Why Are Major Stars Flocking to Spring Hill, TN?
Worldwide Stages offers 300,000 square feet of dazzling production space for the music, film and TV industry to create unforgettable projects.
By Emily Lansdell on May 20, 2023
Photographs by: Nathan Lambrecht
Hollywood-sized dreams are becoming a reality at Worldwide Stages in Spring Hill. What was once the headquarters for the Saturn brand of General Motors is now a sprawling 320,000-square-foot, 38-acre production campus dedicated to the music, film and television industry.
Behind its walls is a cornucopia of soundstages, studios and amenities that allows artists and their production teams to enjoy an extraordinary environment where their creative visions can come to life.
“Saturn came to Spring Hill as a ‘new kind of car company,’ so it’s fitting that their former headquarters will now set the standard as the new way to produce music, film and broadcast entertainment,” says Jim Hagaman, mayor of Spring Hill.
A DREAM REALIZED
This leap of faith enterprise is now a full-scale operation attracting major stars like Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett, Katy Perry and Reese Witherspoon, to name just a few.
“For decades, people have promised what Worldwide Stages has finally delivered,” says founder and CEO Kelly Frey. “We offer a full-size soundstage and studio lot that can serve as a permanent home for industry professionals to practice their craft.
While 40 of the top 200 music touring acts live within 20 minutes of the campus, Frey says, it’s more than just a convenient location. “We’re becoming the production venue of choice for hundreds of new entertainment professionals moving into the area,” he says.
“A tour manager on-site told me recently ‘Once you come here, you’ll never go anywhere else.”
CEO Kelly Frey
Along with co-founders and music industry veterans Shane Ellis and Mark Long, Frey brings his experience in executive production and technology to the project. The partners’ combined experience informed the design of the colossal complex that offers clients a unique blend of high-end amenities, state-of-the-art technology, inspiring gathering spaces and robust security measures.
The site is also home to several industry partners like E1FX, Theatrixx, Danley and Fuse Technical Group, which enhance in-house offerings for special effects, lighting, sound and virtual production.
“A tour manager on-site told me recently ‘Once you come here, you’ll never go anywhere else,’” Frey says. “We wanted to create the type of environment our clients always imagined they would have when they finally hit it big.”
That environment gives clients access to the very best in amenities, which include luxurious green rooms and production suites, dedicated office spaces for support staff and a commercial kitchen with everything from craft services to fine dining. The facility even provides on-site showers, laundry and spa services.
“From the smallest to the largest spaces, our clients are getting A-list treatment,” Frey says. “We’re not just building a business here, we’re building a legacy. Industry people have never been treated this well or had these types of facilities before.”
From a production side, the multiple soundstages range in size up to 20,000 square feet and leverage the location’s original design features like giant garage doors and a massive steel roof that will support thousands of pounds of speakers and lights.
The facility also features the region’s largest CYC wall (a blank curved wall used as a backdrop in photography and video production) and offers the unique capability to film with water and pyrotechnics. Clients can also enjoy a Chicago-inspired speakeasy lounge, a 70-seat private theater and a host of meticulously decorated spaces designed for comfort and creativity.
“We’ve invested millions of dollars in this facility based upon industry demand and our confidence in the city’s leadership,” Frey says. “We’re making good on our promise that we made to this community. We want to have a long-term, positive effect on this economy.”
It’s an ongoing priority to promote local merchants to the hundreds of production personnel that cycle through the campus each year, Frey says. Plans for expansion are also underway, including the construction of at least four new soundstages.
“Worldwide Stages has been a terrific corporate citizen,” says Matt Fitterer, Spring Hill alderman. “They continue to invest capital dollars into the facility and our community. They’ve created an atmosphere for live entertainment production that’s unmatched. The amount of goodwill and name-brand recognition they’ve created for Spring Hill is unmeasurable.”