Pirates of the Caribbean
Shooting on Grand Bahama
Disney film spurs construction of new sound stages, hotel and tourist attractions

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In March 2005, the Government of the Bahamas granted a 50 year lease (renewable for an additional 49 years) on the entire decommissioned US Missile Base, comprising 3,500 acres located near Freeport on Grand Bahamas Island to GRCE, the developers of the US$ 100 million Bahamas Film Studios Project.

GRCE is developing a state-of-the-art movie and television studio complex with film theme park on the decommissioned US Missile Base. The complex will provide a minimum of three production sound stages, with the largest measuring 50,000 square feet.

The Bahamas Film Studios are designed to house state-of-the-art production equipment and full-scale post production facilities to make this a "one-stop-shop" production centre.

The studios will produce commercials, feature films, TV series, music, in-house productions etc. The studios will have viewing galleries so visitors can watch commercials or shows being filmed.

Most importantly, an agreement has been made with Disney to locate filming for the US$ 400m blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean " parts 2 and 3 (starring Johnny Depp) at the GRCE facility.

This is said to be the biggest single film budget announced by Hollywood for 2005 and filming at the GRCE complex starts in May 2005. GRCE is currently fast-tracking construction of a special water tank for completion in May for start of the filming.

The water tank is the largest and most state of the art tank in the world, with a gimble to move ships to give actual at-sea simulation and a perfect horizon for each filming.

Unlike the other two comparable tank facilities in the world (in Malta and Mexico), the GRCE tank is structurally designed to accommodate all kinds of wave machines, water canons etc that would be required for any type of water film.

The GRCE project also includes a resort hotel, water park, theme restaurants, bars, merchandising outlets, various tourist attractions and studio tours.

In the future GRCE plans to offer a 3D Imax theatre and an endangered species area.

The Gold Rock complex is out to become one of the most sought after tourism destinations in the Caribbean and a major boost for the economy of the Bahamian Islands .

In the longer term it anticipated that the project will create up to 1,200 full-time, permanent positions within all levels of the project's operations. The Prime Minister of The Bahamas, The Right Honorable Perry Christie, stated that, "this project is the most exciting endeavor to base itself on Bahamian soil."

Source: IFEX Innovation Finance & Equity Exchange NV From the PR Newswire

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