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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Total Recall remake to be filmed at Pinewood Toronto’s waterfront studio

The article Total Recall remake to be filmed at Pinewood Toronto’s waterfront studio in the Toronto Star is good news for those of us that work in the film industry in Toronto. Everyone that works in the Toronto film industry knows there has not been many film or TV productions here for a few years now. All of this is about to change thanks to Pinewood Studios.

Back in 2007, Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) announced the closing of two production studios to make way for affordable housing at one location and a big box mall at the other. Those two studios were to be replaced by Filmport Studios, located at 225 Commissioner St in the Docklands, at the beginning of 2008. However, the left wing of Toronto City Council decided to stall the opening of Filmport because the Canadian dollar was too strong. When Filmport finally opened in spring 2009, there were so many restrictions on use of services that many productions refused to use the facility.

Finally, TEDCO was forced to cut their losses and sell Filmport. Enter Pinewood Studios. Pinewood bought the majority of Filmport (TEDCO and the City of Toronto retains minority shares in the new studios) and changed the rules to allow production companies to contract only the services they want as opposed to Filmport's all-inclusive contracts. This resulted in a spur of filming activities in Toronto during the latter part 2009. However, it did not translate to increased production for 2010.

Pinewood, to their credit, went on a major marketing campaign to attract major productions to Toronto and their Docklands facility. This resulted in landing the remake of Total Recall (TR). TR will be the largest production in Toronto in many years. And I am sure it start of a red hot filming season Toronto has seen in a very long time. This combined with plans announced late year to increase the size of the studios to about 2.5 million square feet means Toronto will regain the title of Hollywood North.

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