Shinfield Studios, an 85,000 square meter studio facility comprising 18 sound stages, has received planning permission for construction from Wokingham Borough Council. The studio, located at Shinfield, Berkshire, within the Thames Valley Science Park, some 42 miles southwest of London, will be one of the largest film and TV studios in the U.K. once completed. It includes four sound stages which have already been completed and are now ready for operation, with a Disney production confirmed to start in 2022. The studio will also include workshops, a contemporary office environment and a post-production and screening facility, all designed to service large film and TV productions.
Shinfield Studios is part of Blackhall Global Partners, which also owns Blackhall Studios in Atlanta and is developing in the Los Angeles area with a 19-stage facility in Santa Clarita, which is expected to open in 2025.
Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission, said: “The U.K. has never been more attractive as a film and high-end TV production base. Indeed, the demand for filmed content continues to grow exponentially, so it is critical that we respond by supporting an increase in studios and stage space capacity, in tandem with significant skills development. Shinfield is an important new development, which will help considerably in continuing to draw production and investment to the U.K.”
U.S-based content licensing and channel distribution company, Principal Media has signed a licensing deal with Australia’s largest public broadcaster SBS for feature-length documentary “Magic in the Mountains,” and for 52 episodes of the popular reality series “United Plates of America.” Produced by Coolfire Studios, “Magic in the Mountains” tells how the tiny town of Squaw Valley in California, helped by Walt Disney himself, won the right to host the 1960 Winter Olympics. “United Plates” is hosted by Gary Takle who takes viewers on a journey across America to discover the underlying food culture that exists in every town. Produced by Abode Entertainment, the series is now in its fifth season. – Patrick Frater
South Korean animation outfit You Need Character Co has set up an India subsidiary and launched “Cricket Pang,” an animation series for kids. The company has engaged Indian national cricket player Ajinkya Rahane as its brand ambassador and will focus on the development of cricket-themed games, as well as publishing a series of “Cricket Pang” storybooks with publisher HarperCollins.
You Need Character attracted $2.3 million in investment in Korea earlier this year. It was founded in 2017 by Minsu Song, a former director of content and character business in iConix, the original company behind animated Korean character Pororo.