The Celtic Media Centre is the largest film and television production studio in the state of Louisiana. Managed by Raleigh Studios, Celtic combines abundant stage and office space as well as a wide array of studio services rarely found outside of California or New York.
The Media Centre is part of the Celtic Group, a Baton Rouge-based company whose origins date back to 1985, when Irish native Brendan O’Connor founded Celtic Marine Corporation. After 25 years in transportation logistics, O’Connor saw the need for a real Louisiana motion picture studio facility in Louisiana. In 2005, The Celtic Media Centre was born.
The project began in 2006, when the company purchased a shell of an abandoned music recording studio located between Airline Hwy and I-10 in Baton Rouge. The partially-completed building soon evolved into the O’Connor Building, the operational hub of the Media Centre, which houses the smaller Stages 1 and 2. In 2007 the studio went into partnership with Raleigh Studios, based out of Hollywood, California. The largest independent operator of stage space in the U.S., Raleigh brought over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and true Hollywood standards to Baton Rouge.
In 2008, Celtic’s first large sound stage, Stage 8, opened for business. Early on, the studio was able to accommodate smaller productions thanks to the budding independent film industry in Louisiana such as Drones, Nine Dead, and The Abduction of Jesse Bookman. After acquiring neighboring properties, the planned studio grew to more than 23 acres. Unfortunately, Brendan O’Connor passed away in early 2009 before the studio’s first construction phase could be completed.
Brendan’s son Michael O’Connor took the helm as President and CEO of the Celtic Group. Michael and EVP/CFO Bob Bayham made certain that Brendan’s vision became a reality. With the completion of Celtic’s Stage 5, a 28,000 sq. ft. building with 70 ft. ceilings (inspired by the stage favored by Federico Fellini at Cinecitta’ in Rome), Celtic ushered in a new era of filmmaking in Louisiana. By the summer of 2009, the HBO series True Blood was taking advantage of Celtic’s climate-controlled stage space.
In the fall of 2009, Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles became the first major studio feature to base and shoot out of Baton Rouge since All the King’s Men. Also that fall, Celtic hired Patrick Mulhearn, former Asst. Director of Film & Television for the State of Louisiana, as Director of Studio Operations for Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge at the Celtic Media Centre.
In 2010, Phase II of the studio construction was completed and Celtic's stage space more than doubled in size with the addition of Stages 4, 6, and 7 to the studio lot. By mid-year, the studio had landed the two largest productions in the history of the state: NBC Universal’s Battleship and Summit’s Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2. Celtic made history as it successfully hosted both productions...simultaneously.
Today, with over 150,000 square feet of stage space and 81,000 square feet of office space, Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge at the Celtic Media Centre is one of the largest, design-built facilities outside of California. Currently the permanent home to more than two dozen companies working with the entertainment industry, Celtic continues to set the stage for long-term growth and successful production in a highly-creative, secure environment.