$125 million studio will offer 14 soundstages

Moorpark is on the map.

The Ventura county town off Highway 118 has been chosen as the site of the largest indie movie studio in the U.S., dubbed Commonwealth Studios. Ground will break on the $125 million project in April 2009 and construction is expected to last 18 months.

When all’s said and done, Commonwealth will offer 14 soundstages ranging from 9,600 to 20,000 square feet on a 37-acre lot. An exterior backlot will feature city streets plumbed for rain and fire effects.

Chairman-CEO Bernard Weitzman will top Commonwealth; he was previously exec VP at Desilu and Lorimar Pictures and veep-general manager at Universal Studios. John Marshall, an independent producer with 32 years of industry experience, will be prexy and chief operating officer.

Studio will be available for film, TV and commercial work. Talks are in progress with majors and indie producers about advance commitments.

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