Singapore gets first film studios
Singapore finally gets its first film studio to be constructed as part of the new S$1 billion facilities cluster called Mediapolis. Intended for use by independent filmmakers and visiting foreign productions, the studio will stretch across 19 hectares of land provided by the state.
Post-production house Infinite Frameworks will garner 1.2 of the 19 hectares to invest and develop a soundstage. Frameworks’ Managing Director Mike Wiluan said that the new facility is intended to handle film or TV, and will include a green screen kit and digital controls. There are also plans for a large stage of 20,000-30,000 sq ft and two smaller stages of 8,000 sq ft that can be operated jointly or separately. It will begin construction early next year.
Other facilities located at Mediapolis include digital broadcast units; CGI and visual effects houses; games and animation studios; media schools and retail and recreation facilities. Heading the entire operation are four government bodies: the MDA, JTC, the Infocomm Development Authority and the Economic Development Board.
While this seems like good news, MDA’s CEO Christopher Chia acknowledged that this undertaking is risky in time of the recession, but remains positive about the project. “We have a pipeline of projects, as witnessed by the signing today of the MOU with Western Australia. Availability of talent and resources is the opposite problem.”
Also advising on this project is Dune Entertainment’s Greg Coote, Warner Bros Pictures’ Steve Papazian, USC professor Jonathan Taplin, British media activist Lord David Puttnam, Indian film-maker Shekhar Kapur and financier David Moriarty, chairman of Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group.
Despite the hefty price tag, Dr Chia clarified that most of the estimated S$1 billion is “private money”, adding that “the government aspect is the master planning and common facilities such as roadways and access.”
MDA has also revealed that media and entertainment are one of the country’s major sources of revenue, with S$13 billion pulled in from the sector and plans to double that by 2015. Almost all of the existing sound stages in Singapore are occupied by MediaCorp, while the private sound stages within the casino-resort-theme park in Sentosa is expected to be used by projects by Mark Burnett Asia.