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Film studios celebrate a year of aciton

IT’S been one year since filming in Liverpool was given a boost with the opening of the city’s own film studios.

The Depot officially launched just over 12 months ago, in an ambitious move to meet the increasing demand from production companies wanting to film in the city.

The two 20,000 square feet studios, including sound stages and dedicated parking area, located off Edge Lane has been in high demand with a feature film and global commercial brands already using the space.

And, to add to the celebrations, a major new drama has become the first long-term tenant to occupy the space.

Paramount+ has hired out the site for seven months, for filming on its upcoming original UK drama commission, Sexy Beast – becoming the first major production company to use the studios for several consecutive months.

As well as using The Depot, the series is also making the most of a number of locations across the city to double as East London in the 1990s.

Sexy Beast follows the lives of small-time thieves who get mixed up in the London criminal world and the cast includes James McArdle (Mare of Easttown) and Emun Elliott (The Rig).  Sarah Greene (Normal People), Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner) will also be heading to the city to film.

As well as a stellar cast, the eight-part series has been written, and will be directed, by showrunner Michael Caleo who was one of the lead writers on the multi-award winning series The Sopranos.  The show will be produced by Chapter One and Paramount.

The creation of the two sound stages was made possible thanks to funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

Head of Liverpool Film Office, Lynn Saunders, said: “The Depot was always about future-proofing Liverpool’s prime position in the Film and TV industry, and we spent so many years making these two enormous purpose-built studios a reality that I can’t believe they are already a year old!

“The response from the sector has been incredible and we are so proud of what we have been able to achieve with the new facility – I firmly believe The Depot sealed the deal to bring Sexy Beast here as Liverpool now offers a complete package for film and TV producers.

“I’m so delighted this high-end drama is our first long-term tenant and having someone of the calibre of Michael Caleo here is a huge coup. The quality of the casting is outstanding – and to see it all come together in The Depot is hugely rewarding as myself and teams across the city council.

“And this production will of course be the first of many – we are already getting approached regularly about hiring the space and this interest will only grow as word spreads about the incredible facilities we can offer here in Liverpool.” 

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