UK’s Pinewood Shepperton Studios Expanding in the Dominican Republic

March 9, 2011
By

A computer generated design showing how the studios will look.

The major British film studio, Pinewood Shepperton, located approximately 20 miles west of London’s downtown, recently announced its ambitious expansion plan to open a movie studio in the Dominican Republic. The studio will serve Latin America. The first phase of the construction began late last month, and it is hoped that it will be completed early next year.

This move follows an earlier plan by the studios to expand within the UK back in 2007. However, those domestic expansion plans were scrapped back in 2009 by the Buckinghamshire County Council, where the studios were to be built. The Council’s decision was influenced following much fierce and prolonged opposition from local residents to the plans. Eventually, the studios gave in. 

Pinewood Shepperton is planning a massive project in the Dominican Republic. The studios are being built on a site covering 35 acres and will comprise of a 5,000 sq meter sound stage space along with 15,000 sq meters of production facilities. It doesn’t end there either. In addition to all this, there will be an 8 acre water effects facility with a 75 sq meter exterior water tank. The water will also feature blue screen capabilities for GGI, a fully equiped diving and marine department and natural ocean horizons.

Politicians in the Dominican Republic are said to be thrilled about the deal and even held a welcoming ceremony last month when construction began. The ceremony was attended by many high profile public figures in government, including Carlos Morales Troncoso, the First Lady Margarita Cedeno de Fernandes and president Leonel Fernandes, who headed the ceremony.

Ivan Dunleavy, the chief executive of Pinewood Shepperton studios said, “This represents further progress in Pinewood’s strategy to leverage the strength of our brand internationally, and specifically to the growing Latino film and television market. The Pinewood brand stands for excellence in the global film industry and we have strategically targeted regions of the world where significant incremental growth has been forecast.”

Pinewood Shepperton is no stranger to international deals, the studios are already present in Hamburg, Germany, marketing 21 film stages with business coming in from France and Italy, and goes by the name of Pinewood Studios Berlin Film Services. The deal is a joint venture with Studio Hamburg and was first announced a year ago. Further to this, the company already has a film studio in Canada, under the name, Pinewood Toronto Studios. It is also building studios in Malaysia, called Malaysia Iskandar Studios, which will be open for business in 2013.

Pinewood Shepperton has an impressive resume of filmmaking history. Here’s a list of film titles under their belt from the 1930’s to present:

1930s–1950s
· Talk of the Devil (1939)· Black Narcissus (1947)· Oliver Twist (1948)· The Red Shoes (1948)· The Blue Lagoon (1949)· The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)· Genevieve (1953) · A Town Like Alice (1956)· The Spanish Gardener (1956)· A Night to Remember (1958)· North West Frontier (1959)· Carry On Nurse (1959)· Tiger Bay (1959)

1960s–1970s
· The League of Gentlemen (1960)· Peeping Tom (1960)· Whistle Down the Wind (1961)· Dr. No (1962)· From Russia with Love (1963)· Goldfinger (1964)· The Moon-Spinners (1964)· Thunderball (1965)· The Ipcress File (1965)· Fahrenheit 451 (1966)· Arabesque (1966)· You Only Live Twice (1967)· Carry On Doctor (1967)· Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)· Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)· Battle of Britain (1969)· Carry On Camping (1969) · On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)· The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)· Diamonds Are Forever (1971)· Sleuth (1972)· Madame Sin (1972)· Frenzy (1972)· The Amazing Mr Blunden (1972)· Vampire Circus (1972)· The Day of the Jackal (1973)· Live and Let Die (1973)· Space: 1999 (television) (1974–1976)· The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)· The Man Who Would Be King (1975)· Bugsy Malone (1975)· The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)· Superman (1978)

1980s–1990s
· The Shining (1980)· The Watcher in the Woods (1980)· Superman II (1980)· For Your Eyes Only (1981)· Clash of the Titans (1981)· Pink Floyd The Wall (1982)· Victor Victoria (1982)· Octopussy (1983)· Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)· A View to a Kill (1985)· Legend (1985)· Little Shop of Horrors (1986)· Aliens (1986)· The Living Daylights (1987) · Full Metal Jacket (1987)· Hellraiser (1987)· Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)· Batman (1989)· Alien 3 (1992)· Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)· Mission: Impossible (1996)· The Saint (1997)· Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)· Event Horizon (1997)· The Fifth Element (1997)· The World Is Not Enough (1999)· Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

2000s–2010s
· Jesus Christ Superstar (2000)· Die Another Day (2002)· The Hours (2002)· The Phantom of the Opera (2004)· Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)· United 93 (2006)· Stardust (2006)· Casino Royale (2006)· The Da Vinci Code (2006)· Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) · The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)· Mamma Mia! (2008)· The Dark Knight (2008)· Quantum of Solace (2008)· The Bank Job (2008)· Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)· The Wolfman (2010)· Kick-Ass (2010)· Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010)· Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011)· Ant & Dec’s Push the Button (2010)· Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Contact the Author: MikeStringer@ArtsandEntertainmentPlayground.com


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