Provence Studios encourages business creation in Martigues

success story
Provence Studios encourages business creation in Martigues
07 April 2016 / Créez votre entreprise , Implantez, Générale
A development strategy tied to well-regarded companies in the audiovisual field

Provence is a favorite place for moviemaking. Each year the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d'Azur (PACA) region is hosting many film shoots that come to make the most of the extraordinary natural scenery and various locations. The creation of Provence Studios in Martigues in 2013 gave the film industry in Provence new momentum. Its founder, Olivier Marchetti, hopes to encourage the creation of other companies in the region to grow his own business. His goal is to meet the precise needs of French and foreign productions and form more partnerships with film industry professionals. For instance, he prompted Maratier Armes & Costumes (1 million euros in annual sales), which is headquartered in La Courneuve, to open a unit within the studio itself. Schools that offer training in trades related to the silver screen — such as Cinemagis and the Figlarz Action Academy, which specializes in stunt work — are also working alongside Provence Studios. By choosing to expand their operations in Provence, they are helping to further the appeal of the industry and boost local economic development.

Ever since Provence Studios called "Action!" in Martigues in 2013, Olivier Marchetti has successfully converted the former logistic warehouses into top-notch movie studios. He aims to develop a veritable ecosystem around the complex — one that can meet the needs of French and foreign productions.

To get there, Provence Studios is betting on a development strategy tied to well-regarded companies in the audiovisual field. For example, Maratier Armes & Costumes, a company founded in 1974 that designs and leases weapons and costumes, has signed on as a partner in the huge complex. The opportunity is mutually beneficial. "By fostering the success of Provence Studios, we hope to trigger a snowball effect that will translate into growth for related companies. The companies that comprise Provence Studios complement one another, so the complex makes it possible to offer several services to directors, who see Provence as an increasingly attractive area," notes Christophe Maratier.
That vision is shared by Olivier Poujaud, Director of Cinemagis, a school that has just opened in Martigues to train movie professionals. It also formed a partnership with Provence Studios a year ago. With a staff of ten instructors and experts, Cinemagis offers a three-year curriculum and targeted training in film (art history, directing, editing, etc.). Script training is also expected to debut soon in Martigues. "Many families in the region make a living from the film industry, so supporting this job-creating project was a no-brainer for me. I think that Provence has a lot of potential to grow in this industry, and that's why Cinemagis absolutely belongs in Martigues with Provence Studios," explains Olivier Poujaud.

A promising complex in a region that lends itself to moviemaking

According to Christophe Maratier, although Provence Studios is helping to bolster the film industry in the region, the complex is above all a "real tool" for directors. Its facilities (22 hectares of secured outdoor space and a modular indoor sound stage spanning 26,000 square meters), high technical standards, and complementary services — including preferential filming permits — enable Provence Studios to support the most ambitious film projects. Moreover, the Figlarz Action Academy, founded by Alain Figlarz, offers training and apprenticeships in stunt work at Provence Studios and is ideally positioned to advise directors.

"These kinds of facilities will definitely attract more productions to Provence and make work easier for filmmakers," observes Christophe Maratier.
This project has already generated enthusiasm among local stakeholders, including the Pays de Martigues local government. Provence Studios should continue to win over businesses in a region that knows how to welcome them, especially with help from the Regional Film Commission and Provence Promotion.

Cinemagis has received support from private companies, the Chamber of Commerce, the Territoire de Martigues, Port-de-Bouc, St-Mitres-les-Remparts and the regional government to cover training expenses. Registration for the second session of Cinemagis' entrance exam is now open.

To meet the needs of a growing industry in the Provence region, and to complement Cinemagis' program, plans are in the works with Jacques Fabert to open a school at Provence Studios, in order to offer shorter and more technical training for manual workers in the movie business.