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Warner Bros Studios Leavesden To Expand In UK; ‘Tarzan’ Swings Into Residence

Warner Bros Studios Leavesden To Expand In UK; ‘Tarzan’ Swings Into ResidenceOn the heels of news that Pinewood Studios has received a greenlight for its expansion plans, Warner Bros Studios Leavesden is also getting ready to grow, adding three new stages and increasing office space. The studios, also known as the home of Harry Potter, were opened in 2012 after Warner invested more than £100M to rebuild and expand the London-adjacent facility to serve as its UK base. It has since played host to such films as Doug Liman’s Edge Of Tomorrow, Ron Howard’s Heart Of The Sea, and Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E. It’s now adding to its roster David Yates’ Tarzan with Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson and Christoph Waltz. The film started production today at Leavesden, joining Joe Wright’s Pan which has been filming there since April.

To meet the constantly increasing need for space in the UK where foreign productions are being lured in droves by lucrative film and TV tax credits, Leavesden will add one new 35,000 square foot and two new 17,000 square foot buildings, as well as 20,000 square feet of adjacent office space. The work will be completed by the end of the year. At that point, the facility will have 13 sound stages. A further two buildings located next to the lot have also been acquired to grow the production office space by 105,000 square feet. Earlier this year, the studio added an extra 50,000 square feet of workshop space, a 62,500 square foot external … Read More »

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UK Production Spend Up Sharply For 2013; Hollywood & Intl Pics Contribute $1.43B

ukflagBig figures released today by the British Film Institute are strong proof of the increased taste for the UK as a filming destination. And, with the government keen to reap the benefits to the British economy, the numbers could help get Pinewood‘s twice-rejected expansion plans over the goal line. According to the BFI, overall spend generated by the UK film production sector was up 14% in 2013 to £1.075B ($1.77B). Of that total, £868M ($1.43B) came from 37 international (mostly Hollywood) movies that made the UK their production base. Some of those included The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Heart Of The Sea and Jupiter Ascending, which all shot at Warner Bros’ Leavesden Studios; along with Disney’s Muppets Most cinderellaWanted, Cinderella and Into The Woods, which shot at Pinewood. Among other titles were: Fox’s Exodus and Frankenstein, Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Sony and Fox’s The Monuments Men and Studiocanal’s Paddington. Gearing up this year are the next Star Wars installment, Bond 24, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and, as expected, Alice In Wonderland sequel Through The Looking Glass.

Related: Year-End: UK Tax Breaks Too Much Of A Good Thing?

live another dayIn addition to the inward investment provided by the movie business, the UK this year launched a high-end TV tax relief which helped entice Fox’s event series 24: Live Another Day and ABC pilot Galavant. Statistics for the incentive in 2013 only cover nine months since it was established in April. The BFI says that during the period, more than £276M of investment was made in domestic UK productions and international series including Game Of Thrones, Outlander, Da Vinci’s Demons and Elementary. Read More »

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Warner Bros Tops UK Distributor List For Third Time In Four Years

Warner-bros-logoWarner Bros UK was Britain’s top distributor in 2013, the third time in four years it has held the title, and the sixth time since rankings began in 1991. The studio says it grossed £194M ($320.3M) last year for a 16.5% share. The figures are not records as the last time Warner UK was No. 1 in 2011, it grosed £205.8M for an 18.04% share (that was the year Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ruled the box office); and in 2010, WB UK grossed £204.1M for an 18.4% share with the first part of the Harry Potter finale and Christopher Nolan’s Inception among top films. In its post-Potter period, Warner Bros remains entrenched in the UK and in 2013 inaugurated the Warner Bros Studios Leavesden and the Making Of Harry Potter studio tour. (It also opened its first-ever West End musical, Sam Mendes’ Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.) The first two films made at Leavesden, Doug Liman’s Tom Cruise vehicle, Edge Of Tomorrow, and the Wachowski siblings’ Jupiter Ascending, both arrive in theaters in 2014. This year, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (£32.9M), Man Of Steel (£29.9M), Gravity (£27.3M), The Hangover Part III (£19.3M), The Great Gatsby (£15.7M) and The Conjuring (£10.4M) were among the highest local grossers for the studio. Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine was also handled locally by WB and became the director’s top UK movie ever with … Read More »

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Hollywood Pics Pack UK Soundstages As Space Crunch Starts To Squeeze

Next year, Bond 24 and Star Wars: Episode VII will be shooting Walther PPKs and brandishing light sabers at Pinewood Studios outside London. That’s a lovely image for fans, and Pinewood bean-counters. But with Hollywood increasingly queueing up to shoot in Britain, and Pinewood’s application for expansion having been thwarted twice in the past year, a capacity crunch is coming to the UK at light speed — and some potential big-ticket tenants already have been turned away.

Among the films currently shooting at Pinewood are frequent client Disney’s Cinderella, QED and Sony’s Fury, and Fox’s Exodus. The new Star Wars installment is settling into its offices on the lot ahead of shooting in early 2014. Over at nearby Shepperton, Marvel currently has Guardians Of The Galaxy, with The Avengers 2 gearing up. Also there is Disney’s Into The Woods. Leavesden, the Warner Bros facility the studio acquired in 2010 and in which it invested £100M after shooting all eight Harry Potter movies there, is hosting Ron Howard’s Heart Of The Sea and Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The J.K. Rowling-penned Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is expected to shoot there when it goes. Read More »

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Warner Bros. UK Partners With BAFTA On Scholarships; Creates Training Program

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the film and TV facility the major owns outside of London, is to be officially inaugurated today during a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. At the same time, and in partnership with BAFTA, the studio is announcing the Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Games. Three students per year will receive £10,000 to study a post-graduate course. The studio is also setting up a new training program which it will launch in September. Warner Bros. Creative Talent will include 12 scholarships; six apprenticeships and two trainee positions on every Warner Bros. film produced in the UK; 25 training course spots at theater company Chickenshed; 20 work experience placements; and five work placements on Sam Mendes’ upcoming West End musical, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Warner says the program is part of its “long-term commitment to the UK’s creative industries.” The studio has been in business in the UK for many years and most lucratively with the Harry Potter films, all of which were shot at Leavesden. Warner purchased the facility outright in 2010 and invested £100M in its expansion. It also houses The Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making Of Harry Potter, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movies that’s housed just next to the main lot.

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Warner Bros’ UK Studio Acquires Post-Production House De Lane Lea

By | Wednesday November 7, 2012 @ 2:18am PST

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the Hollywood studio’s UK base that’s currently hosting Tom Cruise-starrer All You Need Is Kill, has picked up post-production house De Lane Lea in a deal that will expand its offer to in-house productions and external clients. De Lane Lea, a 65-year-old company whose relationship with Warner Bros stretches back to 1972′s Deliverance, will be renamed Warner Bros De Lane Lea. Its recent credits include Skyfall, Frankenweenie, Prometheus, Dark Shadows and the upcoming Alfonso Cuaron-directed Gravity with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. At its base in London’s Soho, the post house includes three re-recording stages, two ADR stages, 40 picture editing suites, a TV mixing stage, a transfer bay for the digital delivery, conversion and ingestion of picture and sound, a 37-seat screening room and a client lounge. Read More »

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UK Film Industry Economics Report Shows Employment Growth, Cites Risks

A new study finds that British film contributes over £4.6B to UK GDP and more than £1.3B to the government. The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry report, commissioned every two years by the British Film Institute and Pinewood Shepperton, notably shows the UK film industry directly employs almost 44,000 people, up from 36,000 in 2009. That’s more than are found in both the fund management and pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors. The median salary for film and TV workers is about $63,000. However, the report acknowledges there is a risk of highly-skilled workers taking their talent abroad if things like compensation, taxes and opportunities don’t remain competitive. The study further highlights the importance of the Film Tax Relief, warning that without the incentives, UK production would be a staggering 71% smaller.

Pinewood chief exec Ivan Dunleavy said: “The trends show that we’re performing well, relative to today’s economic climate. We can do more though. We now need to look at how to enable further investment in infrastructure and how to build on the UK’s growing international reputation to boost exports. By making gains in these areas film can provide more jobs and help play our part in bringing growth to the UK economy.” Read More »

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