Symmetry Studios (Apple/MBS), near Aylesbury

From 2021


image thanks to MBS


In September 2020 the news came that film lighting and facilities company MBS Equipment UK Ltd had done a deal with property firm Tritax Big Box – the owners of some smart new industrial units on Symmetry Park, in Aston Clinton, near Aylesbury.  MBS took over units 2 and 3, measuring 56,034 sq ft and 112,148 sq ft respectively on a 10-year lease, intending to turn them into film studios.  It was also reported that Apple had previously appointed MBS to seek out suitable facilities near London to film drama series for their Apple TV+ streaming service.  So they would become the anchor client in these new studios.

According to their website, MBS is the largest provider of studio management and equipment support in the United States and the premiere worldwide resource for studio development, consultation, and design.  MBS is either the studio management company or production services provider for over 35 worldwide locations and supporting more than 270 sound stages in nine states and three countries.  In the UK, MBS are managing Eastbrook Studios, The Wharf Studios, Cardington Studios, Pyramids Studios and Wardpark Studios and servicing several more.

They spent the spring and summer of 2021 fitting out these facilities, which were up and running by the autumn.  There are four stages within the building:

Stage 1 – 15,400sq ft

Stage 2 – 20,000 sq ft

Stage 3 – 20,000 sq ft

Stage 4 – 15,400 sq ft.

The height to grid in all four stages is 32.4ft.  I gather one of the stages contains a large Virtual Production ‘volume’, which comes as no surprise.  (This is the technique of filming actors against huge LED screens, upon which a realistic background of scenery is displayed.)  There are also workshops, prop stores and production offices totalling 95,000 sq ft.

On 9th May 2022 Hijack, a thriller series starring Idris Elba, began filming here.  Early in 2024 a second season was announced, with filming expected to commence in June.  One assumes this will also be filmed at these studios but this has not been confirmed.  I have yet to discover any other productions based here.