Investing in film's future: Cinelease Studios ups ante with purchase - Albuquerque Journal

Investing in film’s future: Cinelease Studios ups ante with purchase

I-25 Studios located northwest of Paseo del Norte in Albuquerque is becoming Cinelease Studios. (Courtesy of Cinelease Studios)

It’s official.

After years of being for sale, I-25 Studios is becoming Cinelease Studios.

The deal was announced on Wednesday as the longtime company will take over management of the studio space located at 9201 Pan American Freeway NE.

Cinelease has had a presence in New Mexico since 2007. It is currently housed at 531 Gallatin NW Suite A in Albuquerque.

It’s housed productions such as “Chambers,” “Lone Survivor,” “MacGruber,” “Swing Vote” and “Outer Range.”

“As long as Cinelease has been in the state of New Mexico, it has been our plan to provide top-shelf service to our clients and partners in production,” said Gannon Murphy, general manager of Cinelease Studios. “Now that Cinelease Studios is able to provide a home for film and television in a city and state with a reputation as fantastic as Albuquerque, Cinelease is making good on our promise to help grow the industry.”

Cyndy McCrossen, Albuquerque Film Office liaison, said Albuquerque has seen consistent grown for more than 15 years by developing qualified crew members and infrastructure.

“In addition to the excellent space, Cinelease Studios will be able to offer productions an extensive support system ranging from vendors to post production services,” McCrossen said.

According to Cinelease, the studios and Herc Entertainment Services will be coupled with that of I-25 Studios’ existing team to create a smooth transition and a memorable filmmaking experience.

More than simply studio space, the 104,000 square footprint of stages will offer filmmakers 38,000 square feet of mill space; 39,000 square feet of newly renovated executive production and office space; additional room for storage, painting, props, wardrobe, makeup, catering; and an abundance of parking.

The indoor amenities are surrounded by acres of workable backlot.

Cinelease is set to offer in-house production services, which is similar to that of the six other studios it runs across the country.

That includes post-production services.

Cinelease has invested millions in new equipment and technologies, including its recent acquisition of LRX Lighting, a pioneer in robotic lighting technology designed to improve safety on set by keeping boots on the ground and lights in the air.

“Cinelease decided to come to New Mexico because we have developed a world-class ecosystem where film and television production can thrive,” said Alicia J. Keyes, Economic Development Department secretary. “These new investments will expand production capacity, putting more New Mexicans to work.”

According to Chris Rogers, director of marketing at Cinelease, management will be focused on making the space a more appealing production ecosystem than ever before, attracting content creators from coast to coast, doubly enticed by New Mexico’s competitive film and television incentives.

Currently, the state’s film incentive program offers tax credits ranging from 25% to 35% of qualified in-state New Mexico spend.

“This is a very exciting time for the Cinelease brand. We’re celebrating 45 years in the industry and 15 years in New Mexico,” Rogers said. “We are deeply ingrained in the fabric of the filmmaking community, and our ability to honor our commitments has earned us the Gold Standard reputation.”

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