ABS-CBN targets Hollywood-level productions with P700-M sound stages
Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. inaugurated two sound stages in Bulacan province last Friday, a development that marked the beginning of a production hub that will be used to churn out content faster and more efficiently.
Sound stages are massive hangar-like, sound-proof structures. ABS-CBN chair Mark Lopez said the facilities, which span about 1,500 square meters each with a height of 30 feet, were similar to those used by the world’s largest media and entertainment companies.
“What I’m most proud of about this project is that we’re creating Hollywood-level sound stages, which puts us [on] par with the rest of the world,” Lopez said in a statement.
ABS-CBN, which also celebrated its 65th anniversary, said the project was proposed by chair emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III as early as 2010. Construction formally began in May 2017.
The two sound stages, which cost around P700 million to build, are located on a 7.7-hectare property in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan, the end point of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 that will start in Quezon City in Metro Manila.
ABS-CBN CEO Carlo Katigbak said the project was crucial to the company’s goal to broaden its audience to include foreign viewers.
“We want to bring ABS-CBN content to the international stage, and having a state-of-the-art facility and a world-class production team is a big step for us towards that direction and dream,” Katigbak said.
ABS-CBN said the sound stages would be the first component of its production hub. Eventually, the site would include production and post production facilities as well as offices.
The goal was to shoot a larger percentage of television programs and films in the sound stages. This will cut costs and also increase the efficiency of the crew versus the standard practice of going on location.
Earlier, ABS-CBN chief financial officer Aldrin Cerrado said the sound stages could cut production costs by anywhere from 10 to 15 percent.
ABS-CBN, which posted P40.7 billion in revenues last year, spent about P11.8 billion in production costs last year. Apart from TV broadcasting, the company also produces films and sells broadband and cable TV subscription services.
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