Santa Fe Studios
Built by producers for producers. That’s how CEO Lance Hool describes the soon-to-be-completed Santa Fe Studios. Two 18,000-square-foot adjoining soundstages are the principal elements of phase one of the project that also includes 26,000 square-foot of adjacent office and support space. Located on a 65-acre campus 15 minutes from central Santa Fe, the facilities boast state-of-the-art specs.
Tech highlights include 40-foot ceilings and acoustic design by Bastien and Associates Architecture, which lists Manhattan Beach Studios and Los Angeles Center Studios are among its credits. Hool expects Santa Fe Studios to open in the fall; negotiations are ongoing for the inaugural pic, as well as a camera house and grip and electric tenants.
Since Santa Fe Studios’ inception five years ago, much has improved in the area, says Hool: the local crew base has expanded significantly, and daily flights are available directly into Santa Fe from Los Angeles. Shuttling of above-the-line talent is kept to a minimum as most opt for digs in Santa Fe.
Other notable features: Pueblo-style architecture that echoes Santa Fe’s Native American heritage as well as eco-efforts, including a water catchment system and native plant/drought tolerant landscaping.
A stone’s throw from the airport, Albuquerque Studios is the state’s major purpose-built facility with eight full-service soundstages; the largest four are 24,000 square-foot each with heights up to 55 feet. Adjacent stages can be combined for more space as needed. A one-stop shop offering everything from grip and lighting to production trailer rentals to camera packages, the facility currently houses “The Avengers” and “Breaking Bad.”
A former microchip processing plant, I-25 Studios consists of 505,000 sq. ft. on 60 acres. The largest soundstage is 29,000 square-foot with a 21-foot height. Utilized as home base for USA’s “In Plain Sight” for four seasons, the location has since hosted an unnamed TNT pilot, “Breaking Bad” and a Dolce & Gabbana spot featuring Scarlett Johansson. In October, three new soundstages and additional base camp space will double production capacity.
Located on the Santa Fe U. of Art and Design’s campus, Garson Studios (founded by thesp Greer Garson) recently made major upgrades including new HVAC. Stage A is 14,000 square-foot with a permanent greenscreen cyc. Smaller Stage B (7,500 sq. ft.) is used for both production and prep. Production office space is adjacent. More than 30 films in 20 years have used facility, most recently “Bless Me, Ultima,” “Cowboys & Aliens” and “Paul.”
Fulcrum Building (Rio Rancho, New Mexico)
Seeing potential in the defunct manufacturing plant, Lionsgate took over the converted facility for both its “Wildfire” and “Crash” skeins. Two soundstage-type spaces (50,400 and 63,000 square-foot) with 30-foot ceilings are the draw, plus 25,000 sq. ft. of adjacent office space. Colin Firth starrer “Gambit” recently booked it for greenscreen work.