LA North Studios is partnering with production services companies Cinelease and Herc Entertainment Services in a cost-cutting initiative to keep more production in Southern California.
The companies are coming together to offer productions discounted rates on an integrated suite of services, including many of the fundamentals of any shoot, like lighting and handles. The exact financial terms vary depending on the scale and needs of each production.
To formalize ongoing incentives, Cinelease and Herc made an undisclosed equity investment in LA North, which was formed in 2018. The 460,000 square foot studio complex has expanded its footprint to Santa Clarita, the enclave suburb with 211,000 inhabitants. on the edge of the 30-mile zone surrounding Hollywood.
The Santa Clarita Valley has been known as a movie set since the days when William S. Hart filmed silent westerns there. In recent years, the streaming boom and falling costs compared to other parts of Southern California have drawn an increasing number of shoots to northwest LA County. FilmLA, which tracks production in LA City and County, said on-location filming in the fourth quarter of 2021 set an all-time quarterly record of 10,780 shooting days. That was up more than 7% from pre-Covid levels.
Being part of TMZ allows LA North to be certified by state and local authorities and public safety officials and to remain on the verified list of top productions. The site’s sound stages and production services have been used by a range of clients, including Warner Bros, Apple, Paramount, Amazon, Netflix, Disney and Universal. The list of movie and streaming titles shot at least in part in LA North includes King Richard, Les petits choses, Yes Day, Space Jam 2, Kimi, Snake Eyes, Les Fabelman and Emancipation.
This partnership materialized during the filming last year of the semi-autobiographical film by Steven Spielberg The Fablemans, which is slated for release in November. “We did a test last year and found it to be an amazing solution that was beneficial to all parties involved,” said LA North Studios co-founder Anthony Syracuse.
The program means that several additional stages in Santa Clarita will be able to incorporate lighting and handling services from Cinelease and matte black heavy equipment from Herc Entertainment. LA North has been able to add square footage by taking over former industrial space and the company intends to continue to seek other growth opportunities.
The extensive inventory of equipment maintained by Cinelease and Herc “allows us maximum flexibility in the value and quality of services we provide to our customers and enables us to work towards strengthening the local film community,” said John Prabhu, co-founder of LA North Studios.
Chris Rogers, vice president of marketing for Cinelease, said the new pact reflects the companies’ “common bond”, combining customer service with a perspective on future business solutions.
Herc Entertainment Vice President Mark Lamberton said his company and Cinelease together employ more than 200 people and provide full-time jobs to at least 100 Local 399 Teamsters. “Keeping our industry thriving isn’t just about making movies, it’s about people,” he said.