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European group to open ‘film factory’ in Las Vegas

Updated July 11, 2024 - 5:59 pm

A group of European film professionals are looking to open a movie studio in Las Vegas to further bolster the Hollywood 2.0 concept and the emerging film industry.

Vegas Film Industries will be a “film factory” since it aims to produce 20 to 30 low-to mid-budget films a year which can be sold to streaming services or distributors, said Chris Peschken, founder and chairman of the company, in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Peschken is from Germany and has spent his career as an independent film producer with experience working in the U.S. and Europe and will work with other European film and finance professionals to develop Vegas Film Industries.

The group picked Las Vegas since they see the city as a new hub for the film industry, Peschken said, and pointed to the city hosting the American Film Market which brings together thousands of industry insiders, the “Hollywood 2.0” concept that’s been pushed by actor Mark Wahlberg and the $1.8 billion movie studio that’s being developed by Howard Hughes Holdings and Sony Entertainment.

“There are many more advantages (for Las Vegas) over Los Angeles or California in general,” said Peschken, also citing Nevada’s tax and labor laws as being more advantageous for studios compared to California.

Looking for Las Vegas space

Vegas Film Industries is looking to occupy about 85,000 square feet of space in existing buildings that can be converted into film studio space, he said.

The Vegas Film Industries’ studio won’t be as large as other proposed film studios, with the Sony-backed studio planned to be 500,000 square feet and the Nevada Studios Campus at UNLV’s Harry Reid Research and Technology Park which should be over 800,000 square feet.

Peschken said he is pursuing smaller budget movies and a smaller studio because it’s more difficult to make money from films than it has been in the past. It’s also a better bet for investors and producers to make lower budget films that have an easier chance to turn a profit, he said.

“Where the market goes is in the direction of lower budgets, lower licensing fees, if the producer wants to make money,” Peschken said. “We’re making movies, we crank them out, we license them, money comes back, we’re making new movies and so forth.”

Vegas Film Industries aims to start production on several films in 2025 and expects most budgets will be around $1.5 million, Peschken said. He also said the company will focus its movies on three genres: action, horror and family-friendly since those are the most profitable.

Expect to hire hundreds

The number of employees working for Vegas Film Industries could shift often depending on how many and what types of films are in production but it’s possible hundreds of people will be employed, Peschken said. He hopes to hire mostly young people looking to break into the film industry.

“We want to train them and teach them,” he said. “We want to take care of young filmmakers.”

Vegas Film Industries is also committed to shooting some movies on 35 mm film cameras and some on digital cameras but will try to have its films compete with the quality of higher budget movies.

“We are seeing what we can get for the least amount of money, the highest quality,” Peschken said.

It won’t be an inexpensive process to get Vegas Film Industries up and running as the group is seeking about $300 million in investment over the next five years, Peschken said. But he hopes that as investments come in and movies get finished and sold the budgets for the films can get bigger and attract more big name talent.

Peschken said they are looking to find investors from everywhere and prefer to work with investors with experience in the film business.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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