Recently Time Warner offered its customers the opportunity to take a tour through one of their studios called the “Time Warner Cable Studios Tour Experience”. There were several shows that the tour featured, but it was headlined by the Game of Thrones exhibition which HBO is currently touring. Most of the Time Warner tour was just ok, and kind of interesting, but the Game of Thrones exhibit made it worth my while.
The Game of Thrones exhibit featured several props used in the show. My favorite prop there had to be Jamie’s severed hand. It surprisingly looked faker then I thought it would. I guess they never really get too close to it in the series, or perhaps they have different hands pending on what they need to be used for? There were several costume pieces that were roped off, and grouped together nicely. At the end of the tour you were given the opportunity to take a picture on the Iron Throne. It’s just as uncomfortable as described. My one regret is that I wasn’t wearing something to make me look more badass as I sat upon the throne.
The exhibition also gave me my first experience with the Oculus Rift, which is a virtual reality headset that completely immerses you in a video game. The virtual world on the tour placed you in an elevator to ascend the white wall. I was really impressed by the immersion I felt. I wanted to stretch my arms out and move around. It also showed off one of the flaws of the Rift. As a person that wears glasses, the Rift was extremely uncomfortable. It shoved the glasses into my face, and made it hard to concentrate on anything other than that. Hopefully they get it worked out in future versions.
One of the other interesting shows on the tour were Black Sails, where they had some maps and swords, and bio’s of the captain and the crew. They also had a setup there where you could take a picture of yourself giving a skull and crossbones style salute, like they advertise in their show. You can watch the first episode for free on their website even if you aren’t a Starz subscriber. The first episode just aired January 25th so you haven’t missed much if you haven’t seen it. From what I have seen the show looks interesting, and I’ll have to start watching soon.
Another major show that was being promoted was Vikings, on the History Channel. I’ve never watched this show, but I think I now have to go back and give it a try. As part of the tour, Time Warner dressed you up like Viking warriors and placed you in green screen. Then they made an interesting little video out of it where the attendees looked like they were about to go to war and charge an army. I’ve gotta say, they did a really good job with the green screen effect. I’ve been to some tour and events like this where it just never looked right, or just didn’t work, but they went all out to pull this off. Season 2 of Vikings will begin February 27th.
There were a few other little things on the tour for those interested. They were promoting Jimmy Fallon taking over as the Tonight Show host and giving people the opportunity to take a green screen shot with any of the previous tonight show hosts. They also had an ESPN set done where you read the teleprompter to make a video as if you were a real sports commentator. Time Warner also had a room for the 24 hour toddler channel, Squirt, which actually looked kind of interesting. I think if I had kids in that age range I would probably have it on a lot.
Overall the tour was a really cool thing for Time Warner to put together. I still wish I had FIOS, but this experience makes me despise Time Warner just a little less. It reminds me of the Microsoft commercial they released about a year ago for IE. If you haven’t seen it you should. Time Warner is promising more events and exclusives like this studio tour. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.