--2 NM FILM: Studio Expanding
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NM FILM: Studio Expanding

Former Los Angeleno touts NM

August 18, 2011, 11:50 am
By Wren Abbot

 The Albuquerque studio where In Plain Sight was filmed will finish a large expansion in the next two months that will enable it to film two TV shows at the same time.

I-25 Studios has almost completed a 28,000 square-foot sound stage, bringing its total size to about 340,000 square feet, CEO Rick Clemente tells SFR. It also added production offices and a second mill, where sets are built, and an additional base camp parking area.

Although Clemente can't disclose which projects the studio expects to be working on in the future, he says the fact that In Plain Sight wrapped after five seasons is not a disappointment, but expected in the "normal life cycle of episodic TV shows."

"When they get five seasons shot, then they have a package that they can go into syndication and re-runs with, which is where the money is for [Universal and AMC]," Clemente says. "For anything to be re-extended beyond five seasons is very unusual unless it's a massive hit, like Seinfeld or something."

After five seasons, contracts with a show's creators and stars are re-negotiated, and after a show has achieved success they can command more money, sometimes making the cost of producing more seasons prohibitively expensive. That's fine with I-25, Clemente says, because the studio is excited about shifting gears.

"Frankly, we're looking forward to whatever comes next because then it'll be a clean slate, and it's always fun to be pioneers with new stuff," Clemente says.

Clemente, who was previously based in Los Angeles, notes that the film industry in New Mexico has its own advantages.

"It's fun to be in a growing, expanding, vibrant industry, and it's a great place to live," Clemente says. "The opportunity here is so great for people starting out in the business. To break in in Los Angeles where there's more experienced people with good credentials out of work looking for work—to compete as a beginner is really hard. Here there's more shows than there are people—we're still in a position where we have to bring in some people to fill some of the production gaps."


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