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1/18 - Life on a Run - Game Article

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Life on a run

Producer David Rubin straddles two states while molding the movies

It's a chilly day in the parking lot of the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Albuquerque. Extras for the film "Game," clothed in a wildly colorful array of retro '70s clothes, platform shoes and afros, shiver under coats they will shed once they are needed again. Stars Gerard Butler, Kyra Sedgwick and Amber Valleta are shooting a very brief scene where they escape in a van. And David Rubin is constantly in motion, cell phone in hand, talking or checking e-mail.

Producers must make sure a production for a film or television show, for example, moves along smoothly. But going on location can be problematic, such as when a picket line forms on the periphery of your shot.

The Writers Guild of America had called for a national day of action on this day, so local members went to the places in New Mexico where the film industry is most visible. Today that happens to be the set of "Game," the film Rubin is producing. With a budget of about $50 million and a local spend of $18.8 million, it's the most high-profile production to hit the streets of Albuquerque.

Rubin is clearly irritated by the interruption, but takes it in stride. A memo is quickly distributed to all cast and crew explaining that the script for "Game" was completed and production begun well ahead of the strike.

"It's a very unfair characterization of who we are as a company. We're not a company that's part of a major studio," said Rubin.

Rubin became a company man almost three years ago when he joined Lakeshore Entertainment, the production company behind "Game." He still works in Los Angeles, but his family home has been in Albuquerque for three years. His wife, a homeopath, took a job here. Their two teenagers are in school here as well. Before joining Lakeshore, he spent years as an independent producer working for different studios.

"I always wanted to be part of a company," he said when asked which was preferable. "There's a consistency in your work environment and the personalities."

That work environment becomes a lot more predictable when shooting movies in the soundstages of Albuquerque Studios. "Game" is back in swing after a brief holiday hiatus and Rubin seems much more relaxed. A small crew is working with Butler while shooting a prison scene. The recorded voice of actress Alison Lohman floats over the soundstage during each take and there is complete quiet until a loud bell indicates the shot is over.

Rubin's list of producing credits is eclectic. For "Game," he has rejoined Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine, the writers/directors behind the over-the-top action film "Crank," which Rubin produced. (He is working on the sequel as well.) But he also produced dramas like "I Am Sam" and "Believe in Me," which was filmed in Clovis after he moved here.

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