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Major Motion Picture/TV Production Studio Opens in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM (Vocus) February 7, 2007
Albuquerque Studios: The New Sol of New Mexico Filmmaking
New Mexico has long been a popular film location. Currently, Oscar winner Paul Haggis is filming “In The Valley Of Elah”, recently wrapped is Bordertown, starring Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas and of course, there is “Brokeback Mountain.” But it is the opening of the magnificent Albuquerque Studios this month that promises to put the state firmly on the filmmakers’ map. The $ 74m state-of-the-art motion picture and television production facility includes eight sound stages with a combined total of 168,000 sq ft. Set on 28 acres at Mesa Del Sol, just minutes away from Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque Studios also offers full production support facilities, 78,000 sq ft of production offices, 70,000 sq ft of mill, storage and construction space and a vast backlot. “What we’re creating here is the infrastructure of an industry,” declared Albuquerque Studios’ Chief Operating Officer Nick Smerigan. “We’re bringing every aspect of production to the lot.”
In their efforts to ensure their clients have everything they require on site, Albuquerque Studios has established agreements with a number of companies, including NBC Universal Lighting and Grip, Star Waggons, Quixote, Axium International, Cisco Systems, and NES Rentals. One unique feature of Albuquerque Studios is their five star concierge service. The comprehensive service operated by Southwest Suites offers everything from accommodations and travel, to personal assistants, security and entertainment. “It’s full service because we know that 99% of our business is going to come from out of town,” explains Albuquerque Studio’s Executive Director of Studio Operations, Jeremy Hariton. “Everyone will be on the road, so we will provide them with all the amenities of home.”
Studio Concierge, operated by Southwest Suites, will have their own offices on the lot says founder Joyce Smith, “so we will be able to accommodate their needs more immediately when they’re working at the studio.” Clients will not only be able to visit the concierge desk for production support purposes, but also to arrange things like weekend getaways, events, dinner reservations, massages and skiing. The concierge service will extend to those staying in the various furnished homes, townhomes and apartments that Albuquerque Studios will have available for clients.
Albuquerque Studios will be at the center of the 9,000 acre Mesa Del Sol development which will incorporate industrial, commercial and residential elements as well as parks and recreation complexes. “Economic development is the cornerstone of Mesa del Sol and we welcome Albuquerque Studios efforts to work with us to recruit high-paying jobs to New Mexico,” said Michael Daly, chief operating officer of Forest City Covington, NM, LLC, the master developer of Mesa del Sol. “Albuquerque Studios shares our vision of a community where residents can live, learn, work and play, and greatly complements our economic development activities that will have long term and far reaching benefits for New Mexico.”
Hal Katersky, Chairman and CEO of Albuquerque Studios shares his thoughts on the warm welcome, “The city of Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico have worked hard with us to make Albuquerque Studios a reality.” The studio, which only broke ground on July 10, 2006, has spacious and versatile sound stages, paired with and joined by a sound-rated operational partition, allowing them to open up the walls between the studios and have a 48,000 sq ft stage with 55ft high ceilings. Katersky also acknowledges those who have been responsible for this dramatic development. “Governor Richardson and his administration has had the vision to build an incentive program in New Mexico that is the best in the United States, and Mayor Chavez and his team has worked tirelessly to make the city of Albuquerque a major center for filming motion pictures.”
Governor Richardson states, “We welcome Albuquerque Studios to New Mexico. This state-of-the-art facility represents the next phase in our strategic plan to build the entertainment industry in the state.”
Over the past few years, New Mexico has made a concerted effort to bring film and television production to the state. Since the introduction of a lucrative 25% tax rebate on all production expenditures and a generous film investment loan program, New Mexico has seen the revenue generated from film productions rise from $ 3 million to $ 650 million. Albuquerque Mayor, Martin Chavez, speaks to the booming growth. “Albuquerque is thrilled to welcome this world-class studio to our city. We have seen a tremendous growth in the film industry. in the last three years, the economic impact on the greater Albuquerque area has been over 100 million dollars. We expect to see that growth continue to explode thanks to the amazing infrastructure that Albuquerque Studios is bringing to our city.”
With more than 300 days of sun a year, spectacular landscapes and its close proximity to Los Angeles (Albuquerque is a 90 minute flight from LAX), New Mexico is a convenient and favorable film location. The state’s advantageous tax incentives make it a financially astute film location. Now, Albuquerque Studios makes the state an irresistible and exciting film location.
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