From home to the film location site, from a film audience to a film tourist
A range of scholars in media studies suggest that film can enhance the awareness and appeal of the film locations because of its power of imagery (Macionis 2004; Beeton 2016; Riley and Van Doran 1992). Induced and motivated by film-related elements, a group of audiences are no longer merely the recipients of film contents but also the tourists, who are going to visit the film-related sites. The journey that audiences visit the film-related sites in person can be described as film-related tourism.
In this paper, the basic characteristics of film-related tourism will be introduced at the beginning for demonstrating audiences’ film journey to different types of film-related tourism sites, i.e., on-location film site and off-location film site (Beeton 2005). Then, it will specifically use an off-location film tourism site Hengdian World Studios (HWS) in China as the case to see audiences’ travel experience as film tourists at the destination. For detailed describing the touristic experience, this paper is going to apply the ethnography research method to show my personal film tour from home to the film sites in HWS, and thus examine the process of people’ identity change from film audiences to film tourists in the physical movement from home to the film location sites. Finally, authenticity issues, staged authenticity and existential authenticity, in audiences’ film tour will be discussed in order to better understand audiences’ on-site activities as well as the marketing strategies at the destination.