Screen Gems Studios tests special effects water tank

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington tested its new special effects water tank Monday.

Stage 10 is known as a "Dream Stage" and will make its debut as the third largest stage in the United States.

The stage features one of the largest special effects water tanks in North America and will be available for large scale film and TV productions.

"Stage 10: it's a monster stage, designed to get the big movies in Hollywood, which we've been missing out on," said EUE President Chris Cooney in a previous interview with WECT.

Officials said two large feature films are considering filming at the 37,500-foot, column-free stage that includes a 186,000-gallon indoor special effects water tank.

"We will be able to attract larger productions, special effects type of productions," said executive vice president of Screen Gems Bill Vassar.  "Productions that will want to put up the green screen and shoot cg."

Even though the huge sound stage sits in Southeastern North Carolina, crews can use the space to put their actors in nearly any type of background - day or night.

"New Orleans street scenes to a downtown Wilmington," said Screen Gems project manager Chris Crowder.  "We can build streets right inside. Even to an interior of a castle whatever you want."

Filmmakers will be able to shoot things with the water tank like they've never been able to do before.

"If you wanted to do something like sink a pirate ship you can sink a pirate ship on this stage things like that," said Crowder.  "Pop a submarine up or drive a car off a bridge. It's really up to your imagination."

During a time when filmmakers are opting to go to other states for higher film incentives, leaders at Screen Gems believe these enhancements will be a big draw.

"They're going to come here because they need a large stage they need to do special effects to use the take as part of that," said Vassar.

The "dream stage" is set to open Friday, May 22, and WECT has been told the studio is already getting calls from filmmakers in Hollywood.

To view pictures of the construction and to learn more about the tank, click here.

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