What was once a window manufacturing site for a longtime Langley business, is now taking the stage as a premiere location for filming and television in B.C.
Martini Film Studios, officially opening at 19714 96 Ave. on May 1, has transformed the space previously occupied by Starline Windows into a 150,000 square foot film studio, with eight stages and the capability of filming three TV series or features at the same time.
The brainchild of Gemma Martini, an actor, producer and daughter of Starline owners Ron and Maria, the studio will offer much needed space in an industry that is booming in B.C.
“The concept behind this space is to meet the significant and growing demand for sound stages,” Martini said during a press conference on April 4.
“In British Columbia we have amazing film industry talent, favourable geography and natural landscapes.
“But there is a lack of studio space for film, television, and commercial production. There are more than 30 movies and TV shows currently filming in Vancouver, with 33 more set to start production soon, which confirms the need for space like ours.”
The studio features an additional 100,000 square feet of support space, 37,000 square feet of office space, along with other support areas, such as wardrobes with fitting rooms and washing facilities, mill space, dimmer rooms, power distribution panels, crew parking, full sound-insulated walls and Hollywood approved sound doors.
They have also partnered with one of the largest studio production service groups in the world, MBS Equipment Co.
Starline Windows, meanwhile, has moved to a larger space in the Campbell Heights Industrial Park in South Surrey.
“To now be able to use this space for something new, to meet new people in a new industry and expand ourselves, I think it’s extremely exciting,” Martini told the Times.
“Being an actor, I can also appreciate the work that the crew has to do in order to make a production go. And from that aspect, I think we are in a great position to be able to service the production scenes.”
B.C. hosts nearly 60 per cent of all American film and TV shoots done in Canada, equating to more than $2 billion a year.
In the Township of Langley, the industry invests $35 million into the local economy annually. In 2016 alone, there were more than 1,000 film days for 136 different productions.
It is estimated that Martini Film Studios will create 625 full- and part-time direct jobs.
“From just four productions in 1978 to more than 260 in 2016, motion picture has grown and developed over the 30 plus years here in British Columbia, ” said Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC.
“The addition of another studio is an important sign that yes, indeed, we continue to grow in this region and that British Columbia’s film industry is an increasingly important part of the province’s economic story.”