This is a review of the Sony Pictures Studios Tour, where scenes from TV series like Seinfeld and Jeopardy have been filmed. This studio is some 44 acres and gives fans of television shows and motion pictures insight into the long and tedious process of how fantasy is created for the masses. The Sony Pictures Studios Tour takes place in Culver City, California, which is southwest of downtown Los Angeles. This tour was part of a prize package I won. Nonetheless, the following observations are my own.
Sony Pictures Studios Tour Is Given by Friendly Guides Who Tell Fans Where Scenes of Such TV Series like Seinfeld and King of Queens Have Been Filmed
The tour, which people can expect to be at least two hours long, begins across the street at Sony Pictures Plaza. Guests are photographed because they will be given a free picture later of them “posing” on the Wheel of Fortune set. The tour guide first talks about the history of Sony Pictures as well as Columbia Pictures and MGM especially (which was on the property now known as Sony Pictures Studios). One of the great insights of this tour is that fans will learn that even the office areas are used as sets. The lobby area of Sony Pictures Plaza has been used for many airport scenes, including that of Tom Hanks’ The Terminal, even though it looks like an office building on the inside.
Soon after, the other guests and I went into the actual Sony Pictures Studios. Our friendly tour guide Will would often ask questions during the tour, and whoever got the question right would get prizes from his bag like a movie-themed CD. There are some really good vibes as we walked through the quaint village, which is where actual business takes place, yet is also great for filming scenes of many productions. I was surprised to find out that even a small shaded lawn with some trees is actually used (with a backdrop) for scenes in Central Park for shows like King of Queens and Seinfeld. One building’s exterior has the look of a hospital, court house, theatre, etc., that it’s been used in many programs and movies. It was also a treat to see some actual Academy Awards, too, which now cost $500 to make, according to our tour guide.
The Sony Pictures Studios tour guide uses guests to create scenes with action and dialogue through the tour so fans can get an understanding of how much work, money and time goes into making these productions like Seinfeld or a movie like the expected Fall 2010 premiere of Cher’s Burlesque (technicians get thousands of dollars per hour). These insights were garnered as we wondered the back studio lots, where sets are being constructed or de-constructed, including Stages 15 and 27, where the Wizard of Oz was filmed. As for that movie Burlesque, we were treated to walking down the same city block as Cher’s co-star Christina Aguilera will do in a scene.
Game Show Fans of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune Learn How Cold It Is for the Audience on the Sony Pictures Studios Tour
Because two iconic game shows, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, are filmed at the Sony Pictures Studios, guests on the tours get to go inside each of those stages to see what it’s like to be a part of the audience. We were given a tip by our tour guide Will to always dress warmly if you’re a part of the studio audience there because the place is kept really cool due to all the lighting.
I recommend this tour because its so insightful and interactive. Fans will have a really good time, but should know that there’s a lot of walking. Currently, the tours are Monday through Friday, and some include lunch. The least expensive tour currently costs $33 for each person, but folks can ask for customized tours. For more information on scheduling a tour, call 310-244-TOUR or visit the Sony Pictures Studios Tour weblink here.
Sources for this article about the review of the Sony Pictures Studios Tour:
Notes from Guided Tour, Sony Pictures Studios Tour, June 11, 2010