Thursday, May 3, 2018
Desilu and 40 Acres
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
I was watching Hogan's Heroes as I do every night while typing for this blog and I noticed again the beautiful trees waving in the background in the high winds there and I wondered just where Stalag 13 was as it was not in Germany.
In doing a bit of research I came across a most fascinating bit of history in Desilu Studios where Hogan's Heroes was filmed for Bing Crosby Productions, in the same sets on which the Andy Griffith Show, The Real McCoys and Star Trek used.
To take the curtain up and show you the illusion of Hollywood, this was Culver City, and it was Culver City, as Desilu piled earth mounds up around the Back 40 Lot where all of these programs were filmed in their little cities which butted up against each other. The dirt banks gave the feeling that the lots were isolated, but the city was on the other side of the mounds.
In this photo you can see the Culver City water tower behind the cast of Hogan's Heroes.
If you look close this is the northeast location on the lot in the gate opening to Stalag 13, and in back you can see the Higeura Street telephone poles rising above the trees.
If you ever notice hills in the scenes behind Hogan's Heroes, those are the Baldwin Hills of Culver City looking southeast. All of the snow was fake as this was bright and sunny, never rains or snows in southern California.
Here is the barn from numerous scenes on Hogan's Heroes.
Here is the same barn in filming Mayberry RFD
Most of the rural scenes on roads were filmed on the Berm Road, as was this shot from the Andy Griffith Show. It is amazing with the right camera angle that an entire city was hidden and other sets on this 40 acre lot and it transported the viewers from Tara in Gone with the Wind to Hogan's Heroes to Batman.
Desilu on these back lots created some of the greatest television in history which still outshine all of what is on television since then. A studio with 40 acres created illusions which delighted millions and still is delighting billions.