Warner Bros,Los Angeles
While Universal Studios is now a theme park, Warner Bros offers a chance to explore LA’s cinema history with behind-the-scenes visits at its working studio. The tour includes a walk through some of WB’s backlots – used for films and TV shows ranging from Casablanca to Friends – while the studio archive is filled with memorabilia from more hit productions, with a special exhibition dedicated to recent blockbuster franchises Batman and Harry Potter. The props department, which is also open to visitors, is the largest in the world, with more than 450,000 registered artefacts.
- Adults $62, child 8-12 $52, wbstudiotour.com. Open daily 9am-3.15pm
Visitors enjoy their times at Cinecitta World theme park in RomeAssociated with the making of movie classics such as Ben Hur, Cleopatra and La Dolce Vita, this major studio – the largest in Europe – offers the chance to walk in the footsteps of glamorous stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Built in the 1930s by Benito Mussolini and a base for renowned Italian director Federico Fellini, the studio has an exhibition called Cinecittà Shows Off, which charts cinematic history with the help of costumes, design sketches and more – while tours take you through sets such as the reconstruction of Broadway used for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
- Adults €20 (for exhibition and outdoor set visit), child (6-10) €10. Guided tours in Italian and English, check website for times, cinecittasimostra.it. Open daily, except Tues, 9.30am-6.30pm
We all know that New Zealand was the location for director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Ring’s and Hobbit films, and you can visit the Shire and other spots from Middle Earth with a tour of the Hobbiton movie set in Waikato, on the North Island. But for a different NZ film experience, try a tour of the Weta Workshop; the special effects and prop company in Wellington where the stunning costumes for Jackson’s films were created. Famed for innovations such as PVC chainmail (12.5 million links were manufactured for Lord of the Rings), the workshop also produced designs for Thunderbirds Are Go and King Kong. Tours take you behind the scenes of the workshop in action, as well as inside the “Weta Cave”, an incredible shop-meets-archive of props and collectibles.
- Weta Cave and workshop tour, adults £12, children 6-12 £6, wetaworkshop.com. Open daily 9am-5.30pm.
La Cité du Cinéma, Saint Denis, France
Visits to La Cité du Cinéma start in the “Nef”, a breathtaking nave-like industrial space that wasan electric power plant until 1981. Inside the 220m-long, 18m-high space are displays of sets and costumes from films such as the Fifth Element, and behind-the-scenes stories of “Hollywood sur Seine”. The studiowas the brainchild of leading French director Luc Besson, who came across the abandoned plant during the shooting of Léon, and was inspired to create a film-making hub to compete with Pinewood and Cinecittà. It opened in 2012 and since then has been used for shooting films including The Family, Taken 2 and 3 and the Transporter Refuelled.
- Tours last one hour 45 minutes, adults €14.90, children under 16 €9.90, citeducinema.org. Open daily 10.30am-8pm
Film City, Mumbai
Bollywood’s spiritual homeland, Film City (almost all Bollywood films have, in part, been filmed here) opened to the public just two years ago. Since 2014, it’s been possible to go on tours of the vast complex, which produces more than 100 films a year across 42 outdoor shooting locations and 16 studios. Guided tours venture to some of these locations, including a helipad, a temple and a church and – if possible – stop by a set while a shoot is in action.
- Two-hour guided tour in Hindi and English, £6, mumbaifilmcitytours.com
Paramount, Los Angeles
Guests outside the Paramount studio backlot on a guided tour. Los Angeles, US
The US’s oldest running studio, Paramount is behind mega-hits such as Titanic, Forrest Gump … and Transformers. Today, the studio covers 65 acres with 30 stages (superstition dictates that there’s no stage 13, however). There’s a $1.5m reconstruction of a New York street – with 10 distinct backdrops – as well as a huge Blue Sky Tank. Visitors are led by a guide behind the scenes on the lot; there’s also an option to do a late-night after-dark tour, with torches provided.
- Two-hour tours $55, advance booking required. paramountstudiotour.com. Open daily, tours take place every half hour from 9am-4pm
Atlas Film Studios, Morocco
In terms of acreage, Atlas is the world’s largest film studio. Of course, it’s easy to spread out when you’re in the middle of the desert. Located 5km west of the city of Ouarzazate, Atlas saw the filming of various dusty location-set movies: the Mummy, Alexander the Great, Black Hawk Down and several of the Star Wars saga. There are giant Egyptian-style statues guarding a replica tomb, and a huge colosseum used for the filming of Gladiator. It’s fair to say this studio is epic by name and epic by nature.
- Adult £9.60, children 6-12 £6.75, studiosatlas.com. Open daily 8.15am-5.15pm (Oct-Feb) and 8.15am-6.45pm (Mar-Sept)
Warner Bros Studio, Leavesden, UK
New Zealand may be a hotspot for Hobbit hunters but in the UK the Harry Potter films have turned Warner Bros Studios near Watford into a pilgrimage site for fans. The walking tour takes visitors up close to the sets, costumes and props used in the films. You can step inside Dumbledore’s office and wander down Diagon Alley, as well as taking a look at well-known magical items such as Harry’s Nimbus 2000 and Hagrid’s motorcycle. You’ll also learn about the technical side of creating one of the most successful film series of all time, with insight into the special effects and animatronics.
- Adults £35, children 5-15 £27, under 4s free (but ticket booking still required), family ticket £107 (two adults, two children), wbstudiotour.co.uk. Open daily, opening times vary, check website for details
Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo
The character Totoro awaits visitors at the entrance of this shrine to the work of Japan’s leading animation studio. The museum is designed to recreate the essence of the magic worlds found in many of Studio Ghibli’s films, with forest animals and sprites tucked away and waiting to be discovered by eagle-eyed visitors. Executive director Hayao Miyazaki stipulated that the museum should be “put together as if it were a film” and small children should be “treated as if they were grownups”, and these threads run through the design of each vibrant room. Fans will be pleased to know that a giant stuffed version of the Cat Bus – the grinning, hollow-bodied cat that transports the characters in My Neighbour Totoro – can be found on the second floor.
- Adults £6.50, children 7-12 £2.50, 13-18 £4.50, ghibli-museum.jp. Open daily, except Tues, from 10am-6pm
Filmpark Babelsberg, Germany
From pyrotechnics to set design, every aspect of film production is presented at this working studio just outside Berlin. Visitors can see a wide range of sets, from oriental gardens to a medieval town – used each year for Halloween horror nights. Still, the highlight for most visits will be the epic stunt shows that take place in a 2,500-capacity arena, featuring all the explosions, motorbike jumps and fist fights blockbuster action-flick dreams are made of.
- Adults €21, children under 16 €14, filmpark-babelsberg.de. Open daily 10am-6pm, in October until 5pm
Source : http://www.theguardian.com