10 Production Facilities That Are Giving Hollywood a Run for Its Money

 Courtesy of Alvernia Studios

Baja Studios
Mexico

  • Raw Data Baja Studios offers exterior and interior water tanks with a combined volume of more than 20 million gallons. The largest exterior tank, which holds 16 million gallons, affords a seamless horizon vista of the Pacific Ocean. The studio also has a five-acre backlot area with an unobstructed ocean view.
  • Résumé Pearl Harbor, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Tomorrow Never Dies
  • The Pitch Built by Fox in 1996 for the filming of James Cameron's Titanic, the 35-acre oceanfront studio in Baja California is known first and foremost as a facility for water-related shoots. A strong draw for Hollywood-based producers is, of course, reduced travel expenses due to the studio's proximity to California: It's just a half-hour drive south of the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Pinewood Indomina Studios
Dominican Republic

  • Raw Data This just-announced film and television production facility will initially comprise more than 53,000 square feet of soundstage space along with more than 160,000 square feet of production support facilities. The 35-acre site will also include a water effects facility, including an exterior water tank with natural ocean horizons, bluescreen capabilities and a fully equipped diving and marine department. When completed, it will be the only tank of its type and size in the region. Commencement of initial operations is expected by early 2012.
  • Résumé None
  • The Pitch Located in the beach town of Juan Dolio on the Dominican Republic's southern coast, about 40 miles east of Santo Domingo, Pinewood Indomina Studios will be a full-service production facility catering to the growing Caribbean and South and Central America markets as well as Hollywood and the rest of the world.

3 Mill Studios
U.K.

  • Raw Data Set on a 20-acre island site within easy reach of central London, 3 Mills Studios provides a full range of production facilities, including 14 soundstages, 10 rehearsal rooms, more than 200 production offices, prison exterior and cell set buildings (1700s-1980s), prop stores, paint shops, a screening room and more than 300 parking bays.
  • Résumé Frankenweenie, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  • The Pitch Thanks to its proximity to London, 3 Mills Studios provides multiple location shooting opportunities -- both on- and off-site. The studios' exteriors and interiors have doubled as police stations, hospitals, nightclubs, airport lounges and urban London, New York and Victorian streetscapes, all within the facility's secure environment. 3 Mills also benefits from a close relationship with the British Film Institute and screen agency Film London, which can assist in providing access to locations and resources throughout the U.K.

Cape Town Film Studios
South Africa

  • Raw Data CTFS offers four sound-stages totaling 75,000 square feet, 18,300 square feet of fully furnished production offices and 68,000 square feet of multipurpose workshops and art departments. The complex is also equipped with a 2D/3D 37-seat grading cinema and fiber optic networks that allow for affordable transfer of rushes to any part of the world.    
  • Résumé Dredd
  • The Pitch Southern Africa's first custom-built studio hub is located a mere 25 minutes from Cape Town's city center and 10 minutes from Cape Town International Airport. According to CEO Nico Dekker, CTFS, which opened late last year, represents the first significant investment in film infrastructure in the history of South Africa and offers a new level of service to meet the needs of any big-budget production in the region.

Docklands
Australia

  • Raw Data Situated five minutes from Melbourne, Docklands is undergoing a $10.5 million upgrade thanks to funding by the state government of Victoria in a bid to boost production levels. The redevelopment includes upgrading soundstages and undertaking a feasibility study to build Australia's only horizon tank. That would add to the site's five purpose-built, state-of-the-art soundstages, each with its own production offices and associated facilities, as well as a giant workshop suitable for set construction and storage.
  • Résumé The Pacific, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, The Killer Elite
  • The Pitch Docklands has thrived thanks in part to a range of incentives, including the Australian government's 15 percent location and 15 percent post and digital effects incentive and three key Victorian incentives: the Production Investment Attraction Fund, the Regional Location Assistance Fund and the Head of Department Incentive, all of which can be accessed by productions shooting at Docklands.

Huairou Production Base
China

  • Raw Data Huairou's production, postproduction and animation facilities can handle 80 films, 100 digital movies and about 500 TV episodes each year, offering extras casting, transportation, equipment rental, production assistance and logistics. By the end of 2011, Huairou will add a branch of the China Film Group film and video postproduction laboratory, offering film processing and printing, DVD manufacturing, copy developing and sound dubbing.
  • Résumé Mei Lanfang, The Karate Kid (2010), The Great Magician
  • The Pitch Huairou's biggest boast is its coziness to the Film Bureau, which could smooth everything from getting a shooting permit to getting the finished product approved to screen in China, where box office jumped 64 percent to $1.5 billion last year.

Russian World Studios
Russia

  • Raw Data Russian World Studios in St. Petersburg features six soundstages -- four at 8,072 square feet and two at 3,767 square feet. It has a Dolby Premier Studio designed by the U.K.'s Harris Grant Associates, one of 15 such facilities in the world.
  • Résumé Leningrad, The Spirit
  • The Pitch The first dedicated film production facility built in Russia in 60 years, RWS developers are expanding the St. Petersburg-based facility into a world-class studio modeled on Germany's Babelsberg or the U.K.'s Pinewood. The facility is a key part of a long-term plan to transform St. Petersburg's burgeoning film sector into a thriving global film hub.

Alvernia Studios
Poland

  • Raw Data: The studio is housed in an ultramodern interconnected system of domes with biomechanoid interior design inspired by H.R. Giger's Alien. It has state-of-the-art facilities for every stage of the filmmaking process up to and including making a master copy, since the studio has its own lab and color correction. The production facilities include four soundstages and Europe's largest bluescreen. The 5,295 square foot dubbing studio is Dolby Premier Studio certified. The studio also has mobile facilities in a fleet of modern buses.
  • Resume: Vamps, Arbitrage
  • The Pitch: Located 19 miles west of richly historic Krakow, Poland, Alvernia Studios was fully equipped in 2009, went operational in 2010 and offers a turnkey filmmaking solution. Polish broadcasting mogul Stanislaw Tyczynski established RMF FM, Poland's first commercial radio station, subsequently selling it to Germany's Bauer Media Group to fund Alvernia.

Ciudad de la Luz
Valencia, Spain

  • Raw Data 86,000 square foot water tank (with natural horizon), 1,00 square foot green screen, production and support buildings, backlot, post-production room, film lab
  • Resume The Cold Light of Day, The Spark of Life, The Impossible
  • The Pitch Subsidies from the Culture Minister's Film Institute, which account for 33% of the Spanish producer's investment and 15% to 20% of the Spanish box office gross, capped at €2 million ($1.4 million) are in addition to the Valencia region's subsidy, a 16% return on local spending, which includes insurance and use of s Ciudad de la Luz. The package includes European cast and crew salaries, with a maximum salary subsidy of €50,000 ($73,000).

Reliance MediaWorks Studios
Mumbai, India

  • Raw Data Eight sound stages spread across 200,000 square feet and designed by LA-based Wylie Carter & Associates whose projects include some of the newer stages at Disney Studios, Hollywood Centre Studios and Raleigh Studios. The total studio capacity in is estimated at 370,000 square.
  • Resume N/A
  • The Pitch Built at an estimated cost of about Rupees 1 billion ($22 million), Reliance MediaWorks Studios – which opened last January in Mumbai's Film City complex – claims to be India's first "Hollywood benchmarked" facility. offering super silent 'sync sound' capable sound stages. "We are pleased to offer these state-of-the-art facilities which will target both international productions and the already burgeoning Indian film industry," says RMW CEO Anil Arjun.
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