If you were to stack all the proposals, business plans, prospecti, letters, requests, memos, entreaties, architectural renderings, written assurances, and assorted other paperwork pushed around over the years in hopes of convincing someone that Charleston not only desperately needed but could financially support a permanent motion picture studio, you'd have a pile of paper that would probably reach to Columbia and back. Which is ironic, given that last month a company called Genesis Creative Media Production & Marketing held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of what, when it's completed, will be the largest private studio facility in South Carolina -- in Columbia.
The first phase of the facility's construction will include a 9,500-square-foot administrative and post-production facility with over 4,000 square feet of dedicated studio space, complete with dressing rooms, office, kitchenette, green room, and a hard cyclorama. Additional construction will eventually include three additional dedicated studios of roughly 30,000 square feet, along with a set-construction workshop. Along with production of its first independent feature film, Occam's Razor, Genesis Creative -- and the state film office -- view the construction project as a major step toward its goal of helping establish South Carolina as a full-service location for motion picture production.
What with i network's ill-fated prime-time teen soap Palmetto Pointe spectacularly flaming out last month after a succession of behind-the-scenes production fiascos (not to mention a raft of toxic reviews), Summerville's comparatively small ITS Studios probably couldn't imagine a worse way to end the year. (Unless it's word that PP star and chief financial backer Timothy Woodward has another genius idea for an "edgy" teen drama set in the S.C. Lowcountry and starring himself.)
ARTS MANAGERS,RISE UP!
It might not qualify as a glut exactly, but with four high-profile arts administration jobs recently opening up in the Charleston area, the market's about as wide open as it gets in that industry around here. In June, Spoleto Festival USA said goodbye to Marie Jacinto, its longtime marketing and public relations director. Last month Redux Contemporary Arts Center lost its first full-time executive director when Kevin Hanley walked away from the gig after less than a year. Just last week, the Footlight Players chose not to renew executive director Richard Futch's contract after an unsatisfying first year. All three organizations have yet to announce replacements, while further afield in North Chuck, the Charleston County School of the Arts is losing theatre instructor Sam Wood at the end of the current school year. Wood's been teaching drama to middle and high school students at the top magnet arts school for four years; school officials hope to have a replacement hired by next April.