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Shaw Studios bow delayed 9 months

Hong Kong's largest studio has been in the works for 10 years

HONG KONG — Construction problems have plagued the new $180 million Shaw Studios, delaying its completion by about nine months to next summer.

With scaffolding back on the buildings, a soft launch is set for the Shaw Group’s film production and digital post-production facility early in 2006, said Lloyd Chao, director of business development and marketing.

Glitches range from leaks as a result of the rainy season to lengthy safety inspections of the 1.1 million-square-foot facility.

No one has built such a large studio in Hong Kong before, so it takes time to work through the safety requirements, Chao said of the facility, which has been 10 years in the works.

No time pressure

“Waiting a few more months is not really going to hurt,” Chao said, adding that there wasn’t pressure to open to start bringing in revenue.

The studio plans to open facilities as they are ready. Some soundstages and final mix rooms should be completed in the next three to six months, and offices will be ready by the end of this year, Chao said, adding that in six to nine months, the soundproofing and lighting systems should be completed.

The studio has already seen some business from commercials and musicvideos that wanted raw studio space, Chao said.

Shaw Studios has had informal talks with directors and producers, but no projects are booked in.

Shaw Studios also is open to co-productions with Hong Kong, regional and international companies, Chao added, although the group isn’t focused on initiating big film projects of its own. The company is still working out how to contribute to co-productions, whether financially through a fund or banking vehicle or with services, he added.

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