First Stage Studios, led by Sean Connery’s son Jason and BAFTA-winning producer Bob Last, has won a Screen Scotland tender to run a large-scale film and TV studio space in Edinburgh.
Screen Scotland plans to invest £1 million ($1.3 million) towards the initial set up, refurbishment and running costs of the studio space in Port of Leith on the outskirts of the city.
The studio sits on an 8.6 acre site, and has already hosted international productions, including Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War.” The facility has the potential for five sound stages of between 50ft and 100ft in height, as well as production and office space and a backlot for production set-builds and crew, tech and unit base parking.
Scotland has long suffered from a lack of significant studio space, and Screen Scotland said the new facility would benefit both the indigenous sector and the country’s ability to attract high-value international productions.
Jason Connery said: “There is no question Scotland needs a film studio, I could not be more excited to be involved in bringing it to fruition.”
Screen Scotland executive director Isabel Davis commented: “The studio is key in expanding film and TV production in Scotland. We’re delighted to be working with First Stage Studios to bring it to life. Bob and Jason bring a wealth of expertise and industry knowledge that is invaluable to the development of the studio.”
First Stage was appointed following an open tender process after Screen Scotland facilitated the lease of the property from Forth Ports for up to 25 years.
First Stage will manage, operate and promote the facility to U.K. and international customers, and take charge of developing sound stages and production offices.
Last’s credits include Terence Davies’ “Sunset Song” and Oscar nominee “The Illusionist.” Recently his animation team in Leith worked on “Klaus.”
Jason Connery is an actor, producer and director, with credits including the 1980s “Robin Hood” television series. In 2015, having moved back to Scotland, he teamed up with Bob Last and shot “Tommy’s Honor,” starring Peter Mullan, which opened the Edinburgh Intl. Film Festival in 2016 and won the Scottish BAFTA for best film.
In November 2018, plans for another Scottish film studio were halted by a court’s decision that a tenant farmer could not be removed from his land. The studio, which was to feature six sound stages, had been planned for about 100 acres of greenbelt in the Pentland hills outside Edinburgh.
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