ABS-CBN Corporation marked its 65th founding anniversary with the inauguration of its state-of-the-art and brand new sound stages in San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan last week, Dec. 12.
The studios will host the productions of upcoming television series, The Faithful Wife and the much-anticipated Liza Soberano starrer Darna film in the second quarter of 2019.
ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak said the two sound stages were built to support the company’s efforts towards expanding its audience and content output beyond the Philippines and to foreign audiences.
“We want to bring ABS-CBN content to the international stage, and having a state-of-the-art facility and a world-class production team is a big step for us towards that direction and dream,” Katigbak said.
ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez added, “What I’m most proud of about this project is that we’re creating Hollywood-level sound stages which puts us at par with the rest of the world.”
This project was the brainchild of ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, who saw that building the studios is the best way to keep in step with the world’s top entertainment companies, which shoot bigger percentages of their programs and films in sound stages and not in remote locations. Moreover, the sound stages also enable the company to manage production costs more efficiently.
“Completing the sound stages represents a very major step for ABS-CBN in terms of our ability to create much better production. Through this we can show the world the best of the Filipino,” said Lopez III.
Present at the inauguration of the sound stages along with Lopez III, Lopez, and Katigbak were ABS-CBN board member and former President and COO Freddie Garcia, ABS-CBN board adviser, former president and CEO, and current chief creative officer Charo Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN COO of broadcast Cory Vidanes, and ABS-CBN Film Productions Inc. managing director Olive Lamasan, together with Rep. Rida Robes, Mayor Art Robes, and some members of the ABS-CBN community.
The sound stages represent the beginning of a plan to establish a production hub that include sound stages, backlots, production and post-production facilities and offices that will allow both ABS-CBN and Philippine-based productions to match production facilities found elsewhere in the world.
In parallel with the construction work, the production and support teams for both TV and Feature Films began a three-year training program for the stages both in Hollywood and in the Philippines designed by Manhattan Beach Studios together with ABS-CBN Studios Inc. and ABS-CBN University. Covering all aspects of production, the courses involved over 150 people and were designed to ensure that production processes mirror the best practices in the world.