Studio added to booming film industry in Victoria

Victoria's already booming film industry is getting a boost with the opening of a new film studio in the downtown core.

Victoria’s already booming film industry is getting a boost with the opening of a new film studio in the downtown core.

Finerty Film Studios launched on Bridge Street last week, offering a much-needed space for visiting and local film productions.

The roughly 2,400-square-foot facility includes a lounge for casting calls, business centre, a hair, makeup and wardrobe room, theatre screening room to screen dailies or watch the final product, and a visual FX stage with a 14-foot by 12-foot cyclorama green screen with rounded walls that allows people to edit background graphics more completely.

Last year was a record-breaking year for Victoria’s film industry with 24 productions coming to Victoria, which brought in an estimated $18 million to the local economy.

Finerty Studio CEO Dustin Finerty and his wife Kelly, hope to capitalize on the low Canadian dollar and the recent boom in Victoria’s film industry.

“The industry has been picking up quite a bit and we’ve both been wanting to get back into it,” said Finerty, who graduated from what used to be the Victoria Motion Picture School. His wife Kelly did theatre productions when she was in Kamloops.

They saved up enough money to buy a house, but were unable to find the perfect place, so the couple decided to invest their money in their true passion.

After three months of renovations and roughly $50,000, the duo opened the space at 2616 Bridge St.

According to Finerty, the space will benefit both producers locally and from abroad.

“Local producers or people who don’t have a lot of money can get in and still do some visual effects, they can still have a space to do casting and have meetings,” he said.

“At the same time, we want to facilitate the larger productions because they’re important and the money they bring in trickles down to everybody as well.”

Kathleen Gilbert, film commissioner with the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission, said the facility doesn’t take the place of a much-needed warehouse-sized film studio, but is a step in the right direction.

“We’re very happy and excited to have another cog in the wheel, so to speak,” she said. “Certainly it’s going to be a very valuable tool for up and coming producers as well to hone their craft.”

The University of Victoria and Chek TV have green screen rooms, but Finerty said the studio is the only one on the Island to offer a cyclorama green screen.