Inside Filmport Studios
Filmport Studios officially opened for business today and throngs of Toronto media made their way to the Port Lands to usher in a new era for Toronto film and TV productions. It was the closest I've seen recently to what some might describe as media mayhem - where all of Toronto's print, radio, TV and online outlets trip over each other to chase the same story.
David Cronenberg and Mayor Miller provided sound bites but the real star of the show was Filmport Studios itself. A flock of us were led through a series of buildings, privy to spaces housing the executive suites, meeting rooms, sound stages and electrical outlets.
The studios, set on cleaned-up land that not too long ago housed an oil tank repository (courtesy of Imperial Oil), now claim to be North America's largest purpose built sound stage; a facility that some claim will reinvigorate Toronto's struggling film production industry yet others say is too large and expensive to meet the needs of the current marketplace.
"It's so big", someone joked "that Celine Dion thought it would be her trailer."
Mayor Miller suggested that five years from now Filmport will be "the epicenter of the creative community in Toronto."
Only time will tell. But if Filmport Studios doesn't realize its hoped-for success, we might just hear David Cronenberg echo the opening line in his address to the media today when he stated "I had nothing to do with the creation of this facility".
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