City of Light, City of Shadows: The Difficult Take-Off of the Most Promising Film Studio in Spain
Materias Investigacion::Comunicación::Comunicación audiovisual
Issue Date: 
Intellect Journals
Pardo, Alejandro (2010). City of Light, City of Shadows: The Difficult Take-Off of the Most Promising Film Studio in Spain. Film International, 6 (1), 60-69
‘Runaway productions’ are a major area of cooperation between Hollywood and Europe. US studios seek to produce films overseas for economic, creative and even marketing reasons. This strategy has fostered a number of ‘collateral effects,’ like the establishment of studio facilities and other production infrastructures, the increase of direct and indirect governmental support, the development of clusters of creative industries ⎯all sorts of efforts to increase the synergies between the local and the international film industries. One specific case is the consolidation of the so-called ‘greenfield studios,’ based in places without previous production infrastructure, usually peripheral to main centres and mostly located in countries for which English is not the first language. This is the case of the Spanish La Ciudad de la Luz (CDLL), on the Mediterranean coast. Since its inauguration in 2005, the CDLL has hosted shoots to the tune of 280 million Euros, including big-budget European film productions such as Asterix at the Olympic Games, some comedies like Annaud’s His Majesty Minor and some minor films like Coppola’s Tetro. Nevertheless, it has failed to attract big Hollywood productions, which usually have ended up landing in other competing studios. Within this framework, this article analyses the performance of the CDLL in its first years and explores its future viability, combining economic, industrial and political approaches.

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