makes them even more sympatic! It looks like both of yo won´t forget that visit. Thanks for sharing your impressions to all of us!

  3. Serena

    What an awesome trip! Would love to have the same experience you all had!

    This just goes to show what lovely people the cast and crew of NCISLA is but then again, we all knew that already 😉

  4. tara

    Thanks for posting your set visit. And slightly jealous you got to meet the cast and have your picture taken with a couple of them. You are so lucky!!

  5. Lisa

    Thanks for sharing your set visit with us. I’m so happy you got to meet the cast and crew…how fun! Both of you look so happy in the pictures with the cast. I would be grinning from ear to ear. =)

  6. Shelia

    Sounds like you guys had a wonderful visit and were able to see first hand how awesone the cast and crew is. Congrats.

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