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Europe’s largest water film studio opens in Vilvoorde

© Universal Pictures
The iconic water-tank movie Jaws
© Universal Pictures

This week saw the opening in Vilvoorde of a new film studio designed for shooting water-scenes, said to be the largest in Europe. The studio contains a tank 10m deep, with six million litres of water and a surface area of 1,250 square metres, which will allow the filming of extensive water-based scenes indoors. It has already been used to film the Swedish theatre production Breaking Surface.

The studio will bring a new dimension to indoor shooting of water scenes, according to Wim Michiels, CEO of Lites, the company behind the project. “A lot more can be done on an exterior set, but there you have the problems of water that’s too cold and unpredictable weather. Here we can shoot scenes with more certainty and consistency, which helps keep within budget.”

As well as its size, the studio also offers a constant water temperature of 32 degrees, which will make it possible for the actors to shoot longer scenes. The water set is part of a complex of five studios, where filming took place on productions such as the Russian submarine drama Kursk, Girl and Tabula Rasa. The complex cost 23 million euros, including 40% for the water set alone. The Flemish agency for enterprise contributed 1.1 million euros.

“Our support is nothing more than logical,” said Flemish innovation minister Philippe Muyters. “With this project, we’re investing in the future.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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