MBL Film Production Studio

Filmed in collaboration with BioQuest Studios, this spectacular footage features some of the amazing organisms important to MBL education and research, past and present.

Studio Services and Equipment

Newly launched in 2023, the MBL provides a unique state-of-the-art commercial film production studio for scientific and educational productions supporting the promotion and advancement of science. The film production studio incorporates a fully equipped laboratory.

The ƬƬ has a partnership with and strongly encourages interested production companies to retain their specialized services in cinematography for any productions at the MBL.

Animal Support and Maintenance

As part of the rental of ƬƬ studio, the MBL will provide 24-hour access to reserved laboratory studio space and specialized equipment. Specialized equipment consists of recirculating seawater systems including required filtration, such as biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration as well as UV sterilization and temperature control, to ensure optimal water quality and animal health. The MBL will also provide supplemental animal care equipment such as hand nets, basters, tubing, pipets, water quality testing equipment, forceps, and other general laboratory/aquarium supplies. This system can support natural landscapes such as coral, anemones, etc. as well as the developmental requirements of various embryos and hatchlings. All equipment provided by the MBL for projects will remain the property of the MBL and must be returned at the end of the project. MBL will provide appropriate exotic seawater discharge biosecurity throughout the project.

MBL provides a variety of marine organisms for filming through the Marine Resources Center. Accessory organisms such as coral, macro algae, fish, and other aquarium cohabitants are possible.

Included in a rental cost, the MBL provides up to four hours per day, during normal business hours, of dedicated expert staff to aid in animal manipulations and to provide behavioral advice. Additional ƬƬ staff will be available to provide daily support during normal business hours to ensure space, tanks, and life support systems are in working order.

Rental Costs

Studio rental cost includes the lab studio space as well as the standard level of animal support and maintenance. Additional fees are charged for support or equipment that is not included in the standard level of support.


Depending on the timing of film production request, the MBL provides on campus lodging and dining in its dormitory or apartment facilities. Additional information on the ƬƬ campus and the local area, including transportation to the campus can be found on the MBL website.

Studio Inquiries

If you would like more information or are interested in filming at the ƬƬ studio, contact Pete West at pete@bioquest.com.au or Alison Crawford at acrawford@mbl.edu.

About the MBL

The MBL is one of the oldest and most eminent private nonprofit research laboratories in the United States dedicated to exploring fundamental biology, understanding biodiversity and the environment, and informing the human condition through both research and education. It was the first private scientific institution in Woods Hole, MA. Its inception began in 1871 when the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Fisheries was established.

Woods Hole is located at the confluence of two major biogeographic ecosystems that are home to a rich diversity of marine life. Warm water from the Gulf Stream meets with colder waters from Cape Cod Bay resulting in great biodiversity of marine organisms. An ideal location for a research laboratory. The ocean is the origin of all major animal lineages. The diversity of marine organisms is reflected in the enormous range of mechanisms for carrying out the basic processes of life. ƬƬ scientists have harnessed this diversity to make fundamental contributions to our understanding of biology as well as significant advances in biotechnology and human health. Recent advances in areas such as genetics, neuroscience, physiology, developmental biology, imaging, and computation have expanded our ability to explore complex biological processes to address fundamental questions. MBL uses marine and aquatic species to better understand similar evolution and development in humans. Its location is also ideal for research on coastal ecosystems and impacts of the ocean microbiome.

A summer-only institution during its first decades, today it has nearly 30 resident faculty and an expanding year-round education program including 22 world-renowned, graduate-level, Advanced Research Training Courses (ARTCs), many introducing new research organisms and cutting-edge techniques to students and academic faculty each year. It’s educational offerings also include a variety of undergraduate and high school courses and fellowships, as well as adult and professional learning courses.  

Among the scientists with an affiliation to the MBL (serving as a researcher, course faculty, and/or student), nearly 60 scientists have been recognized with Nobel Prizes since its founding in 1888. Some key discoveries made at the MBL include mechanisms that explain nerve impulses, use of horseshoe crab blood to detect bacterial contamination, proteins that control cell division, including its lack of control in cancer, and how the transport of molecules is precisely controlled within cells.

Each year the MBL accommodates nearly 2,000 visiting scientists, academic faculty, and students with its housing and dining facilities. In addition to its academic and visiting science programs, the ƬƬ hosts nearly 3,000 visitors in the spring and fall months for scientific meetings and conferences. The ƬƬ continues to serve as a destination for innovative, collaborative research and research training opportunities.