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Cinema students take a VIP tour of Universal Studios

Tour+guide+tells+the+students+about+the+new+Harry+Potter+World.+
Tour guide tells the students about the new Harry Potter World.

Tour guide tells the students about the new Harry Potter World.

Tour guide tells the students about the new Harry Potter World.

Carlos Rodriguez, Staff Writer

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For the first time in the history of teacher Matt Stroup’s Cinematography class, students were given the chance to go on a VIP tour of the Universal Studios backlot. They were able to get a behind-the-scenes look into the industry and find out how films are produced. Some students went on Nov. 2 while others went on Nov. 8, with 93 students attending in total.

Upon arrival at Universal Studios, students were split into two different groups which they were allowed to choose. Once it was time to go on the VIP tour, the guide took the students towards the backlot and, once there, the students got onto a bus with special branding on it. The first stop was the set for Steve Harvey’s talk show Steve. On the set, the tour guide talked about how the show is produced and made sure to point out the array of cameras for shooting located on the ceiling.

After some time there, the students went back on the bus only to exit once again, this time to go into a warehouse filled with rental props. As they looked around the many floors they found everything ranging from old computers to furniture and guitars. The tour guide mentioned that many props are actually made of rubber to prevent accidental injury, which explains why fighting scenes aren’t always dangerous to film.

“It was interesting to find that Clark students could rent the props for a discount,” Stroup said. “It was fun to see the sets and the backdrops. One of the chaperones was a former student that shot a commercial on the lot.”

The usual attractions and visuals from the standard studio tour were present on the VIP tour as well, such as the King Kong 3D and Fast and Furious simulations. The former stopped during the middle of the simulation so the bus had to go around a second time and a joke about that was made by the tour guide.

Near the end of the tour, the students left the bus once more and went onto a grassy field. Upon closer inspection, it could be seen that the grass was fake as it could be pulled off — certainly not a bad thing during film production. The tour guide took everyone from the grassy field onto a small neighborhood-like area with different types of buildings.

What was an area with yogurt shops and a bright scenery quickly turned into a desert-like, dusty environment surrounded by walls. The tour guide revealed that a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean had been filmed in this location, among many other films.

The tour bus then took the students back to the theme park itself where they were able to go on a couple of rides, such as the newly-built Harry Potter attractions, to pass the time together. Moreover, they ate food and had laughs which made the day one to never forget.

“I saw way more than I thought I would,” said Clark junior Christine Chang. “I saw the inside, the studios, how everything functions behind the scenes. It was a really good learning experience.”

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Cinema students take a VIP tour of Universal Studios