We are fond of relating the history of Vancouver Film Studios (to whomever will listen) as a happy accident. Truth be told, about twenty years ago we realized there was no conceivable way to get permission to build huge condominium towers on the thirty acres of industrial land and warehouses we had accumulated in Vancouver so we had to rethink the alternatives. We had been reluctant landlords to film and television tenants for years, putting them in empty warehouses while we worked on finding longer term tenants.
Along came a twenty-one year old Sacha McLean who examined the mixed bag of uses and historical revenues and made a case for taking a risk on short term rentals to the production industry and in fact, making them our first priority. It turned out we had comparable occupancy at much better rates and within three years of Sacha’s initial proposal to the family, we built our first six sound stages which has since expanded to twelve.
The next lesson (pay attention you would-be film studio moguls) was that you can’t really make much money on the buildings alone. The key to this business was not just real estate: it was services. With that in mind, we put together a package of complementary services for our customers that we believe is the best in the world, and we hired a staff to help us run our business of whom we think the world. More recently, we have entered the production business through Gun Lake Pictures (non-scripted) and 50° North (scripted). Click on the logos to the right for more information.