1. Pinewood Plans For Major Expansion

    By Devin Zydel on 2009-05-30

    The home of James Bond is planning a major expansion in order to rival Hollywood for the latest blockbuster films.

    Pinewood's 007 Stage

    Pinewood’s 007 Stage

    The Times reports that Pinewood Studios in London will lay out plans this upcoming Monday for a 100-acre, £200 million expansion.

    New features will include permanent film lots—such as a row of New York brownstone apartments, a Parisian square and a Venice canal, reducing the amount of international travel filmmakers would have to make in order to film at such locations.

    In addition to the new film lots, Pinewood is also planning to incorporate up to 1,400 new flats, so people working on films can live on set. They forecast that this could create as many as 1,600 jobs.

    The expansion, termed Project Pinewood, is also working with the National Film and Television School to set up an on-site academy that would train set designers and costume makers.

    ‘Film-makers have the pick of going anywhere in the world,’ said Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Shepperton. ‘It is a very desirable industry from a profile point of view and from an economic point of view. We need to keep Britain ahead in terms of its creative skills and creative infrastructure.’

    Pinewood intends to take on a development partner for the project and would need to issue new debt or equity to finance it. It has a joint venture with Aviva Investors to develop the Shepperton Studios.

    As many Bond fans are aware, filming at Pinewood Studios (including the famed 007 Stage) has taken place for the majority of the films in the Bond series. The most recent was last year’s Quantum of Solace.

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