AFI’s Warner Bros. Building – aka the Hospital from “The Artist”Mar 28th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Another locale from The Artist that I found thanks to John Bengtson’s fabulous Silent Locations blog was the Warner Bros. Building on the American Film Institute campus in Los Feliz, which stood in for the exterior of the hospital where George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) was admitted after being injured in a fire towards the end of the Academy Award-winning flick. Amazingly enough, despite the fact that I have lived in Southern California for over twelve years now, for whatever reason, while I had heard of the legendary film school, I had never before visited it. So I dragged the Grim Cheaper right on out there to stalk the place two weekends ago, shortly after we stopped by Red Studios Hollywood, aka Kinograph Studios from The Artist which I blogged about yesterday.
The American Film Institute, or “AFI” as it is more commonly known, was founded in 1967 by the National Endowment for the Arts in order to “preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.” Such luminaries as actor Gregory Peck, director Francis Ford Coppola, historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., actor Sidney Poitier, and longtime Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) president Jack Valenti sat on the organization’s original Board of Trustees. The institute was first headquartered inside of the famous Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, but moved to its current location, an eight-acre property which formerly housed Immaculate Heart College, in 1983. AFI Conservatory, the establishment’s fully accredited graduate film school which, in 2011, was named the #1 film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter, boasts such notable alumni as David Lynch, Edward James Olmos, Darren Aronofsky, Terrence Malick, Amy Heckerling (the writer/director of fave movie Clueless!), Marshall Herskovitz (one of the Executive Producers of fave show My So-Called Life!), Edward Zwick (another of My So-Called Life’s Executive Producers!), and Gary Winick (the director of fave movie 13 Going on 30!). Talk about a Who’s Who of the film industry! The Warner Bros. Building (pictured above) is AFI’s main facility and houses classrooms, a soundstage, screening rooms, computer labs, and production offices.
Thanks to AFI’s hilltop location, the place boasts some rather incredible views of Downtown Los Angeles, as you can see above!
The Warner Bros. Building only shows up once in The Artist – in the scene in which Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) arrives at the hospital to check on George. According to the Los Feliz Ledger website, the short, one-day shoot took place on November 14th, 2010.
Only the exterior of the Warner Bros. Building was used in the filming. All of the interior hospital scenes were shot about four miles away at The Ebell of Los Angeles, a private women’s club that I have stalked twice, but have yet to blog about. And while hundreds upon hundreds of movies have been filmed at the historic property over the years, for today’s post I would like to concentrate on The Artist. A few different areas of The Ebell appeared in the flick. When Peppy runs through the hospital hallway and asks a nurse where she can find George’s room, she is actually running through the site’s Garden Arcade. And while I do not have a photograph of the actual Arcade, the area where it is located is denoted with a pink arrow above. (You may recognize the courtyard pictured above from the prom scene in fave movie Never Been Kissed.)
Peppy is then shown running through The Ebell’s Solarium Hallway into the 3rd Floor Terrace (both of which were also used prominently in Forrest Gump).
John at Silent Locations was lucky enough to speak with Carol Kiefer, the Art Department Coordinator for The Artist, who informed him that The Ebell had also appeared in several other scenes in the movie. The club’s Art Salon was used as the auction house where George sold all of his belongings after his career took a downturn.
When leaving the auction, George is shown walking down The Ebell’s Lounge Stairway, followed by his loyal chauffer, Clifton (James Cromwell).
The club’s Dining Room masqueraded as the storage room in Peppy’s mansion where George discovered all of his former possessions.
And while the Dining Room was made to appear much smaller than it actually is for the filming and is virtually unrecognizable from its appearance onscreen, I recognized this location thanks to the unique circular-shaped decoration above the window that was visible in the background of the scene.
Supposedly, the Kinograph Studios office of director Al Zimmer (John Goodman) was also located somewhere inside of The Ebell, but I did not see any areas of the property on either tour that looked even remotely like the screen captures pictured above. So I am guessing that a room of the property was either completely redone for the filming or that that information is incorrect.
The anteroom to Zimmer’s office is located at The Ebell, though. In actuality, it is a small room located on the building’s third floor.
Big THANK YOU to John Bengtson, from the Silent Locations blog, for finding these locations!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Warner Bros. Building at the American Film Institute, aka the exterior of the hospital from The Artist, is located at 2021 North Western Avenue in Los Feliz. You can visit the official AFI website here. The Ebell of Los Angeles is located at 743 South Lucerne Boulevard in Hancock Park. Sadly, The Ebell is not currently open to the public, but you can visit the property’s official website here.