Learning Film Magic from the Professionals: The Film Studio as a Tourist Destination




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Academy of Marketing (UK)



Peer reviewed


The phenomenon of film tourism is about as old as the movies themselves. Many consumers have been inspired by their favourite films to travel either to the locations they have seen on screen or to the locations where they have been filmed. Nevertheless, Connell (2012) argues that the film tourism literature is still in its early stages and lacks a decent understanding of how film tourists perceive, experience and relate to tourist destinations in general. And this is particularly true for the film studio as a tourist destination. Drawing on the author’s own film tourist experiences, observations and participatory interactions with fellow visitors at a major Hollywood film studio, this paper takes a photographic essay approach to explore from an autoethnographic ‘I’m-the-camera’-perspective to explore how consumers experience and engage with the magical world of film and filmmaking that film studios present to them in their guided studio tours. The study finds that the ‘authentic’ nature of the film studio tour appeals in particular to amateur filmmakers, who seek informative insights into the film business and to share their knowledge and experiences with other like-minded amateurs and professionals.



Film studio tours, Film Tourism, Film Fandom, Authenticity, Consumer Experiences, Photographic Essay, Autoethnography


Wohlfeil, M. (2015) Learning Film Magic from the Professionals: The Film Studio as a Tourist Destination. Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Annual Conference 2015 at the University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland, July 2015.


Research Institute