Las Vegas set on studio venture
Timothy McDarrah
June 20, 2003

Film festivals such as CineVegas are created to spur new business, sell movies, seal deals, and give a platform to films and filmmakers.

Perhaps the legacy of this year's festival will end up being Thursday's announcement of Studio Vegas.

The intriguing new entity aims to provide financing, production, creative and distribution services and a "multi-platform future" for Vegas tourism.

"We have a set of the Vegas Strip -- actual size. Who else can say that?" Studio Vegas President Howard Lefkowitz beamed.

Also, Lefkowitz said, Studio Vegas will offer unique cross-promotional opportunities through its media partners; Lefkowitz is also president of, which, along with this newspaper, is under the corporate umbrella of the Greenspun Media Group.

Lefkowitz says that the "integration of platforms" is the wave of the media future.

Studio Vegas has already signed up producer Rick Garson in what in the industry is called a "housekeeping deal" -- where they will partner in all aspects of a production, from securing locales to housing tech staff.

Garson is the creative mind behind the "Billboard Music Awards," several Amnesty International concerts, the first pay-per-view Rolling Stones concert and the Fox network's New Year's Eve telecast.

Last year's midnight countdown was nationally broadcast live from the Strip and will be again this year -- with Studio Vegas as a partner in the project.

"Vegas has an energy that cannot be matched," Garson said. "It could be the lights, the amazing shows, the hot clubs -- whatever 'it' is, our culture is fascinated with the Entertainment Capital of the World and wants to see more."

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