A Trip To The Secret Lookout Mountain Air Force Station

“All I could do, was put my hand over my eyes.
The blast was so bright I could see my bones through my skin.”

In 1947, the U.S. Army Air Corps built a top-secret movie production studio on Wonderland Park Avenue. The location was hidden from view and surrounded by an electric fence. It is claimed that it was the world’s only completely self-contained movie studio. With 100,000 square feet of floor space, the covert studio included sound stages, screening rooms, film processing labs, editing facilities, an animation department and several climate-controlled film vaults. It also had a bomb shelter, underground parking and a helicopter pad.

Over its lifetime, the studio produced some 19,000 classified motion pictures – more than all the Hollywood studios combined [which I guess makes Laurel Canyon the real ‘motion picture capital of the world’]. Officially, the facility was run by the U.S. Air Force and did nothing more nefarious than process AEC footage of atomic and nuclear bomb tests. The studio, however, was clearly equipped to do far more than just process film…[more]

On March 8th 2009 I went on a trip to Laurel Canyon, accompanied by Jen and Randy, since I wanted to do one of my typical field recording sessions. So we took my car and just cruised around. The afternoon turned out to be an entertaining and slightly philosophical sight-seeing tour, with some reflective contemplations [mostly by Randy] about everything from L.A. design houses and iPhones to American flags or how odd it is to bartend at a Christmas Party in Bill Murrays house.

The Base is an audio documentary, a collection of snapshots taken during this trip. Sound would stay more in the background this time, because my focus was to capture rather the specific mood of that trip, the ironic perspectives on the typical hillside life of L.A. combined with the unexpected opportunity to visit the probaby strangest historic place Laurel Canyon has to offer.

Enjoy the noise,

00:00 – 00:55 Glass Containers for People
00:56 – 01:18 I’d Totally Fuck an iPhone
01:19 – 02:29 A Modern Perversion
02:30 – 04:10 Bill Murray, Weed and Miniskirts
04:11 – 05:08 All These Transplants
05:09 – 05:46 The Fucking Ocean
05:47 – 06:50 The Trippy Compound
06:51 – 10:11 Outside “The Base”
10:12 – 14:45 Inside “The Base”
14:46 – 15:50 Discovery Channel


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