Brit royalty stops by Pinewood during Canadian tour

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth donned custom-made 3D specs for a short demo of live-action 3D filming and playback during a two-hour stop at British studio Pinewood Shepperton’s Canadian outpost on Monday.

Pinewood Toronto, Canada’s largest film and TV production complex, is home to the Screen Industries Research and Training Center, an ambitious public and private-sector supported project geared to position the province of Ontario as a center for 3D innovation and technology.

The Queen watched a Bollywood-style dance number with performers in 1812 period dress helmed by Canuck-based Deepa Mehta, shot and projected on Sony gear.

Her Majesty’s visit to the studio during her official nine-day tour of Canada provided an upbeat public relations moment for the Pinewood Group.

Its chairman Michael Grade is currently battling major investor Crystal Amber’s attempts to oust him due to the studio’s lackluster performance. Grade traveled to Pinewood Toronto, with the studio’s chief executive Ivan Dunleavy, to attend the royal visit.

Last year the British studio assumed a five-year sales and marketing contract at Pinewood Toronto (formerly FilmPort). Tenancy has been steady but not bustling. John Dowdle’s “Devil” and ABC’s “Happy Town” wrapped recently.

Pinewood Toronto managing director Edith Myers said the complex, which has seven soundstages including one that is a massive 46,000 sq. ft., is something new for Toronto.

“It takes time for us to build a reputation with the kinds of clientele who want what we offer,” she said. “But our range of sales efforts over the past year is bringing more people through the doors to see how different this facility is.”

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