Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

For me, movie sets have always had a certain glamour and allure, and for as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to get to actually be on a movie set. For some, there’s a luster to standing in a Hogwarts corridor or dining in the same restaurant where Edward and Bella shared their first date. Popular movie sets or locations have sometimes been turned into tourist sites and fan shrines for people who want to enter a literary world, whether that be a magical boarding school or a future dystopic society.

Harry Potter fans, for instance, don't have to wait for their Hogwarts letter to visit Hogwarts. They can experience the wizarding world by traveling to  Harry Potter: The Exhibition now in Sydney, Australia; the Wizarding World of HarryPotter at the Universal Orlando theme park and planned to open in 2015 or 2016 at Universal Studies Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan; and the recently opened Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London.  Gloucester Cathedral,  Alnwick Castle, and King's Cross Station all also offer access to sites featured in the films. For a Harry Potter tourbook of sorts, check out Steve Vander Ark’s In Search of Harry Potter , which chronicles his journey throughout the U.K. to find the locations described in the books.

In the US, Twilight tourism is alive and well in Forks, Washington, where you can see where the movies were filmed. A special guidebook  was created for fans interested in taking a “Twilight Tour” around Washington, and even the Food Network Magazine featured an article on eateries from the Twilight books and films.

The U.S. also provided the backdrop for scenes filmed in the cinematic adaptation of The Hunger Games, and a decrepit town in North Carolina served as the backdrop for Panem’s District 12 , a town that is currently up for sale. Fans of The Hunger Games trilogy can travel through locations used in the film and have a hands-on Hunger Games experience by taking a day-long or weekend-long Hunger Games Fan Tour that includes a lottery, survival training, and a Hunger Games simulation.

So, whether you're hoping for your Hogwarts letter, an eager Twi-hard, or an aspiring Tribute, literary tourism has something for you!

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