I recently took a trip to Los Angeles and had the opportunity to visit the Sony Pictures lot with my buddy in Culver City and wanted to share some of pictures I managed to take (we were prohibited from taking too many) and highlights from my time there.

I had initially gotten a little frustrated with myself as I was a little unprepared and after knocking on many of the studio doors (including Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions) and being told I needed an appointment, I came to realise I really should have reached out to these guys before I left for L.A. - I guess the excitement of finally visiting the United States and particularly California was a little overwhelming for me which lead me to be slightly unorganised about the whole thing; you can imagine my excitement when I was told yes I could visit Sony, and yes, I could take a look at the scoring stage as it was not being used that morning...

Our guide Kelly Newman was just fantastic, totally enthusiastic about Sony, L.A., and all the history surrounding L.A. and the Sony lot which was incredibly insightful. I didn't realise just how many studios had operated on that land; originally the Triangle Film Corporation, then Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and now of course Sony, of whom own and operate both Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures.

I managed to get a look at all the original Oscars the Sony studios had won over the years in the reception of the executive offices, followed by a stroll through many of the outside filming locations, offices of the likes of Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions. We managed to get on some of the sound stages which were currently closed for the season, namely 'The Goldbergs", A Happy Madison produced TV show.

What interested me about this stage (besides the level of detail that went into building the set), was the way in which the lighting could be controlled. Standing on the outside, there were these huge backdrops of a garden, which to be honest, made no sense to me being outside, they just looked too big and out of proportion, but once we were inside the set itself, it made perfect sense. From inside, looking out the window, it looks like night-time and those overly large backdrops really did look like a garden. The amount of lights on the ceiling was just incredible and you could really start to see how shooting any scene and controlling the time of day at any time is possible.

While on the subject of backdrops, I was also shown one of the oldest building on the lot which has pretty much not changed since day one! Before the days of computers and digital image creation, these backdrops had to be painted by hand, the facilities for doing such thing are till very much in tact. Over several floors, the backdrops could be hung up, raised and lowered to all artists to work on such a large scale. For the life of me, I can't recall the name of the company responsible for it, but they had a backlog of original backdrops all folded and archived available for rent.

Onto the Sony scoring stage, or as it is now known "The Barbra Streisand Stage", well what can I say, not to mention the history of amazing film scores captured in that room, but a custom Neve console, pro tools rigs galore, controllers, microphones, instruments, booths, I was pretty much in heaven. The live room itself is huge and but what's more interesting was the natural dynamics of the room. There is hardly and sound dampening present, no movable curtains that can be found in studios such as Abbey Road. It's not exactly full of reverb, but there is a strange echo in the room which clearly adds a unique colour which has now become a favourite among many composers, John Williams being no exception with movies such as Schindler's List being recorded in this very room. It was quite surreal to be standing and chatting in there picturing the many composers, musicians, directors and supervisors who have been there over the years producing the scores we love.

Following the scoring stage, we took another long stroll around the lot, checked out the original car from Ghostbusters and of course the RV from Breaking Bad and took a walk around the sound stage for 'Wheel of Fortune" before saying goodbye and heading off for some lunch.

It was a really amazing experience and if you are ever up in Culver City, give them a bell and try to get yourself in there, well worth a visit!