'Avatar' Sequels To Film Back-To-Back

The rumors have been confirmed. There are two sequels to Avatar in the works. And, yes, they will be filmed back-to-back at MBS Media Campus in Manhattan Beach. Take a look at the official press release...

It was officially announced today that James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment has signed a long term lease agreement to take more than 115,000 square feet of sound stage and production office space at MBS Media Campus, the state-of-the-art production lot in Manhattan Beach owned by the Carlyle Group and managed by Raleigh Studios.

The deal puts the Academy Award winning director at the MBS Media Campus for his two highly anticipated sequels to Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time. Production for the sequels will continue to be on the cutting edge of motion picture technology utilizing the latest performance capture filming methods to create the Avatar universe.

As the most technologically advanced major production studio outside of Hollywood, the MBS Media Campus provides Cameron and Lightstorm full access to one of the most up-to-date and structurally advanced film and television production lots in the world. At the MBS Media Campus, film and television productions benefit from the unique campus-like atmosphere, proximity to the Southern California coastline and eco-friendly mandate. With its 360 Production concept, MBS Media Campus was designed to bring all of the service and resources needed for film and television production to a single location.

“The MBS Media Campus provides us with the technological infrastructure, complete array of production services and location near LAX that make the campus a perfect fit for our next two Avatar projects,” said Jon Landau of Lightstorm Entertainment. “In addition, MBS shares our commitment to working in an environment where our production can be carbon neutral. All of us at Lightstorm are excited to begin the next chapter of Avatar with the MBS team.”

In addition to being one of the most modern independent film production lots in the world, a major draw for Mr. Cameron was the MBS Media Campus’ commitment to eco-friendly practices and sustainability. The lot has in place an aggressive water conservation program, eco-friendly paints and cleaning products, sustainable cafe and craft services practices and a number of programs to promote greener transportation by its employees.

“We have a long history with Jim, Jon and Lightstorm, and we are pleased to continue it here at the MBS Media Campus in Manhattan Beach.” said Michael Moore, President of Raleigh Studios. “There is not another location in the world that matches what we have in Manhattan Beach. Whether it is for television or the biggest movies being made today, we believe we deliver a bit of Hollywood by the sea here at the MBS Media Campus. The state-of-the-art improvements we have made couldn’t be put to a better use. And with two of the largest production companies headquartered on our lot, we have proven that MBS is a world class facility. We look forward to working with Jim and Lightstorm on the Avatar sequels, and to providing top notch service to one of the industry’s greatest filmmakers.”

Mr. Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment join another motion picture industry leader, Marvel Studios, whose headquarters is also located at the MBS Media Campus. Marvel filmed much of Iron Man 2 and Thor at the facility, and is currently in production on Captain America and Avengers. MBS Media Campus is also the headquarters for such television productions as CSI: Miami, 90210, America’s Funniest Home Videos as well as a variety of television commercial, music video and other projects.

Built in 1998, the 22 acre MBS complex recently underwent a number of multimillion dollar upgrades, including the installation of a New York City street back lot, a state of the art 3D screening room, and an ADR studio with the latest in fiber optic technology. Additionally, the MBS Media Campus is home to re-designed and improved offices spaces which provide productions with direct access to the sound stages. The facility has also recruited Urban Beach Cafe to provide production catering and run the lot’s onsite cafe. The upgrades have made MBS Media Campus the most modern independent studio lot in the world.

The MBS Media Campus showcases how film and television production has evolved. With 15 sound stages and an expansive campus-like setting, MBS Media Campus was designed to be a focal point for production, bringing all of the services and resources needed for film and television production to one location. It is called “360° Production,” a turnkey menu of production services and resources for lighting and grip, rigging, truss, construction, stage materials, heavy equipment and catering all within arms’ reach and instantly accessible. This has made MBS a popular base for some of the most successful film and television projects in the world.

MBS Media Campus features such onsite services as:

- Nine 18,000 square foot sound stages
- Five 25,000 square foot sound stages
- One brand new 10,000 square foot sound stage
- Olsesen Lighting – featuring state-of-the-art theatrical equipment
- Outdoor New York Street Scene
- Blue Room Post – up-to-the-minute technology for all post production services
- Hertz Entertainment Services – scissor lifts, condors, trucks, generators, etc…
- Branam Enterprises – flying systems, motors, track and truss
- MBS Studio Store – expendables
- MBS Construction – lumber and construction services
- Production Offices – highly creative environment with offices attached to stages
- Screening Room – a brand new, state-of-the-art screening room
- Onsite Amenities – Urban Beach Cafe and onsite concierge services

MBS Media Campus is a 21st century studio in a sublime setting and is one of the largest employers in Manhattan Beach, CA. The lot’s location also provides the convenience of shooting close to home and the beautiful weather and eclectic environment of Southern California.

In the new world of media convergence and synergy, the MBS Media Campus is the answer to single-destination production for film, media and creative arts. With a complete portfolio of studio services and resources onsite, this is a unique, one-stop facility.

Steve Wiseman of CBRE represented Lightstorm in this transaction.