Oct 24, 2021
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Pinewood Toronto Studios Expands to Woo More Hollywood Tentpole Shoots

A $40-million expansion at Pinewood Toronto Studios is about more than just adding three more sound stages. It will give the Port Lands property a film and television capacity virtually unmatched anywhere.

Last year, the 4.5-hectare Port Land site played host to the two biggest budget movies in Canadian film production history, the remake of Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell, immediately followed by Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi monster epic, Pacific Rim, set for release in July, 2013.

“With the expansion, we’ll be able to host a Total Recall and a Pacific Rim simultaneously, which is a big improvement over what we could do in the past. It’s huge. It gives us a big advantage,” said Pinewood Toronto president and CEO Blake Steels.

Both films are, in Hollywood parlance, known as “tent pole” films, with total budgets of more than $150 million each to produce.

Both had a combined production total of more than $300 million, about one-quarter in gross dollars of Ontario’s $1.25 billion total film/television production spending in 2011.

Production in Toronto alone contributed just over $1.1 billion to that total.

The three new 10,800-square foot sound stages will add to seven existing spaces, including the “mega-stage,” the largest sound stage in North America, as well as two other special effects sound stages. An additional 100,000 square feet will also be built as part of the expansion.

The new sound stages will also allow Pinewood to increase its capacity for live television production, television pilots as well as feature film, Steels said. And, to offer affordable, high-quality studio space for Canadian productions, something the company has decided to focus on, he said.

“We think it’s terrific,” said Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of Ontario Media Development Corp., a funding agency for the creative industry, which includes film, television, publishing and music.

“Pinewood is a very important facility for us here in Ontario in terms of attracting major film production and television production to the city and the province.”

The corporation also runs the Ontario Film Commission, which does the scouting for incoming production.

Toronto is the third largest production centre in North America and this expansion will make the city even more competitive, said Thorne-Stone.

“These are purpose-built sounds stages, which are exactly what the high-end production are looking for.”

She doubts Pinewood’s expansion will hurt competitors, saying “there’s plenty of work to go around.”

“At OMDC the phone is continuing to ring and our success rate in terms of attracting production and doing significantly increased volumes of domestic production have been very high. So, all of our studios are busy these days.”

The venerable U. K-based Pinewood Studios Group joined a consortium of local partners in June 2009 to rescue the studio site, formerly known as Filmport, at a time when it was floundering due to increased competition and difficulty in attracting major film and television productions.

Pinewood Toronto Studios chairman Paul Bronfman said the McGuinty government “saved our proverbial butts” in 2009, when it beefed up the province’s tax credit program and made it permanent. “We wouldn’t be here today without that belief in our industry,” Bronfman said.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Front Page, Industry News

Pinewood Toronto Studios Expands to Woo More Hollywood Tentpole Shoots

A $40-million expansion at Pinewood Toronto Studios is about more than just adding three more sound stages. It will give the Port Lands property a film and television capacity virtually unmatched anywhere.

Last year, the 4.5-hectare Port Land site played host to the two biggest budget movies in Canadian film production history, the remake of Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell, immediately followed by Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi monster epic, Pacific Rim, set for release in July, 2013.

“With the expansion, we’ll be able to host a Total Recall and a Pacific Rim simultaneously, which is a big improvement over what we could do in the past. It’s huge. It gives us a big advantage,” said Pinewood Toronto president and CEO Blake Steels.

Both films are, in Hollywood parlance, known as “tent pole” films, with total budgets of more than $150 million each to produce.

Both had a combined production total of more than $300 million, about one-quarter in gross dollars of Ontario’s $1.25 billion total film/television production spending in 2011.

Production in Toronto alone contributed just over $1.1 billion to that total.

The three new 10,800-square foot sound stages will add to seven existing spaces, including the “mega-stage,” the largest sound stage in North America, as well as two other special effects sound stages. An additional 100,000 square feet will also be built as part of the expansion.

The new sound stages will also allow Pinewood to increase its capacity for live television production, television pilots as well as feature film, Steels said. And, to offer affordable, high-quality studio space for Canadian productions, something the company has decided to focus on, he said.

“We think it’s terrific,” said Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of Ontario Media Development Corp., a funding agency for the creative industry, which includes film, television, publishing and music.

“Pinewood is a very important facility for us here in Ontario in terms of attracting major film production and television production to the city and the province.”

The corporation also runs the Ontario Film Commission, which does the scouting for incoming production.

Toronto is the third largest production centre in North America and this expansion will make the city even more competitive, said Thorne-Stone.

“These are purpose-built sounds stages, which are exactly what the high-end production are looking for.”

She doubts Pinewood’s expansion will hurt competitors, saying “there’s plenty of work to go around.”

“At OMDC the phone is continuing to ring and our success rate in terms of attracting production and doing significantly increased volumes of domestic production have been very high. So, all of our studios are busy these days.”

The venerable U. K-based Pinewood Studios Group joined a consortium of local partners in June 2009 to rescue the studio site, formerly known as Filmport, at a time when it was floundering due to increased competition and difficulty in attracting major film and television productions.

Pinewood Toronto Studios chairman Paul Bronfman said the McGuinty government “saved our proverbial butts” in 2009, when it beefed up the province’s tax credit program and made it permanent. “We wouldn’t be here today without that belief in our industry,” Bronfman said.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Pinewood Toronto Studios Expands to Woo More Hollywood Tentpole Shoots

A $40-million expansion at Pinewood Toronto Studios is about more than just adding three more sound stages. It will give the Port Lands property a film and television capacity virtually unmatched anywhere.

Last year, the 4.5-hectare Port Land site played host to the two biggest budget movies in Canadian film production history, the remake of Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell, immediately followed by Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi monster epic, Pacific Rim, set for release in July, 2013.

“With the expansion, we’ll be able to host a Total Recall and a Pacific Rim simultaneously, which is a big improvement over what we could do in the past. It’s huge. It gives us a big advantage,” said Pinewood Toronto president and CEO Blake Steels.

Both films are, in Hollywood parlance, known as “tent pole” films, with total budgets of more than $150 million each to produce.

Both had a combined production total of more than $300 million, about one-quarter in gross dollars of Ontario’s $1.25 billion total film/television production spending in 2011.

Production in Toronto alone contributed just over $1.1 billion to that total.

The three new 10,800-square foot sound stages will add to seven existing spaces, including the “mega-stage,” the largest sound stage in North America, as well as two other special effects sound stages. An additional 100,000 square feet will also be built as part of the expansion.

The new sound stages will also allow Pinewood to increase its capacity for live television production, television pilots as well as feature film, Steels said. And, to offer affordable, high-quality studio space for Canadian productions, something the company has decided to focus on, he said.

“We think it’s terrific,” said Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of Ontario Media Development Corp., a funding agency for the creative industry, which includes film, television, publishing and music.

“Pinewood is a very important facility for us here in Ontario in terms of attracting major film production and television production to the city and the province.”

The corporation also runs the Ontario Film Commission, which does the scouting for incoming production.

Toronto is the third largest production centre in North America and this expansion will make the city even more competitive, said Thorne-Stone.

“These are purpose-built sounds stages, which are exactly what the high-end production are looking for.”

She doubts Pinewood’s expansion will hurt competitors, saying “there’s plenty of work to go around.”

“At OMDC the phone is continuing to ring and our success rate in terms of attracting production and doing significantly increased volumes of domestic production have been very high. So, all of our studios are busy these days.”

The venerable U. K-based Pinewood Studios Group joined a consortium of local partners in June 2009 to rescue the studio site, formerly known as Filmport, at a time when it was floundering due to increased competition and difficulty in attracting major film and television productions.

Pinewood Toronto Studios chairman Paul Bronfman said the McGuinty government “saved our proverbial butts” in 2009, when it beefed up the province’s tax credit program and made it permanent. “We wouldn’t be here today without that belief in our industry,” Bronfman said.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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