It may be a farm field now but construction should start any day on the first building of Jim Shaban's NAFTC Studios just outside Windsor at Hwy. 401 and Manning Rd.
The first bulding will be a post-production house, and should be up and running by spring. "I just signed the construction contract last week," he told Windsor Detroit Film. This will be the first phase of what Shaban hopes will be a site with as many as four 40,000 sq. ft. sound stages. The building will cost about $200,000 plus material like editing and sound equipment. Each sound stage would cost $2 million. Shaban formerly owned the Palace and Lakeshore Cinemas but sold them a year and a half ago to an Ontario numbered company headed by Chris Woodall of Woodall Construction fame. He's using that money plus money from the sale of pieces of land from an adjoining overall 33 acre site to pay for construction. He says the property is in a high profile location along the 401 or "NAFTA Superhighway." (His firm is called North American Free Trade Consultants Inc.)..... Shaban was at the airport en route to Los Angeles to discuss film deals. He is in L.A. to sell the industry on Ontario's film production credits which provide up to 25 per cent for labour and services. He also thinks that with U.S. states cutting or considering reducing tax credits Ontario may be in a better financial position to make films. There has been talk in Michigan of course about cutting the state's 42 per cent credit. One company he's working with found out in the middle of filming in Iowa that that state was not going to honour its film credits "so they're scrambling." But Shaban would like to produce films in both Ontario and Michigan."In any buisiness down here it has to be a cross-border intent."