By: Winston Cho
Toronto’s Stratagem Studios, which has hosted shoots for Marvel’s Hawkeye and Paramount+’s Mayor of Kingstown, plans to partner with Kleinburg Film Studios on studio lot space in hopes to attract more major productions coming to Canada.
The joint venture to be named Stratagem Kleinburg Studios increases Stratagem’s footprint to 400,000 square feet of stage and production space in Toronto.
Michael Cerenzie, a veteran film producer and CEO of The Stratagem Group, says the partnership is a bet on specialized studio space in Toronto amid demand for such space that’s kept some productions from shooting in the region. Kleinburg, which has 20,000 square feet of clear span stages and 17,500 square feet of support space, has one of only two purpose-built studios in Toronto. It features a six-acre backlot, the largest in Toronto, in addition to horse paddocks and barns, field lots, woodlots and a log cabin.
“We’ll end up bringing interesting projects that wouldn’t have otherwise found their way into Toronto,” Cerenzie tells The Hollywood Reporter. “We want to get it out there that we, Toronto, can support these types of productions.”
Cerenzie stresses that there’s significant demand for backlot space as many productions require substantial set-building to allow for filming versatility. He stresses that the partnership will broaden the types of productions that come to Toronto, which have historically opted for other locations due to a lack of backlot availability, because they can more easily replicate the likes of London and New York, among other places.
“If you’re trying to do a Harlem piece or a Paris piece, we don’t have the architecture that New York or London has, so we lose out on some independents and features and high-end television,” Cerenzie said. “This [partnership] opens that back up.”
Recent productions that shot at Kleinburg include Amazon’s The Boyz and Starz’s American Gods.
Stratagem’s joint venture with Kleinburg is among several partnerships the studio will unveil throughout 2023.
In March, Stratagem said it will add two purpose-built clear span stages of 20,000 square feet. The plans brought Stratagem Studios Eastside to 350,000 square feet, with around 100,000 square feet of soundstages and another 200,000 square feet of supporting production space once development is completed.
Cerenzie says he plans for Stratagem to have one million square feet of studio space within the next five years, largely in Toronto to fill a continued shortage of film and TV studio space.
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