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Facilities Around the World Take Advantage of Globalized Film, TV Industries

As countries try to outdo one another with generous tax rebates and other incentives, production has become more peripatetic. Studios and soundstages everywhere are taking advantage of this increasingly globalized industry. Old facilities are sprucing up with new stages and state-of-the-art technology, and new ones are being built from scratch. (Wanda’s $8.2 billion stages in Qingdao, China, will likely be operational next year.) Here’s a sample of complexes offering their services today.

NORTH AMERICA

Atlanta
Pinewood Atlanta Studios

A dozen soundstages ranging up to 40,000 square feet operate on a 700-acre site surrounded by woods, alongside workshops and post-production facilities.
Productions: “Passengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Noteworthy: With more customers availing themselves of Georgia’s tax incentives, the complex will open six more soundstages in January.

Hollywood/Manhattan Beach
Raleigh Studios
The longest-operating independent studio in the U.S., Raleigh’s 11-acre Hollywood campus provides 13 soundstages ranging up to 16,000 square feet; lighting and grip services; screening rooms; and 180,000 square feet of office space. In 1998 it opened another facility in Manhattan Beach with 600,000 square feet of stage and support space.
Productions: “Castle,” the next “Avatar” sequels.
Noteworthy: The company’s roots go back to 1912, when it was co-founded by Adolph Zukor.

New York
Steiner Studios
This 20-acre complex, home to 10 soundstages totaling 130,000 square feet, calls itself the largest U.S. film and TV studio complex outside of Hollywood.
Productions: “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Trainwreck.”
Noteworthy: The studio was built in 2004 on the site of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where 70,000 workers made warships during World War II.

Toronto
Pinewood Toronto Studios

This 20-acre facility near downtown has 12 stages ranging from 10,000 to 46,000 square feet and is able to handle five mid-size or two major features simultaneously.
Productions: “Suicide Squad,” “Spotlight,” “Orphan Black.”
Noteworthy: Plans are afoot for a 135,000-square foot expansion.

EUROPE

Berlin
Studio Babelsberg

This facility, with 20 soundstages, backlots, and exterior sets on 41 acres, also offers co-production and financing services.
Productions: “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Homeland.”
Noteworthy: Classics created here include Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Josef von Sternberg’s “The Blue Angel,” starring Marlene Dietrich.

Budapest
Korda Studios

This facility has six soundstages, including the largest in Europe, and three backlot sets.
Productions: “The Martian,” “Emerald City,” “Blade Runner 2019.”
Noteworthy: It recently launched independent production company Korda Productions and funding arm Korda Finance, to advise on and help secure financing.

London
Pinewood/Shepperton

These two giant facilities include dozens of soundstages, TV studios, post-production services, and even 3D printing.
Productions: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Transformers 5,” “Assassins Creed.”
Noteworthy: Pinewood Studios Group has become a global brand, with operations in multiple countries.

Paris
Les Studios de Paris

Also known as La Cité du Cinéma, this new production complex on the banks of the Seine has 105,000 square feet of soundstage space, plus production offices and workshops.
Productions: “Lucy,” “Jackie,” “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”
Noteworthy: The complex is the brainchild of French director and mogul Luc Besson.

Prague
Barrandov Studios

This major production hub features multiple soundstages, backlot rentals, costumes and prop services, set construction, and post-production.
Productions: “Anthropoid,” “Underworld: Blood Wars,” “Genius.”
Noteworthy: Built in the 1930s by the Havel brothers (related to Czech president Václav Havel). Barbra Streisand directed “Yentl” here.

ASIA/PACIFIC

Hengdian, China
Hengdian World Studios

With an area of more than 2,500 acres, this complex is the world’s largest outdoor film studio.
Productions: “Hero,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Forbidden Kingdom.”
Noteworthy: Sometimes called Chinawood, the studio contains a full-scale mockup of Beijing’s Forbidden City. It soon expects to build its own airport.

Hyderabad, India
Ramoji Film City

This studio complex — with nearly 50 soundstages that can handle up to 30 major productions simultaneously — is also a theme park and tourist attraction offering rides and studio tours.
Productions: “Race Gurram,” “Aiyyaa,” “The Dirty Picture.”
Noteworthy: The studio offers staggeringly low rental costs compared with U.S. and European stages.

Sydney
Fox Studios Australia

Situated on 32 acres, this facility features nine soundstages, plus post-production and sound facilities, and consumer-facing cinemas, restaurants, and sports facilities.
Productions: “Moulin Rouge,” the “Star Wars” and “Mission: Impossible” franchises.
Noteworthy: Owned by 21st Century Fox, the complex occupies the site of the former Sydney Showground.

Johor, Malaysia
Pinewood Iskandar

Malaysia Studios
This new complex offers 100,000 square feet of soundstage space, plus water tanks, and 30 acres of natural forest.
Productions: “Marco Polo,” “Lost in the Pacific,” “Asia’s Got Talent.”
Noteworthy: The complex is conveniently located just across the border from Singapore, and benefits from the city-state’s media activities.

LATIN AMERICA

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Pinewood Dominican
Republic Studios

The site, across 35 acres, offers 50,000 square feet of soundstage space alongside production support.
Productions: “XXX: Return of Xander Cage,” “47 Meters Down,” “Ladrones.”
Noteworthy: The facility is best known for its 60,500-square-foot water tank with natural ocean horizon.

AFRICA

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town Film Studios

The first custom-built studio complex in sub-Saharan Africa — which offers replicas of a pirate ship, a Nairobi hospital, and Nelson Mandela’s prison cell — has lured projects from around the world.
Productions: “Dark Tower,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Black Sails.”
Noteworthy: The studio won’t comment on rumors that it was too busy to take on plum franchise projects “Star Wars” and “Spider-Man.”

(Pictured above: Hengdian World Studios)

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