Renovated facilities target indie sector
A studio in London has reopened with a new name after a four-month makeover.The former Merton Studios, home to Talkback Thames’ popular cop series “The Bill” from 1984 to August when ITV dropped the show, has re-launched as Wimbledon Film and TV Studios. In September, a consortium led by producer/location manager Piers Read and Procam TV’s John Brennan, and backed by investor Panther Securities, purchased Merton from FremantleMedia to reinvent it as a studio for the indie sector. Around £500,000 ($807,000) has been plowed into the 220,000-square-foot facility. Upgrades include sound proofing two large stages and improving production offices and dressing rooms. The studio has also upped its collection of 50 sets by adding a House of Commons set, which Pathe used to shoot scenes for Margaret Thatcher biopic “The Iron Lady,” toplining Meryl Streep. The facility already boasts sets used in “The Bill,” such as a prison, police station, court room, hospital, pub and exterior street sets, and some 45,000 costume pieces. Further sets are due to arrive in the upcoming months, as well as the addition of two 2,500 square foot sound stages and a green-screen studio. It is equipped with 2D and 3D post-production suites, an HD shooting kit and HD post-production facilities. It also has a Media Village for bizzers to set up shop. Stereoscopic post-production house Pro3D already have facilities there. Film London CEO Adrian Wootton said the venture would offer “another attractive asset to shoot in London.”
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