First Stage Studios Ltd, run by BAFTA-winning producer Bob Last and actor/director Jason Connery, has been appointed to run the new Scottish film and TV studio space in Bath Road, Leith, in Edinburgh.
Last and Connery formed First Stage Studios after Screen Scotland launched an open tender process inviting proposals from private developers to run the studio site in late 2018.
Both Last and Connery have other interests, Last as a producer (his credits include Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist) and Connery as a director of films including Tommy’s Honour, which opened the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival. But these will be kept separate from the First Stage Studios business.
“We at First Stage Studios are absolutely committed to this as a studio business,” Last told Screen. “We are absolutely committed to running this as a professional facility for all comers. Our priority is to provide a great facility for them. There is no cross-collaterisation between any of our other activities.”
Whatever refurbishment may be needed, Last said that the studio can be used immediately.
“The facility is certainly open for business in a status of, as it were, ‘pop up max’. We are indeed sourcing a number of possible uses at this time,” Last commented. “I can tell you we are not concerned that the necessary resources will hold us back.”
Last wouldn’t give details of current requests to use the site for confidentiality reasons but said there were “two or three very active, substantial inquiries”.
Davis confirmed that she had been discussing the possible use of the studio with major US companies during her trip to Los Angeles in early February.
“It is a phenomenal building. Right now, it can already host clients. The refurbishment will take place in line with market interests but even as it stands, it is a fully functional facility,” Davis said.