Gemma Martini, Founder and CEO of Martini Film Studios, has announced plans to build a new 600,000 sq. ft. facility in Langley (Langley Advance Times file photo)

Langley studio announces plans to build new 600,000 sq. ft. production centre

Proposal would make Martini Studios biggest production facility in Lower Mainland

Martini Film Studios wants to build a new 600,000 sq. ft. facility in Langley that, combined with its existing Walnut Grove facilities, would make the Langley company the largest studio operator in Metro Vancouver.

Martini Film Studios founder and CEO Gemma Martini made the announcement Saturday (Sept. 7).

“We’ve enjoyed phenomenal support from our industry partners and the entertainment community since launching Martini Film Studios,” Martini said.

“It’s been an incredible experience. Space is in huge demand, and with the industry thriving and the growth potential for the film and television business across all of B.C., we’re proud to expand our services for the sector.”

As proposed, the project would feature over 600,000 square feet of purpose-built soundstages, offices and production support buildings built across more than 25 acres in Langley, in a business park planned for the Willoughby side of the new 216 Street overpass.

A press release from Martini noted Metro Vancouver is home to approximately two million sq. ft. of soundstage space, and the Martini Film Studios’ new campus will add at least 300,000 more.

It will more than triple the studio capacity and make Martini “the largest provider of film studio facilities in the Lower Mainland,” the statement said.

Currently, the project is “undergoing design and planning based on industry and client consultation.

Martini Film Studios opened 250,000 square feet of combined studio facilities two years ago in a former window manufacturing site at 19714 96 Ave, with eight stages that can handle filming three TV series or features at the same time.

Current productions filming at Martini Film Studios include Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Warner Bros./Netflix), Another Life (Netflix), and Snowpiercer (TBS).

The added space will be welcome news to producers searching for space, according to Justis Greene, Producer, of Another Life; The Order and TRON: LEGACY.

“The Vancouver industry has never felt busier, or more crowded,” Greene observed.

“Although producers are practiced at stowing productions in unusual crannies, and at converting underused space, feature projects and series are known to make decisions hinging on whether there are suitable soundstages available to facilitate their show. If you don’t have the factory, you won’t get the product.”

READ MORE: Filmmakers flock to Langley, now second only to Vancouver for productions

READ MORE: Film studio complex opens in Walnut Grove

Langley is the number two filming location in all of B.C., second only to Vancouver.

Last year, 1,788 days of filming took place in Langley, about 500 less than the number of days that took place in the City of Vancouver.

At the August dinner meeting of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC, and Film Commissioner Marnie Orr talked about the economic impact filming is having in the province in general and Langley in particular.

“Does anybody want to build a studio, because we could use another studio!” Gill joked during a Q&A.

– with files from Matthew Claxton

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