Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Major studio planned for Boise

Hollywood knocks on Idaho?s door

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley has been featured in its share of films since the late 1930s and recognized as a Hollywood retreat for celebrities who make it one of their many homes. However, times may be changing, and Sun Valley's role in Hollywood could get a little larger.

The Idaho Film Studios Project has taken major steps toward realizing its vision of creating a state-of-the-art facility to support film, television, new media and advertising commercial production industries. The new low-impact, modern facility—planned for Boise—will be able to serve production needs of both film and television on a 40-acre complex to be called Idaho Studios at Bryan's Run located just outside of Boise.

If approved, the first phase of development will include three sound stages, one smaller stage for commercial production and 25,000 square feet of production office space attached to the sound stages, which will include a large commissary and a 300-400 seat theater/screening facility.

Three multipurpose sites will accommodate 290,000 square feet of buildings and a 15,000-square-foot office complex to be built in the style of a New York City street scene. The second phase of production will consist of three 15,000-square-foot stages and additional attached production office space.

When all is said and done, the studio facility is projected to increase contract and labor over a period of five to seven years for 7,000 to 8,000 people and is expected to generate $250 million in revenue. Grant Allan, principal of The Idaho Studios Project and member of the Studios Advisory Board, said he hopes the facility will be a LEED rated green facility by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Located inside Byran's Run, a planned community "village" will include integrated residential housing, an all suites-hotel, commercial and retail office space with a full service motion picture studios facility in a guard-gated, secure studio village. The development will include a blend of commercial and retail businesses as well as a diverse range of residential options, with access to parks, trails and schools.

There are many reasons to bring this venture to Idaho. The film industry is one of the world's largest revenue generators with one of the highest economic multipliers. For every production dollar spent in Idaho an additional $1.20 to $1.80 stays in the Idaho economy according to Tom Williamson, co-chair of the Idaho Film Advisory Committee.

In addition, Idaho is attractive to production due to long shooting days in the summer and diverse locations. It's a right-to-work state and has direct flights between Boise and Los Angeles. It also has tax incentives for film productions.

The development of this project coincides with the work that the Film Industry Task Force has been doing in its effort to create jobs in the dramatic arts community. The site for the proposed Idaho Film Studios will be located southeast of Boise off I-84 at the Black's Creek exit.

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