Industry Studios, formerly known as Ares Studios, has nearly completed work that will allow it to open its doors to film, television and still photography projects as the converted warehouse finishes the last stages of work to get it through the permitting process.
Estimates are that a little over a quarter of a million dollars has been spent refurbishing the building, according to Karen Bryden, president of SCV Locations in Santa Clarita, which is working with Industry Studios owner Alec Peters to get the Valencia facility through the permitting process.
Peters first leased the space, located on Industry Drive, in January of last year. He originally called the facility Ares Studios and intended to produce “Star Trek” fan films there, but he faced legal challenges from copyright holders. This year he rebranded the facility to Industry Studios.
“The fire sprinklers system still must be upgraded to get it to the level required by the fire department, and then we do the actual submission and request for certification,” said Bryden.
The studio, located in the Commerce Center in Valencia, is just over 15,000 square feet and consists of stage space, approximately 4,000 square feet of production office space, and wardrobe, hair and makeup rooms as well as dressing rooms, showers and a craft services area.
Other improvements include a permanently installed green screen, one of the largest available in the industry, said Bryden. The facility also has a wood sub-floor that makes it easier to put up sets quickly.
In addition, the building has been soundproofed and a full lighting grid is installed in the ceiling. The studio space is not pre-lit, although Bryden’s firm can help productions get set up with grips and lighting.
“We prefer to allow productions to bring in their own equipment because it’s more cost effective,” she said. “One of the other goals of the facility is to offer a very fairly priced alternative to larger facilities out here in Santa Clarita.”
Filling a Need
Bryden said that Industry Studios aims to provide the kind of space that many productions have a hard time finding.
“Although we have really fantastic studio space here in Santa Clarita, it’s always a challenge for a show, whether it is a smaller, independent show, or even an episodic television show that needs a temporary set, or a space where they can throw up something on the short term,” she said.
Because of the size of buildings and the setup of studio facilities in Santa Clarita, local facilities lend themselves more frequently to long-term production, which was the goal – namely, attracting long-term productions to the area.
Bryden noted that Industry Studios offers a good alternative space that is within the all-important 30-mile zone, the radius around the Hollywood studios outside of which production costs escalate due to union rules.
There has been some confusion about the location of the Valencia Commerce Center, where Industry Studios is located.
“People misunderstand where we actually are and they think we’re out in Castaic, which is beyond the zone,” she said. “Call it North Valencia, call it whatever you like. It’s a Valencia address – it’s in the zone.”