Yesterday, I was invited to Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California for a tour by an acquaintance who works as a software engineer in the animation department of the company. Unfortunately, a lot of it was private so I wasn’t able to take my photographs, but I was able to capture some of the more public areas.
Our tour started in the museum area. I don’t really watch movies or television shows, so a lot of this didn’t really have much meaning to me.
The tour continued outdoors.
These large tan buildings are where movie sets are created and scenes are filmed.
These facilities used to be on-site housing for actors, but now they’re just offices. Apparently that golf cart is manufactured by Cadillac and is owned by someone famous, but I didn’t really recognize the name so I don’t remember whose it is.
Apparently there’s a new Ghostbusters movie coming out. They had the Ghostbusters car parked outside.
We were then led through an outdoor set.
I don’t remember the significance of this building, but there were some awards sitting inside (which I was not permitted to photograph).
After a tour of that campus, I met up with my acquaintance, who had finished working, and we got a tour of her work area. An overwhelming majority of it was confidential, so the only photograph I have of it is this Spider-Man mural.
As part of our tour, there was a photo opportunity where my friend Doug Wreden and I were supposed to stand in front of a green screen and we would be chromakeyed into an episode of Jeopardy. The prompt was to act like we had won, but while I was thinking about how I would react if I won Jeopardy, the photographer already captured the shot.
As someone who is not really a fan of movies, this wasn’t really the best tour for me. Sony also has a music division, and I discovered throughout the tour by way of random posters that some of my favorite artists are signed to Sony Music, but the tour itself focused almost entirely on film and not on music. I am a lot more interested in music than film and television, so if there was a more music-oriented tour, I think I would have enjoyed that a lot more.
The highlight of my visit was, by sheer luck and coincidence because that was just the walking route we happened to take, overhearing Olivia Rodrigo in one of those tan buildings rehearsing for her performance at Coachella 2024. My second favorite part of the visit was eating a free Rice Krispy Treat. I think that might put into perspective how disinterested I am in movies and movie stars.
With that being said, if you are a big movie nut, this could potentially be a good tour for you to take. You don’t need a special invitation to go on it like I did—apparently you can just go on Sony’s website and purchase tickets (at least for the first portion on the main campus, though it wouldn’t grant access to the animations building). If you like celebrities, you might even see some famous people during the tour.