One thinks of Hollywood as encompassing sunshine, sea and beautiful people, but tinseltown looks set to move to an unlikely part of the world; a 200 acre site outside Watford, which is set to become a new global hub for filmaking.
Leavesden studios, where hugely successful films like 'Harry Potter' and 'The Dark Knight' were made by its owner Warner Bros, have received a $150m investment from the company, in a boost to the British film industry that could see other studios scrambling to invest in British film.
The facilities in the refittted studios host nine massive stages, the biggest heated underwater filming pool in Europe, 12 production workshops and a gigantic open area with a clear view of the horizon, ensuring that whatever a director requires when making the latest blockbuster, he'll get.
Hollywood has recently reignited a love affair with British film making, with notable Oscar wins for British films including 'The King's Speech' and 'Slumdog Millionaire', and Hollywood's biggest stars, like Andrew Garfield and Robert Pattinson being Brits too.
According to Variety, the UK, Ireland and Spain president of Warner Bros Josh Berger said: "Alongside a growing U.K. film, TV and games production slate, the opening of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden clearly demonstrates the company's commitment to the U.K. and underlines our belief in the world-class talent that resides on these shores," indicating his plans to turn the studio into a Mecca for film making, and increasing the chances that stars will be spending more time in Britain rather than on the US west coast.
If Warner and others continue to invest in the industry it could see Watford become an unlikely rival to Hollywood, as according to Business Review, Hollywood insiders love the profesionalism and quality of British film crews.
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