Tag Archives: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Breaks Ground On Frank Gehry-Designed “Iceberg” Office Towers

California Governor Gavin Newson joined architect Frank Gehry, Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff, developer Jeff Worthe and Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer at the official groundbreaking of the Second Century Project, a Warner Bros. Studios expansion featuring two Gehry-designed office towers known as the “icebergs,” on Tuesday, January 14.

“These incredible new buildings will combine state-of-the-art technology with a dynamic work environment and allow us to reimagine not only our workspace but our future,” said Sarnoff. “Along with our historic lot, this newly expanded campus will fuel increased creativity, facilitate collaboration and help us attract and retain the world’s best and most diverse talent.”

(from left to right) Burbank City Councilmember Emily Gabel-Luddy, Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer, architect Frank Gehry, Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff, developer Jeff Worthe, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Burbank City Councilmember Bob Frutos, Burbank City Councilmember Jess Talamantes and Burbank City Councilmember Tim Murphy celebrate the groundbreaking on Warner Bros. Second Century Project. (Photo By Ross Benson)

“This is an investment in our employees, our creative and business partners and the Burbank community,” Sarnoff added.

“This is a project that shows confidence in our future,” commented Newsom, speaking to the positive economic impact of the project. “This is a big deal, not just for Burbank or the region, but for the entire state.”

Announced in April 2019, the Second Century Project, as the expansion is called, alludes to the beginning of Warner Bros. second century in business. The expansion is due to be completed in 2023, to coincide with the year of Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

“Warner Bros. is a legendary company and we needed to create a legendary building for them,” commented Gehry.

The two new office buildings are designed to look like icebergs floating along the 134 Freeway, as Gehry described during the April 2019 project announcement. The office complex will feature two towers, one at seven stories and 355,00o square feet of office space and the other at nine stories and 455,000 square feet of office space and be LEED Certified.

“In the Media Capital of the World, Warner Bros.’ commitment to this project is also a commitment to Burbank, reinforcing our relationship that goes back more than 90 years,” said Springer. “The creativity of Mr. Gehry’s architecture along with Warner Bros. desire to build something genuinely unique and Mr. Worthe’s commitment to construct it, further proves that yes, Burbank is a World Class City.”

(Photo By Ross Benson)

The full Burbank City Council, including Bob Frutos, Jess Talamantes, Emily Gabel-Luddy and Tim Murphy, were also on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony.

“We’re creating something pretty unique and pretty special,” added Worthe. “Almost 4000 Warner Bros. employees [will] work here. We’re trying to do something to make their lives better.”

With the groundbreaking now official, the construction of the Second Century project takes place in two phases. Occupancy of Phase I is expected in 2022 and Phase II occupancy will coincide with Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration in 2023.

Warner Bros. Reveals Updated Logo As Studio Preps For 2023 Centennial

 

from Warner Bros. media release:

On Wednesday, November 13, Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff dropped a drape to unveil a new logo on the Studio’s storied water tower as part of an employee event introducing the global entertainment company’s refreshed brand.  The new logo is a refinement and modernization of the iconic Warner Bros. shield that has been part of the company’s visual identity since its founding in 1923.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

“As we approached our centennial, we thought it was the right time to take a good look at our brand, what it stands for and the values it represents,” said Sarnoff.  “We know that a strong brand gives us not just a roadmap but a sense of purpose.  It puts our feelings of pride into words.  And, it helps us communicate who we are to our employees, our creative and business partners, and our fans around the world.”

More than 500 employees gathered in the shadow of the Warner Bros. water tower for the unveiling, where Sarnoff, with a special assist by a tuxedo-clad Bugs Bunny, revealed the new mark.  The water tower, standing at the southernmost address on North Hollywood Way, is 133 feet tall and one of the most recognizable sights in the Burbank skyline.  The logo emblazoned on the tower’s side is approximately 20 feet high and 16 feet across.

Along with updating the company’s visual identity, Warner Bros. also articulated a new mission statement and brand position.

The mission statement “To be the world’s leading creator and distributor of extraordinary entertainment by partnering with the world’s most inspiring storytellers” underlines the company’s commitment to creating top-quality content across all media and platforms for the global audience.  Warner Bros.’s new brand position sums up that commitment in seven words, “We believe in the power of story.”

(Photo courtesy Warner Bros.)

“At Warner Bros., we have been telling stories and entertaining audiences for almost 100 years—but we don’t do it alone,” said Sarnoff.

“From the beginning, we’ve worked with the world’s best storytellers and helped them bring their visions to life.  It’s their unique genius that connects and inspires us, introduces us to new ideas, takes us to new places, and reshapes the way we see the world.  They are the heart of everything we do.”

The new Warner Bros. shield logo is expected to begin appearing on screen in early 2020.

Warner Bros. Burbank Expansion Includes Frank Gehry-Designed Buildings

Warner Bros. Entertainment plans to expand the Burbank footprint of the global entertainment company with two office buildings designed by Frank Gehry to be built between the Warner Bros. main lot and the 134 Freeway in the Burbank Media District. The studio also announced the purchase of a portion of The Burbank Studios on Alameda Avenue, the former site of NBC and The Tonight Show.

“This is an opportunity to re-imagine not only our workspace but our future,” said Kim Williams, Executive Vice President and CFO of Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Along with our historic lot, the newly expanded campus will fuel increased creativity, facilitate collaboration and help us attract and retain the world’s best and most diverse talent.”

“It will also better position our company for the future and provide for more production capacity,” Williams added. “This is an investment in our employees, our creative and business partners and the Burbank community that will continue to be our home for decades to come.”

Two office buildings designed by Frank Gehry are planned for the Warner Bros. Entertainment expansion between the main lot and the 134 Freeway in Burbank. (Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP; Rendering courtesy of Sora)

The Gehry-designed building complex adjacent to the existing Warner Bros. main lot features a seven-story office building of about 355,000 square feet and a nine-story office building with approximately 445,000 square feet. The complex will be built according to LEED Certification standards.

Called the Second Century Project, groundbreaking is expected to take place in Fall 2019, with construction planned for two phases and expected to be completed by 2023, to coincide with Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration. Employees are slated to start working in the buildings as early as 2022.

“We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Warner Bros. which dates back over 30 years,” commented Jeff Worthe, President of Worthe Real Estate Group. “We are thrilled to deliver these iconic buildings to Burbank and can’t think of a better way to honor Warner’s past 100 years and celebrate their exciting future. We will add these buildings to our existing portfolio of outstanding office properties that covers over 4,000,000 square feet in the City of Burbank alone.”

“Once upon a time, Hollywood studios had an important architectural presence in the city – they were like monuments to the movie-making process,” said  Frank Gehry, Partner, Gehry Partners, LLP. “With this project, I was trying to recapture that feeling of old Hollywood splendor.”

“We wanted to create a 21st century version that would have a strong and unique identity for Jeff Worthe and for Warner Bros. in the center of Burbank,” Gehry continued. “We created large open floorplates with the single goal of creating the highest quality office space.”

warner bros burbank expansion

The planned Warner Bros. Entertainment expansion between the main lot and the 134 Freeway in Burbank. (Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP; Rendering courtesy of Sora)

“From the freeway, the buildings are composed as one long sculptural glass façade that creates a single identity like icebergs floating along the freeway. On the studio side, the metal punched façade is terraced to relate to the scale and character of the existing studio buildings.”

“Collaborating with Jeff Worthe on this project has been special for me,” Gehry also said. “He is curious and open to ideas. He takes the time to explore ideas with a thoughtfulness toward the community and those who will inhabit the building. He understands and promotes the idea that architecture has value.”

“I hope that we have created something that works well for Warner Bros. and that is respectful of the community around it,” he added.

Also part of the deal, Warner Bros. will purchase a portion of The Burbank Studios property, which is currently home to Blizzard eSports Arena, the iHeartRadio theater and Days of Our Lives. Those productions “have leases and will remain in place,” according to Worthe.

The Burbank Studios purchase provides Warner Bros. with additional production office space and eight sound stages (with room for expansion), along with a mill building and a commissary, according to the joint press release issued by Warner Bros., Worthe Real Estate and Gehry Partners.

Another view of one of the two office buildings designed by Frank Gehry for the Warner Bros. Entertainment expansion between the main lot and the 134 Freeway in Burbank. (Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP; Rendering courtesy of Sora)

Worthe Real Estate Group and Stockbridge real estate management firm will retain ownership of the land the two planned Gehry buildings will be built upon.

The intricate deal also requires Worthe Real Estate and Stockbridge to purchase in late 2019 three office buildings currently owned by Warner Bros. – the Triangle Building (4001 West Olive Avenue), Glass Building (3903 West Olive Avenue) and Wood Building (111 N. Hollywood Way), in addition to the 30-acre Warner Bros. Ranch located on Hollywood Way.

Warner Bros. will lease back the space from Worthe/Stockbridge until those employees can move to the new office space.

“The three existing office buildings will remain as such and leased out to new tenants, which could include Warner Bros.,” explained Worthe. “As for the Ranch Lot, we intend to carry out the entitlements that currently exist which is office and production spaces, much like The Burbank Studios development.”

The sale of the Ranch property and Warner Bros.’ purchase of The Burbank Studios are expected to take place in 2023, after Warner Bros. moves into the new space. The entertainment company also plans to move employees from other leased space surrounding the lot to the new campus.

Whether the expansion will result in the addition of more jobs and the development of new services and divisions for Warner Bros. is still “to be determined” at this point so early in the process, according to Warner Bros. Senior VP Worldwide Corporate Communications Paul McGuire.

“We are thrilled that Warner Bros.’ long-term plan includes an exciting new vision for their campus in Burbank,” said Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy. “This commitment further reinforces our City’s standing as the Media Capital of the World.”

The press release also stated, “Worthe Real Estate Group/Stockbridge, Gehry Partners, LLP and Warner Bros. will work closely with various agencies across the City of Burbank throughout the building process to ensure a compliant, community-conscious build.”

This article was updated at 10:36 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, to include Jeff Worthe’s comment that Blizzard eSports Arena, the iHeartRadio theater and Days of Our Lives “have leases and will remain in place.”

Burbank Unified Students Attend Private “Shazam!” Screening

Seven hundred students with improved or perfect attendance from Burbank Unified School District’s John Burroughs High, Burbank High, Monterey High, the Independent Learning Academy, FACTS Program, Jordan Middle School, John Muir Middle School and Luther Middle School attended a private screening of the recently-released Shazam! movie as guests of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Another 100 BUSD administrators and teachers also joined the students to watch the movie, which ended up in first place at the box office with a reported opening weekend take of $53.5 million.

shazam!

(Photo By Ross Benson)

Students received congratulatory letters and emails with an invitation to the Saturday, April 6, early morning screening at the AMC Burbank 16 theaters. Warner Bros. booked two large theaters at the complex and provided refreshments and a DC Shazam! comic book for everyone.

Mary Elizabeth Michaels, Director of Community Affairs for Warner Bros. and Tom DiMascio, DC Entertainment Director of Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Special Events and Logistics were on hand to usher and congratulate the students.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

Warner Bros. Entertainment has long been a partner with the Burbank Unified School District, supporting programs and projects at various school sites and district-wide for many years.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Assessment Sharon Cuseo suggested the reward of a movie screening in August 2018. Cuseo and Instructional Technology Coordinator Bob Martin compiled the list of qualifying students.

Michaels, DiMascio and Vice President of Community Engagement Sally Chan worked with Cuseo, Martin and BUSD Arts & CTE Coordinator Peggy Flynn on invitations and event logistics.

“Research shows that by ninth grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than eighth grade test scores,” said Cuseo. “We are so fortunate to have engaged, committed partners like Warner Bros. who share in our work to provide the best possible foundations for our community’s young people.”

Increasing daily attendance rates has been an ongoing goal of the District, as well as the California Department of Education (CDE.) Research has shown that regular attendance correlates to improved student achievement.

School and district reported average daily attendance is used by CDE to determine annual funding for California public schools. Recently, the CDE launched a new grant program to provide more funding to districts showing improvement in chronic absenteeism.

“We are thrilled that Warner Bros. has provided this opportunity to celebrate our high school students who are making daily attendance a priority and we hope will be an inspiration for others who work to be invited to attend future events like this, “ said Cuseo.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

Two Burbank High Students Awarded REACH Scholarships/Internships

Warner Bros. Entertainment has announced high school seniors Jacob Brain, Isabella Curtis, Erik Gomez, Darren Kim, and Tobias Romero as the 2018 Reach Honorship recipients.   

Darren Kim

Through its Reach program, Warner Bros. awards internship and scholarship packages, known as Honorships, to five graduating high school seniors passionate about the business of entertainment annually. As part of these Honorships, students are each awarded $5,000 scholarships and the opportunity to complete four paid summer internships at Warner Bros., beginning with the summer immediately following their high school graduation. Additionally, the scholars are paired with a different executive mentor each summer and provided additional networking opportunities with entertainment industry professionals. Successful Reach program graduates are eligible to apply for full-time positions at the company after completing their degrees.      

“Each summer, our Honorship recipients embark on a multi-year, in-depth internship working in the entertainment industry,” said Mary-Elizabeth Michaels, Director, Community Affairs, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “With unparalleled access, skill-building, and first-hand experience learning about various businesses at Warner Bros., the Reach program gives these students early exposure to a corporate setting and the ability to generate a network of professional contacts for their post-college careers.”

Isabella Curtis

This year’s Burbank Reach Honorships, created specifically for residents of the Studio’s longtime hometown, were awarded to Burbank High School graduates Isabella Curtis and Darren Kim. Curtis is will pursue a business administration degree at UC Irvine this fall, while Kim is headed to UCLA to major in statistics.

Erik Gomez and Tobias Romero have received this year’s Los Angeles County Reach Honorships. Gomez, graduating from Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School, will be a communications major with a minor in theatre at Dickinson College in the fall. Following his graduation from Santa Monica High School, Romero will matriculate to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to study film and television production.

Additionally, Jacob Brain has won the Warner Bros. Animation/Hanna-Barbera Reach Honorship. A graduate of Skyline High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, Brain was selected among a highly competitive field of applicants from across the United States to earn this year’s Animation Honorship, and he plans to study entertainment arts and engineering this fall at the University of Utah.

To learn more about the Reach program, please visit www.wbgood.com/goodnews/community-affairs/reach/.

Warner Bros. Studios Breaks Ground on New Sound Stage

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. Studios broke ground on their 36th soundstage. Its development marks a shift in the entertainment world as Warner Bros. is showing it isn’t afraid to invest here in the City of Burbank. The studios are already booked at max capacity with numerous films, sitcoms, and other television shows. The supply and demand for a new stage is great news, both for everyone in the entertainment industry and especially for Burbank. The Mayor, along with city council members, were on hand to celebrate and mark the occasion.

Photo By: Ross Benson

The 18,000 sq soundstage symbolizes the strength of production returning to our backyard. Stage 29 will feature numerous amenities, including a silent air conditioning system, 110-kilowatt solar panel system, and will be furnished with industry-leading equipment and gear to handle sitcoms or reality television.

(Photo By © Ross A Benson)

Its existence will also pave way for new jobs. The entirety of the project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs for the city, in addition, millions of dollars in revenue, all of which will stay here in California. Stage 29 is expected to be completed by June 2018.

“Warner Bros” Author Event Slated For Buena Vista Library

The author of Warner Bros, The Making of an American Movie Studio, David Thomson, is scheduled to appear at the Buena Vista Library on September 13.

“Among the major movie studios Warners was the most remote,” Thomson commented. “It found itself in a rural-suburban place, working class, but then it employed a lot of people who wanted to live close to work.”

Book jacket cover for David Thomson’s “Warner Bros.”

“So it became a kind of movie center. In many ways, it retains that character and I think it helped in giving Warners a family feeling,” Thomson also said.

“It’s a book about something young people today hardly understand – a movie studio where the same people worked together for years or decades so that sometimes the pictures seemed to make themselves.”

Thomson, a film critic and author of several books on the movies, will be introduced by Warner Bros. Studios senior archivist Mark Greenhalgh.

“The story of the Warner brothers is a classic American success story,” said Greenhalgh. “The history of their studio goes back nearly a hundred years now and has become an integral part of the history of Burbank.”

“The Warner family were great believers in being good citizens of both the nation and their community. David Thomson’s book, Warner Bros, The Making of an American Movie Studio, brings a fun and fresh perspective to their inspiring story.”

George Feltenstein, Senior Vice President of Theatrical Marketing at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, will conduct an interview with Thomson about the book.

“David Thomson’s new book about Warner Bros. is a testament to the spirit of innovation and creativity that set the studio apart from the rest of the industry,” commented Feltenstein.

“With a freshly personal perspective, Mr. Thomson has captured the essence of what made Warner Bros. films so distinctive and distinguished,” he added. “It is a highly fascinating, and entertaining book, and speaks eloquently to the legacy that inspires all the storytelling and entertainment that the company continues to create today.”

The Warner brothers – Harry, Jack, Sam and Albert – founded Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.

“Besides being a great story about the community, I think this is a timely one, because these days when we seem to be calling into question the value of immigration to our country, this is a story about immigrants who did so much to create the image of what it means to be American to us and to the rest of the world,” added Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak.

“There are so many young people, and also so many new Burbank residents these days, who don’t know about the central role of Warner Bros. in the development of the film industry in the 20th century, and don’t know that this fabulous history unfolded all here in Burbank where many of the classic movies of all time were made.”

“And many who knew this history have forgotten much about it,” continued Kozak. “It blew my mind to realize that Casablanca was filmed in its entirety just a few blocks from this library.”

The event begins at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13. The interview and Q&A session will take about an hour and the author will sign books afterwards. Books will be available on site for purchase. The event is free to the public.

 

Willy Wonka Visits and Warner Bros. Studios Celebrate Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

On Tuesday, eight-year-old Sage Marie Spaeth were flown out from Teaneck, New Jersey to visit Willy Wonka at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. As a winner of Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge, Sage had the opportunity to pitch her story idea to a major Hollywood Executive at Warner Bros. Animation studio and take a tour of the Warner Bros. Studio Lot.

Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge recently wrapped on its first year of submissions. The contest received over 20,000 imaginative story ideas from American kids ages 5-12. Only five children, including Sage, were selected to see their stories come to life with the aid of Willy Wonka.

To find out more about Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge, you can visit their website here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warner Bros. Entertainment Announces 2017 Reach Program Honorship Recipients

Warner Bros. Entertainment has announced high school seniors Isabella Cassandra-Newman, Xinye (Leaf) Hou, Xochilt Khoury, Xochitl (Xo) Torres, and Jacob Sugars as the 2017 Reach Honorship recipients.

2017 recipients, pictured from left to right- Xochitl Torres, Jacob Sugars, Xinye (Leaf) Hou, Issabella Cassandra-Newsmam, Xochilt Khoury (Photo Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Through its Reach program, Warner Bros. awards internship and scholarship packages, known as Honorships, to five graduating high school seniors passionate about the business of entertainment each year. As part of these Honorships, students are each awarded $5,000 scholarships and the opportunity to complete four paid summer internships at Warner Bros., beginning with the summer immediately following their high school graduation. Additionally, the scholars are paired with a different executive mentor each summer and provided additional networking opportunities with entertainment industry professionals. Successful Reach program graduates are eligible for full-time positions at the company after completing their degrees.        

“The Reach Honorship program is intended to provide a few of the exceptional young people in our community with a truly unique opportunity and unparalleled access to the entertainment industry,” said Mary-Elizabeth Michaels, Director, Community Affairs, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Our program exposes the students to a corporate setting to both gain first-hand experience learning various business practices at Warner Bros. as well as to build a network of contacts and hone the professional skills that will best prepare them for their post-college careers.”

(left to right) Xochilt Khoury, Jacob Sugars, Xochitl Torres (Photo Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Burbank High School’s own Jacob Sugars has earned the Warner Bros. Animation/Hanna-Barbera Reach Honorship. With plans to study animation at California State-Fullerton, Sugars represents the first-time Burbank winner of the highly competitive Warner Bros. Animation/Hanna-Barbera Reach Honorship, the sole Honorship open to applicants across the United States.

Additionally, this year’s Burbank Reach Honorships were awarded to Xochilt Khoury and Xochitl (Xo) Torres, marking the first time since the 2010 class that three of the recipients hail from Burbank. A recent graduate of John Burroughs High School, Khoury is set to study literature at UC San Diego this fall, while Burbank High School’s Torres is headed to California State University-Long Beach to major in film and electronic arts with a minor in marketing.

Isabella Cassandra-Newman and Xinye (Leaf) Hou are the recipients of this year’s Los Angeles County Reach Honorships. Cassandra-Newman, graduating from LA County High School for the Arts, will be pursuing a double major in English (concentrating on creative writing) and photojournalism at George Washington University in the fall. After graduating from South Pasadena High School, Hou will matriculate to UC Berkeley this fall to study economics

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Lockheed Meets Warner Bros.

Warner Bros Lockheed

Ever wonder what it was like to be one of the thousands of people who worked for Lockheed during World War Two?

Wonder no more!! Through the magic of the cinema you can be there! During the War Warner Brothers made a Patriotic Movie titled “WINGS FOR THE EAGLE”.

Warner Bros had access to the production facilities for their background footage and you can see Hudson Bombers and P-38 Lightning’s being made as the actors move through the plant.

We have put together a highlight reel here, enjoy!