MELS Studios will build a new filming studio in Montreal, which will fill part of the missing supply to meet the demand for Hollywood productions.

Construction of the MELS 4 studio will begin “as soon as possible”, either around fall or next winter, said Martin Carrier, president of MELS, in the announcement made on Friday. The studio could host productions as early as the spring of 2023. This is a total investment of $ 76 million, in which the Government of Quebec is participating with a loan of $ 25 million. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The project of the subsidiary of the TVA Group will allow it to stand out “even more” internationally, adds Pierre Karl Péladeau, the President and CEO of Quebecor. In the past, MELS studios have hosted several major productions, including some chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers film is being shot this summer in Montreal.

Mr. Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facilities. “It’s two birds with one stone. We make sure we have foreign income and showcase our talent, but also to maintain an industry of Quebec producers. “

Shortage of studios

The movie industry is cramped in Montreal. Nearly 37,200 m would be missing2 (approximately 400,000 ft2) studio space, according to a report published last May by the Quebec Film and Television Bureau (BCTQ).

With the surface area of ​​MELS 4, which will be almost 15,000 m2 (160 000 pi2), the company fills part of the shortfall. Mr. Carrier also admitted that he had to refuse contracts due to lack of space, which represents missed opportunities of “several tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the economy. Quebec ”.

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Montreal expertise is highly sought after, adds the mayoress of Montreal, Valerie Plante, who was present during the announcement. She says she received great testimonials from “Netflix, Disney, HBO and company” during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019. “What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and her beauty. We need more space, like the MELS 4. “

The capacity is still not sufficient in Quebec, acknowledged Eric Girard, Minister of Finance and Minister of the Economy and Innovation. ” Everything in its time. The government is certainly concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come forward, we will study them with the same seriousness as we studied this one. “

Grandé Studios is the second largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion projects that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have approximately 37,200 m2 (400 000 pi2) production space, once the MELS 4 is finished. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including the rental of studios and equipment, postproduction for image and sound, visual effects as well as a virtual production set.

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