by John Stoehr
A group of filmmakers and business leaders have announced the creation of a new feature-film production company in the Charleston area.
The company, called Creative Forge Productions, is based on Daniel Island. It will focus on independent movies. It currently has a budget of about $7 million, with two projects under development.
One, called Warriors, is a commentary on Southern spirituality told by poor teenagers taking a joyride through Myrtle Beach. The other is called The Purpose of Winter, a story about a woman struggle with her family's history of mental illness.
The founders include Rob Gorman, a financial services professional with acting credits in Forever Young, The Accidental Tourist, and George Clooney's new film, Leatherheads.
Doug Coupe is a Hollywood publicist and owner of Coupe Public Relations. Brad Jayne, a native of Charleston, is a producer and winner of the SC Film Commission's first funding grant. And Fred Baiz, a native of Charlotte, is a corporate manager.
Creative Forge believes Charleston is ready to be a center of the film industry.
"Our community can use a project like this to establish itself as a major cultural apex, on par with markets like Wilmington and Austin when it comes to production," Jayne said in a press release issued Feb. 5.
Gorman added that the business model is as sound as the artistic vision.
"Our business philosophy is simple," Gorman said in a press. "Quality of film with original stories will find an audience, and, when made with efficient budgets and marketed intelligently, a profit."