Written by on Feb 27, 2015. Posted in On Location

Alberta anticipates boosted production industry with new film studio

Alberta in western Canada is aiming to boost its production industry with a new film studio. Work started last November on the Calgary Film Centre, a build that could help the city attract more shoots like the TV version of Fargo, which recently started filming its second series.

Fargo built sets in a warehouse for interior scenes, owing to the lack of purpose-built studio facilities in Calgary and the long-running TV family saga Heartland shoots partly at a former military base.

Christopher Nolan filmed scenes in Alberta for both Inception and last year’s space exploration drama Interstellar (right).

“We have lost productions because of a (lack of) sound stage,” said Joe Novak, an independent producer and the president of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association, in comments to CBC News: “Because a sound stage is efficient, is effective and you're not having to jury-rig all the time. And that costs money.”

Construction of the Calgary Film Centre has been financially supported by William White International, Canada’s largest filming equipment provider. The studio build is “at least ten years overdue”, according to William White chairman Paul Bronfman.

“It's the one missing element to completing Calgary's attraction for a film centre,” Bronfman continued: “Calgary is the only regional market in Canada that hasn't had a film studio.”

The Calgary Film Centre is being funded with both public and private money and is set to offer over 80,000 sq ft of production space.

“The Calgary Film Centre will allow us to grow our local crew and talent base and peripheral industries,” said Luke Azevedo, Commissioner for Film, TV & Creative Industries at Calgary Economic Development, at the November groundbreaking ceremony.

“It has the potential to substantially increase our production volume over the next five to seven years, and it will provide opportunities for our indigenous, home-grown talent to showcase their projects and ideas, while working full time in this province in their chosen industry.”

(Intestellar image: Paramount Pictures; Fargo image: Matthias Clamer/FX Networks)


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