Originally built for the Twentieth Century-Fox epic Titanic, Baja Studios was a completely self-contained production facility.
It’s believed that the complex is currently abandoned (see History at the bottom of this page for more details)
Construction of the facility began on June 6, 1996 and since that time various films and other projects in addition to Titanic have used the facility.
The present complex is located on 35 acres overlooking the Pacific coast with more than 2,000 feet of ocean front near the Mexican resort community of Rosarito.
Unobstructed views of the ocean, a combined tank volume of over 20 million gallons and a modern filtration plant capable of delivering 9,000 gallons of filtered sea-water per minute make Baja Studios the premiere facility for water-related work of any kind.
Tank 1 provides an additional 350,000 square feet of exterior shooting space, flooded or dry. Optional real estate acquisition allows for easy expansion. Some of the world’s largest stages and filming tanks work in concert with offices, scenery shops, dressing rooms, wardrobe facilities to accomplish most filming requirements.
The Studio Tour, originally known as Foxploration, opened in May 2001 and offered visitors a range of Titanic-themed displays and exhibits, along with items related to other movies shot at the studios.
Unfortunately the studio tour is not open to the public at the present time.
The interior of Stage 2 measures 250´ x 130´ x 50´ with 4 roll up doors. It contains a 100´ x 200´ x 29´ deep tank. Height from the tank bottom to the light grid is 75´. Stage 2 is fitted with a hydraulic lifting system, which can be used wet or dry (see additional information on hydraulic controlled riser platform).
Dimensions are 130´ x 130´ x 50´ with two 24-foot roll-up doors plus 3 man doors. It counts with catwalks across the roof for lightning and effects equipment.
Dimensions are 130´ x 130´ x 50´, with two 24´ roll up doors plus 3 man doors. It contains a 100´ x 100´ x 4´ deep tank with an overflow horizon. A 12´ drive through door provides access into the tank area for dry shooting and set construction. Inside this tank is a deeper 30´ x 35´ x 12´ deep insert tank.
Dimensions are 100′ x 200′ x 30´ 37´ ( split level ) with two 24 foot roll up doors and 5 man doors.
…is a poured concrete pool with a total area of over 360,000 square feet (600´ x 600´ irregular shape). Most of this area is 3.5 feet deep, but two deeper sections may be filled independent of each other prior to flooding the entire tank. There is a 130 foot by 200 foot section which can be flooded to a depth of 40 feet. The other section is a 30 foot wide by 300 foot long section which is 15 feet deep. When Tank 1 is filled, an overflow weir on the ocean side of the tank creates a 420-foot long seamless (infinite) horizon with the Pacific Ocean beyond it. Tank 1 has a maximum capacity of 17 million gallons. It can be completely filled or drained in about 40 hours. Tank 1 is serviced by a 162 feet tall motorized tower crane, which can be used as a lighting and camera platform in addition to its uses for set construction.
…is situated inside Stage 2. Access to the tank is through four roll-up doors or through a 20´ wide concrete ramp that enters near the bottom of the tank. The tank is 100´ x 200´ x 29´ feet deep with a capacity just over 4.3 million gallons. Height from the tank bottom to the light grid is 75´. The filtration plant provides seawater to the tank via adjustable inlets and outlets, making it possible to operate the tank at any depth greater than two feet. Located inside the tank is a 90´ x 160´ steel platform supported by a unique hydraulic motion control system that allows for sets weighing up to 0.6 million pounds to be lifted (heavier sets needs to be offset using buoyancy) lowered and tilted up to 30 degrees in and out of the tank with total control. The steel platform was designed to work with unidirectional loads. These lifting points are located at the edge of four parallel main beams. The riser platform is capable of supporting distributed loads of up to 1.2 million pounds including the weight of the platform. The distributed loads can be people, furniture, sets or other fixtures. Concentrated (point) loads are allowed only if they are applied perpendicular to the surface of the platform. Concentrated loads must coincide with defined areas on the main or secondary beams. The riser platform cannot support additional dynamic loads or loads parallel to the platform. The lifting points may not be altered.
Large hydraulic rams and a 2:1 pulley/cable system enable the platform to be lifted in and out of the water in tank 2. Using a computerized control system, the set’s placement and rate of movement can be controlled within inches. The riser platform can be lowered or raised at a maximum rate of +/- 2.5 feet/second.
…is an outdoor pool, which accommodates both fresh and salt water. The interior of the tank is painted black. The tank is an ideal facility for insert and surface effects, or underwater and green screen photography. A 10’ wide ribbed ramp provides easy equipment and machine access into the tank for both wet and dry use. It is supplemented overhead by a 60’ x 80’ steel platform, capable of being tilted 90 degrees.
…is located in stage 4. The tank is approximately 100 feet wide by 100’ long and is 3’8” deep. There is a 30’ x 35’ x 12’ deep section located near the center of the tank (see appendix). Two walls of this tank have a built in over flow weir. The walls behind the weir can be covered with backing material or green screen, to create a seamless horizon.
Productions shot at Baja Film Studios
Feature Film (13)
|Against the Sun
|All is Lost
|The first major production at the former Fox Baja Studios since local crime problems forced it's closure.
|Ghosts of the Abyss
|Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World
|Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
|Partial full-size sets of the ships at Pearl Harbor were constructed, blown up and burned at the studio to recreate the battle and its aftermath.
|The Weight of Water
|Storm sequences using a full size sailboat were filmed in Tank 1 to match storm sequences shot on location in Nova Scotia.
|Deep Blue Sea
|This undersea shark movie was shot entirely at Fox Baja. The spectacular, life-like sharks created for the movie raised animatronics to a new level.
|Several scenes required construction of a small New England town in the deep section of Tank 1. Ten buildings, including a church and graveyard were constructed in full scale and then submerged in order to create scenes of the flooded town. Additional water scenes required the use of Tanks 2 and 3.
|Fox Baja Studios was constructed specifically for this epic tale. Construction began on June 6 1996 and production on the movie began in September 1996, while the studio was completed around production. Around 95% of the movie was shot at the studio.
|Tomorrow Never Dies
|Stealth Ship; Sea Landing; Exteriors of the UK Fleet
|The capability of Tank 1 (built originally to house the 750 foot replica of the ship, Titanic) was enhanced to accommodate filming requirements of the model unit by adding a 450 foot long weir overflow along the seaward side of the tank. This modification enables a seamless interface to be created between the tank and the ocean behind it.
TV Series (1)
|Creator / Showrunner
Music Video (1)
TV Movie (1)
History of Baja Studios
1996 Construction began on what would become Fox Studios Baja. The facility was constructed for James Cameron’s epic Titanic. Construction began June 6, 1996.
2001 – May Fox Studios Baja opened Foxploration, a behind-the-scenes/moviemaking park allowing the public an opportunity to experience a working movie studio and to learn about the production process in an entertaining and interactive way. Another feature of the theme park is Fox/JVC Presents, a state-of-the-art video screening room that allows guests to view footage of recent Fox films, review past productions, and to observe previews of upcoming productions.
2005 One of the stages hosted rehearsals for the rock group U2 ahead of the band’s Vertigo world tour
2007 20th Century Fox sold the studio to a group of local investors who hoped to make it a job growth engine in the region.
2007 – December 5 Mishandled dynamite (for special effects purposes) caused a violent explosion that unfortunately resulted in the death of a Mexican soldier that was helping with the operation. Local residents felt a huge explosion shake their homes. The freak accident occurred inside one of the studios, just south of the Foxploration theme park.
2008 During pre-production work for the “Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian,” Mexico’s drug war flared in Rosarito Beach. Seven police officers were killed in one month, and the studio moved the production to New Zealand.
?date – Foxploration theme park relaunched as Xploration.
?date – Fox Studios Baja closed
?date – Xploration closed.
MORE COMING SOON
LA Times Article (January 2012)