As new Tom Cruise movie All You Need is Kill is filmed at Leavesden Studios, Warner Bros. representative Dan Dark has revealed what the future holds for the film facility.
Over the past couple of months, few would have missed seeing huge plumes of smoke or the sound of gunshots ringing out from the movie studios in Aerodrome Way.
But on Friday morning Mr Dark, senior vice president and managing director of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, revealed that a number of films are already in the pipeline for next year – something he said is quite unprecedented.
He said: “I can’t give too much away, but it’s been very busy, we’ve got a lot going on, and a lot of exciting projects.
“We’ve got a couple of big directors who have selected the studios to shoot their films. Let’s just say, they are household names.”
Warner Bros invested £100-million into redeveloping the 200-acre site, a former aircraft factory and runway, in a bid to entice homegrown and overseas film-makers.
According to Mr Dark, the studios were built by filmmakers, for filmmakers, with a strong emphasis on giving movie crews everything under “one metaphorical roof”.
He said: “There has been a lot of investment into the site to ensure that it is of the same quality as the studios in Burbank, California.
“Not only have we got nine stages for filming including a stage which can be adapted for a life-size underwater tank, but there are also 12 workshops for production, and a gigantic back lot with a clear view of the horizon.
“We’ve also just purchased the post-production facility De Lane Lea in Soho, which we can get to in under 20 minutes by train.
“It’s all about giving movie-makers what they want - their own slice of Hollywood, in Hertfordshire.”
Mr Dark also strengthened his commitment to the surrounding area and local residents.
He said: “We’ve had a few phone calls about the smoke and shots, but we’ve contacted residents prior to filming the more explosive scenes to ensure they know what’s going on.
“We’ve also spoken with directors so if anyone raises concerns we can give them an answer that is as frank as possible.
“When we first announced the Harry Potter tour and the opening of the studios, people did express concerns about traffic, but I hope we’ve laid a lot of those fears to rest.
“Of our jobs we’ve given about 80 per cent local people, we’re using a lot of nearby companies and businesses from hotels, to restaurants to the local timber yard – all of which are beneficial.
“We’re also involved at a local level too, from supporting charities such as the Watford Peace Hospice to Watford Mencap.
“The fact that we’re in an industry that seems to be going against the odds, against the recession, can only be a positive sign.
“We’re committed to ensuring we appeal to directors, that we put the studios on the map in terms of film-making. But we also understand the value and importance of the community around us. The coming year promises to be very exciting.”