Made in Asia: Hong Kong


Shaw Brothers is one of the best-known, established brand names in Asian cinema -- and its studio compound, the newest such facility in Asia, might usher in a new era for the studio. Opened in 2005, the $200 million Shaw Studios in Hong Kong is a one-stop-shop studio, providing all services for film production.

The 10-acre compound boasts five fully soundproofed and air-conditioned soundstages, a three-level postproduction building, a backlot, a creative building for housing postproduction and 170,000 square feet of office space. It also houses a 400-seat studio and working theater -- the largest in the world -- for the final mix process.

Shaw Studios' biggest draw is its 10GB fiber-optic network, the most advanced in the world to date. Filmmakers are able to monitor shooting on the soundstages and postproduction simultaneously in one of the picture- or sound-editing suites, while the data is being delivered around the site.

The postproduction facilities are not yet fully operational, but the 19,762-square-foot Soundstage 1 -- the largest on the lot -- has housed the productions of Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution," the Josh Hartnett vehicle "I Come With the Rain" and Summit Entertainment's action-heavy "Push," starring Dakota Fanning. The latter film utilized the soundstage's exceptional 70-foot ceiling height, designed especially for Hong Kong-style wire effects.

The studio is now in the planning stage of a new postproduction division that will employ up to 400 full-time staff in postproduction, lab and soundstage management. Owing to the facilities' large capacity for film work -- the postproduction division can support up to six feature films concurrently -- the long-dormant studio is now considering investing in in-house productions as well.

The studio is a project close to founder Run Run Shaw's heart. "The new studio compound is Sir Run Run Shaw's gift to the Hong Kong film community, to provide the best facility for Hong Kong and the region," says Lloyd Chao, Shaw Studios director of business development and marketing.

"Hong Kong's infrastructure, the use of English -- it's easily adaptive," Chao adds.

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