Otherwise known as Tinseltown, the neighborhood of Hollywood in LA gained its popularity as the site of many historical studios and as the center of U.S. television and film industry. Because of its entertainment ties and roots, it only follows that Hollywood is a popular tourist attraction of the State of California.
Before moving on, please be advised that the main focus of this post is not about the glitter and glamour of Tinsel town. Although those aspects will also be briefly discussed, this post will serve as a warning on an unfortunate incident yours truly had while having my Hollywood vacation. Additionally, this post will provide some tips on how to avoid said unwanted situation in case you will have your own Hollywood visit.
History of Hollywood and the Film Industry
For obvious reasons, I will start with a brief history of Hollywood. It is important for the reader to realize why yours truly have decided a trip to Hollywood.
Earliest records of Hollywood and its ties to the motion picture industry dates back to as early as 1910. It was said that during this period, the Edison Trust or MPCC (the Motion Picture Patents Company which is owned by famous inventor Thomas Edison) routinely sued filmmakers which often resulted to the production being halted. Since the jurisdiction of many motion picture patents held by MPCC is only covered in the east coast (state of New Jersey), filmmakers decided to go west. While in the west coast, Hollywood's ideal climate and strategic location to different settings attracted many motion picture productions to camp their stuffs (permanently apparently) in the said site.
This so-called filmmakers-migration which started in the early 1900s has flourished to unprecedented heights thereby seemingly making the American Movie Industry as the number one film industry in the whole world.
Hollywood is Synonymous with the American Movie Industry
As discussed above, one can say that the American motion picture industry was born in Hollywood. In fact, many global blockbusters of the American movie industry was made in Hollywood. Although US film productions generate hundreds of movies every year, some of these movies are outstandingly produced that it generates profit of over a billion dollars.
Listed below are some examples of billion dollar movies that are made in Hollywood:
Avatar made a worldwide gross of $2,787,965,087 (2009)
Hollywood Attracts Fans
With all the great and blockbuster movies that came out of Hollywood, it is already a given why the place attracts millions of tourists every year. Needless to say, many of these tourists are movie buffs or adoring fans that wanted to feel and experience the glamour, glitter, and magic of Hollywood – and one such awe-struck fan is ME.
As a fan, I am deeply impressed on different Hollywood movies. I'm not saying that all Hollywood films are good, of course there would always be bad ones. I am not a critic, but when I say that when I find a Hollywood movie as bad, it might be because of poor acting, bad script, or just lame execution of event sequences. However, for good Hollywood films, one can clearly experience the depth and spot that the style would be classical. Basically, when a Hollywood movie is good, the fan will feel the passion everyone involved in making the film has.
My Hollywood Vacation
With all that being said, the reader can already understand why I wanted to have a Hollywood trip. Yours truly planned a visit to Hollywood for some of the following reasons:
• To know what it feels like to be in that place where all those great movies are made;
• To see famed Hollywood walk of fame;
• To check off in the bucket list that the Awesome jikZ Dude has been to Hollywood.
So the plan for a Hollywood Vacation is already set. It would have been a great Hollywood visit except for an undue incident, that although it did not ruin the entire trip, it did ruin the day to a certain extent.
Anyway, to be able to explain to it clearly, the Hollywood visit itinerary is as follows:
Vacation Plan: Stay for Five days at LA and visit all the major attractions in that 5-day stay
Day 1 and Day 2:
Visit Disney Resort in Anaheim California. I wouldn't delved too much here since I have already done so in this post --- Tips and Guide for a Disneyland Vacation
Visit Universal Studios Hollywood. Again, I wouldn't expand on this one here as I plan to dedicate an entire post on this one. For the meantime, you may want to checkout this excellent Q&A post about a Univesal Studios Hollywood Vacation --- Questions and Answer for a Universal Studios Hollywood Vacation
Day 4: Dedicate the whole day to a Hollywood visit
Now, this is the juicy part as this is where the unfortunate scenario occurred. So grab a popcorn, open up that can of soda, and read on.
Since it has been a long time that I have been to Hollywood, it would not be wise to go alone as some things may have already changed from the last time that I was there. To maximize my time and visit, I hooked up with a high school friend and asked him if he can tour me around the place. It’s all cool since although we have not seen each other in decades, we do have some occasional chatter in Facebook (Yeah, you can say all those negative stuffs about FB, but one thing is for sure – it does connect people).
Anyway, I am staying at Tropicana Hotel (the experience there is a different story for another post). But he did pick me up at the hotel and drove me all the way to Hollywood. It is a two hour drive which is a good thing since we were able to catch up on old times and as well as talk about what is going on with each other’s lives.
During the course of the conversation, he told me about the places that we would visit, the great places to have photos of, and the eateries that we would eat at. Additionally, he did warn of those so-called people who wear costumes and strategically pick spots where there are lots of tourists.
Beware of these tactics
As I was saying, my friend warned me about the below photo. He told me that these people are all smiles and are very attractive which would entice tourists to have pictures taken with them. There is nothing wrong with that and actually quite fun since it was like taking pictures at cosplay events. However, my friend also told me that when you do have taken photos with them, it is customary to tip them – in short, it is not free. Although there is no standard price, the regular tip is a dollar or two, and if you feel generous $5 bucks is already relatively high.
Strangely, one of the characters above (hint: the one who looks like holding folded cash in the hands), whispered that he would charge $20 bucks and showed an example on his palm. This happened at the moment where everyone is laughing, smiling, and snapping photos – and since I am taken by the moment, yours truly did not have time to ponder or think about that the said amount is quite high and totally forgot my friend’s warning.
I only realized it too late – while me and my friend are walking and he asked me how much I tipped them. I said $20 bucks where he was shocked and informed that it is too high. At first I brushed it off as only a small amount, but then again, yeah, I guess it was. Anyway, that said encounter did ruin my day – a little as I hate paying more than what is really worth. While eating, we talked about, laughed it off, and just charged it to experience.
Have Fun but Be Aware
Anyway, although $20 is a relatively small amount, it is important to not get fooled or get tangled in the spur of the moment. Sure, the people are just trying to earn and not all of them aims to trick people. I guess, my point is, don’t get duped – be aware and still have fun. Take pictures with them, but remember, payment or tipping is not compulsory but is more like of a good gesture.
Other Tourist Destinations
We have not reached the ending portion of this post. If you consider yourself a traveller, be sure to check out the Querlo Travel Chat below. Querlo is dubbed as the chatbot with the human touch and you may find the Querlo questions below engaging and insightful.