Get set for the stars: Visit Shanghai Film Studios
Hengdian, one of China's large film studios, was in the headlines recently for Hugh Jackman's shoot alongside Li Bingbing. But trekking all the way to Zhejiang for the smallest of chances of seeing your favorite film star is a bit of a stretch. We prefer Sonjiang’s Shanghai Film Studios.
Shanghai Film Studios is only a day trip away, but the expansive movie park lets the visitor explore the sets as if you were wandering through an older, quieter version of Shanghai or exploring 1920s Nanjing Lu, an eerily empty old town with a central square with its motley mix of architecture. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of your favorite actor at work.
This majestic church is one of the most popular sites in the film park, says the security guard. This church appears in the popular Chinese television show “Shang Hai Tan” and its remake “Xin Shang Hai Tan.”
“I like this place because you can see how Shanghai used to be,” says Yang Dong (left), who came to the studio with Zhang Cui Lian (right), over a Chinese national holiday. “It must have been so nice.”
In this green-filled square, the building styles range from Russian to Spanish. The central building resembles the 1930s Moller Villa, now a hotel on Shanxi Nan Lu. Coincidence?
Inside a large white building on the square, wax figures of Chinese ethnic groups await. There are also qipaos featured in various movies, period costumes, and police garb through the decades.
While visitor Stella Gao acknowledges the exquisite taste of the Western Room, her favorite part of the studios is Old Nanjing Lu: “I like how, even back then, it was a mix of foreign and Chinese.”
At Talking Land Cafe, or Duo Xing Dao, stars often come for refueling, says manager Li Qian. “More than 200 movie stars and directors have come to this café,” she says. “I can’t pick a favorite though meeting Ang Lee was pretty cool.”
If you’re lucky, you can even watch stars filming their latest flick on one of the many outdoor sets. Unfortunately, we only spotted camera crews, make-up artists and two Haibao extras lounging on their break.
“I’ve seen this bridge in movies and television shows so it was exciting to see it in real life,” says Liang Tao, of Suzhou, who came to the studios with his girlfriend Zhou Meng. The bridge is featured in the popular television show “Qing Shen Shen Yu Meng Meng,” or “Romance in the Rain.”
Shanghai Film Studios: Take the line 9 subway to the last stop at Songjiang Xincheng, and then take a RMB 30 taxi ride to 4915 Beisong Lu. RMB 50 entrance fee. Tel: +86 21 5760 1627.