Sunday, September 2, 2012
Disney - ABC " Studios at the Ranch " will transform Walt Disney's Golden Oak Ranch into a state-of-the-art soundstage and production complex
This is one of the major project of the Walt Disney Company, and a new site was unveiled recently to present this "Studios at the Ranch" project including great artwork. For those of you who might have never heard about the Golden Oak Ranch the place is a movie ranch that serves as an interior and exterior filming location. The Golden Oak Ranch is off of Placerita Canyon Road in Canyon Country, California, less than an hour north of Los Angeles. The place has an interesting history as it was named in honor of Francisco Lopez, the man credited with discovering gold in California, years before the discovery that precipitated the California Gold Rush. More important, it's Walt Disney himself who bought the 315-acre (1.27 km2) ranch in 1959 for $300,000 with subsequent purchases of adjacent land that grew the area of the ranch to 827 acres (3.35 km2).
According to the Disney at the Ranch website "Walt Disney Productions first leased the Golden Oak
Ranch for filming in the late 1950's for The Adventures of Spin and Marty segments of The Mickey
Mouse Club. Because of the rich variety of settings, Walt Disney Productions purchased the first
portions of the property in 1959 and, over the years, acquired additional land bringing the total
property size to just under 900 acres. Some of the Disney productions that have shot at The Ranch include:
The Shaggy Dog
Follow Me Boys
And more recently
The Santa Clause
Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Golden Oak Ranch also has been seen in countless shows including:
Beverly Hills 90210
Murder She Wrote
And Contemporary productions include:
My Name is Earl
Sons of Anarchy
And many more...
In two words, production shooting happened at the ranch since Walt Disney bought it. But now, the WDC is going to transform a small portion of Golden Oak Ranch into a soundstage and production complex, and this is a real event as new Studios aren't built each day in California... With these new "Disney - ABC Studios at The Ranch" it will now be possible to combine the advantages of a large movie ranch for outdoor filming with the control and efficiencies of sound stages, all in one location. This synergy will provide countless options for the entertainment industry and reduce the need for actors, crews and equipment to travel throughout the Los Angeles region every time scenery changes from indoor to outdoor sets. The Studios will be used primarily for ABC and Disney productions however, facilities could be rented out to other production companies as they would become available. The site where the Studios will be built was carefully selected to preserve the natural settings of Golden Oak Ranch by locating soundstages on 58 acres in the westernmost portion of the 890-acre Ranch.
Here are some screen shots from the website presentation, explaining where will be what. However, note that Disney - ABC Studios at The Ranch will include:
6 Pairs of Soundstages
Commissary and other Amenities
Production Storage (Sets, Props, Drapery, Costumes and more)
But the site provides also great renderings showing how these Disney ABC Studios at the Ranch will look when they will be built. Below, the entrance.
Next, Placeria Creek and a view of the canyon.
Next, the workplace" site where will be built the studios with a picture showing how looks the site right now...
And how it will look once the studios will be built.
Last but not least the "Plaza" view as it is now...
And how it will look once it will be built.
As you've seen, although these "Disney ABC Studios at the Ranch" are not a theme park we are talking here about a major project of the WDC which is supposed to generate 2854 full and part-time jobs and $533 million in annual economic activity throughout Los Angeles County. Also, note that as a working studio, Disney - ABC Studios at The Ranch will not be open to the public for safety and liability reasons. That said, it is such a big project that it will be interesting to follow the future news about it!
Pictures: copyright Disney