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In what is part of a global expansion of new studio space, German group Penzing Studios has opened a new film and TV backlot at the former air base in Penzing, 30 miles west of Munich.
The first productions are already underway in the refurbished airplane hangars. The studio boasts Germany’s first state-of-the-art virtual production stage, Hyperbowl. Further sound stages are set to open in June. Penzing joins the other three major German backlots: Studio Babelsberg outside Berlin, Bavaria Studios in Grünwald near Munich and MMC in Cologne.
The developers plan to invest an additional €100 million ($113 million) over the next three years to expand the facility to 12 sound stages with 25,000 square meters of production space and 15,000 square meters of workshop and office spaces. Penzing will focus on digital and virtual production and also house post-production and visual effects services.
Built in cooperation with architecture firm Snohetta, Penzing Studios claims to be the world’s first zero-emission film studio and the group says all structures added to the existing facilities will use rammed earth and timber to create a sustainable working environment.
The sharp increase in production globally, driven by streaming services, has led to a surge in demand for studio facilities. New backlots are being built, or existing facilities being expanded, worldwide.
“Supply continues to outstrip demand for studio facilities, and there are transformative shifts underway in the way in which film and television is created. We are at the forefront of these changes and aim to create a sustainable hub in which creative people can thrive and do their best work.” said Penzing Studios managing partner Jörn Siegele and producer and partner Joe Neurauter.
The former army airbase in Penzing, known as the barracks where Johnny Cash was stationed as a GI, closed three years ago. Late last year, with funding from state body Invest in Bavaria and an investment grant for the Hyperbowl stage from Bavaria’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Penzing Studios stepped in to develop and convert the site.
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