Mass Studios: A Promising Cog in Wheel of Worcester Economic Development

Mass Studios invitational tour with Carol Patton & Kristen Lucas
Publisher Carol Patton with Mass Studios Marketing Director Kristen Lucas at an invitational tour new studios in Worcester, MA slated to open later this spring. Photo by Dee Wells.

In Massachusetts the missing piece in the infrastructure puzzle has been large studio space and stages – a place to build sets and stay awhile. Everyone knows that’s what a TV series needs like oxygen and the absence of this infrastructure is what the Commonwealth has held accountable for the absence of TV series locating here. The last major scripted TV series was Robert Parker’s Spencer for Hire for Warner Bros. Television starring Robert Urich in the ‘80s.

The Mass Studios concept has been spearheaded by Barbara Guertin who moved to Worcester sixteen years ago as a result of falling in love while working on a production at the Foothills Theatre. She married, stayed and fell in love with her new home, but didn’t lose her industry contacts.

After producing a film in Worcester in the late ‘90s she was cognizant that large studio spaces were nonexistent. That experience prompted her to begin looking for just that.

Guertin found and seized upon the opportunity to sign a long-term agreement to lease the former home of the Pullman Co., which had manufactured the still famous Pullman Sleeping Cars and at the height of the industrial revolution trolleys and buses in Worcester.

Now she and her team are rehabilitating the old Pullman Plant into studio space for film companies shooting movies in Massachusetts. She believes, “This project will have a major impact on Worcester.”

Barbara Guertin has surrounded herself with versatile leadership for Mass Studios. Anton Nel serves as CEO, Brian Crane DOP, General Manager and LA Film Industry Consultant, Ed Madaus, Government and Community Relations, Kristen Lucas, Marketing Director, Dan Benoit AIA, Architectural Consultant, Dee Wells, Videographer/Photographer, Timothy Loew, Gaming Consultant and Molly Oliver as Production Associate.

As work crews bring 30 Pullman Street up to code, Barbara and her team invited a group of industry leaders for a tour and the prospects of her “Pullman Project” now properly known as Mass Studios. Clearly what you see is what you get in their first phase. The doors will be opening this spring to productions and events “au naturale.” No frills, in “as in” condition up to code, of course.

What you will get is 44,000 SF of space with a 65’ceiling, 45’ with lighting grid and a 100’ span. Two hundred parking spaces, with additional unlimited parking adjacent or easily accessible. An additional 80,000 SF of ancillary space for food trucks and trailers inside the Main Building, which is monstrously huge (think Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose Hanger where AVATAR was filmed). Two-story production space adjacent to the main sound stage. 20,000 SF sound proof soundstage in #10 and an additional 119,000 SF of space for Mill production, design and construction.

Mass Studios has acquired $1 million of lighting and grip equipment. The facility offers a commissary area that can hold up to 300 actors and crew. There are lobby and ticketing areas. Hair, makeup and wardrobe trailers can be attached at the bays.

Mass Studios CEO Anton Nel, Founder Barbara Guertin, Ed Madaus, Government and Community Relations and Kristen Lucas, Marketing Director assembled on a freezing February day in Worcester, MA for a studio tour given to industry leaders from Boston and Worcester. Photo by Dee Wells.
Mass Studios CEO Anton Nel, Founder Barbara Guertin, Ed Madaus, Government and Community Relations and Kristen Lucas, Marketing Director assembled on a freezing February day in Worcester, MA for a studio tour given to industry leaders from Boston and Worcester. Photo by Dee Wells.

And onsite services include casting, location scouting assistance, catering, trailers, HVAC and more. It isn’t state-of-the-art built from the ground up, but everything a production needs is portable, attachable or can be moved in. The best example of successful use of this style of studio property is the Spruce Goose Hanger in LA. I visited the set of AVATAR and was suitably impressed. It’s a different approach, but each production can have and get exactly what they want.

The facility tour was also attended by members of the Worcester community, noticeably excited about the prospects of this building being renovated were the management staff at Worcester’s DCU Center, which hosts major sports, entertainment, convention and conference events. But even they aren’t always big enough to host some requests and they were eyeing this rehabilitated property as a possible extension of what they have to offer their clients.

Mass Studios expects to embark on Phase II to be completed in late 2014. In the second phase, they will raise the roof, literally, another 15’ making their sound stage the second largest in the nation. And they plan to add another 90,000 SF of space for editing suites, conference rooms, a 5,000 SF restaurant serving three mills a day and nightlife! A full service conference and meeting center including business services, a motion capture studio – the largest and most technologically advanced studio on the east coast and four fully outfitted sound proof stages,10,000 to 20,000 SF each.

The Mass Studios team is currently forging alliances with educational institutions for internships and outreach programs and sees the studio as a center for learning for local colleges and high schools as well as foreign students wishing to learn the American secret to content creation. Yes, this interest has already been expressed.

Mass Studios is exercising a different approach to studio and set production than what most are accustomed to, but they exhibit an avid degree of confidence quoting the need for viable space, the Massachusetts’ lucrative and solid Film Tax Credit Program, the City of Worcester as a backdrop along with all the amenities it has to offer including a major airport, train service, inviting hotels and restaurants close at hand and the growing community of production related cast and crew members in the central region of the state.

The entire project is expected to cost $8 million. When completed, the Mass Studio complex will be only the second studio facility in Massachusetts, outside of Boston. For more information visit

Carol Patton is the founder and publisher of IMAGINE Magazine. She introduced film tax credits to the region in early 2000s, writing the definitive piece in October of 2004. By the end of 2005 film tax credit legislation passed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut in that order.

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Emerson College Los Angeles Celebrates Grand Opening in the Heart of Hollywood

By Tiffany Crosby

A week-long series of events—starting with a ticketed gala on Saturday, March 8th marked the grand opening of Emerson Los Angeles (ELA), a spectacular new academic and residential facility that will enable the College to significantly expand its contribution to Emerson Boston Student’s Intern Programs as well as to LA and to the entertainment and communication industries.

An exterior shot of the Emerson LA Campus Center from West Sunset Blvd. Photo courtesy of ELA.
An exterior shot of the Emerson LA Campus Center from West Sunset Blvd. Photo courtesy of ELA.

Guests at the gala included: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Tom Bergeron (Dancing With the Stars), Jennifer Coolidge ’85 (LEGALLY BLONDE, Two Broke Girls), Larry David (HBO’s Clear History, Curb Your Enthusiasm), Vin Di Bona ’66 (producer, America’s Funniest Home Videos), Doug Herzog ’81 (President, Viacom Entertainment Group), Norman Lear ’44 (producer, All in the Family), Ann Leary ’85 (author, The Good House), Denis Leary ’79 (FX’s Rescue Me, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll), Max Mutchnick ’87 (co-creator, Will & Grace, producer, PARTNERS),Sofia Vergara (Modern Family), and Henry Winkler ’67 (Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development).

Actors Tom Paolino, Cindy Lentol and Albert M. Chan made up the “Inspiring Actors Panel” at Talent Tools one day workshop. Photo by Erica Derrickson.
Actors Tom Paolino, Cindy Lentol and Albert M. Chan
made up the “Inspiring Actors Panel” at Talent Tools one day workshop. Photo by Erica Derrickson.

“Emerson LA will provide our students with an unparalleled hands-on experience that only living in this great city can offer,” said Emerson College President Lee Pelton. “The opening of this magnificent building on Sunset Boulevard makes a statement that Emerson is committed to the City of Los Angeles and to the entertainment and communication industries for the long term. The work we do here will solidify Emerson College’s reputation as the world’s leading institution of higher learning in communication and the arts.”

Visit for more information.

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Actor Spotlight: Cate Carson, A Woman in the Lead

by Erica Derrickson

Cate Carson’s goal is to portray strong women in her roles on film. When not writing, producing or starring in film, Cate works as a detective for a private company.Photo by Erica Derrickson,
Cate Carson’s goal is to portray strong women in her roles on film. When not writing, producing or starring in film, Cate works as a detective for a private company.Photo by Erica Derrickson,

In her recent acceptance speech for Best Actress at the 2014 Academy Awards, Cate Blanchett staked the claim that films lead by women are in demand and that strong women can captivate an audience and hold a story. When it comes to such powerful and captivating women in the New England industry, Cate Carson is on the mark.

While she’s gorgeous she’s not just another pretty face; Cate is the kind of woman who changes the molecules of a room when she walks in. She’s an example of an actress who has the strength of character to hold and captivate an audience with her boldness, yet she’s diverse enough in her range to pluck your heart strings and bring you to tears.

“I’m going blind” Cate’s character utters in the first moment of her demo reel as a tear falls from her eye. An instant later we are tossed from this soft and vulnerable moment into a different world, a harsh place where we meet another side of this woman, a warrior, an enforcer of justice who knows how to kill. There is truth in both and the shift is palpable. How did she get such a dynamic character range? A life lived rich with human experience.

“Human experience” is exactly the on-the-job training Cate received through a fourteen year career in law enforcement. Her career spanned from positions as a patrolman, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Response Advocate, Police training officer, investigations officer, and even once as a snake wrangler. Yes, you read that correctly. And today? When she’s not balancing a busy production schedule she works as a detective for a private company.

Life experience like this will make anyone tough, yet also inevitably diverse. The work forced Cate to engage people with mental health issues, people with relationship issues, medical issues, people that just wanted something resolved, violent people, threatening people, people that appreciated her and people that hated her. Cate has seen how people work at their best and worst, and that wisdom shines through in her work.

It’s a good thing she has the work ethic of an Olympian because Cate is one of the busiest and most proactive movers-n-shakers in the New England independent film industry. She is currently involved in numerous projects including IN THE BEDROOM webseries (produced by Angelwood Pictures; her episode “War and Loyalty” was directed by Andrew Adler), DEAD BOUNTY (directed by Jordan Pacheco, produced by Dave Langill), BLOOD MARTINI (directed by Bill Jacques), JIM JONES JUICE (produced by Christopher Walters) and others.

However Cate’s powerful presence in the New England industry is not only limited to the beauty and honesty she exudes in front of the camera glass, rather Cate has also fallen in love with the production side of filmmaking. She and her partners, Justin Plasse and Alexander Gauthier, recently founded Sensorium Pictures as a way of staking claim to their own right to create. Since their inception in April of 2013 the group has produced MY PRETTY MAURA, MOON FLOWER and WATCHER, the latter being Cate’s proudest work to date, a post apocalyptic period piece that she wrote produced and starred in. The film is an original sci-fi short with heavy set design, original costuming, impressive stunts, fights, fire, and not to mention a fascinating futuristic storyline that begs for a full feature film.

Cate Carson in WATCHER. Photo BY Dan Rosario.
Cate Carson in WATCHER. Photo BY Dan Rosario.

Speaking of feature films, Cate is looking forward to directing one of Sensorium’s two upcoming features CHARLOTTE HAPPENING, currently in pre-production. The other is KINKY GRACE to be produced by Cate and Justin to be directed by Alexander Gauthier.

Our industry is full of women on the rise. In today’s rapidly developing digital and mobile environment it is ambitious content creators like Cate Carson who are leading the charge and helping shape the future standards of this industry.

For more on Cate visit, twitter: @catecarson, email:, Sensorium Pictures email:

Erica Derrickson is an award winning actress, professional headshot photographer and founder of Hollywood East Actors Group. See her work at and connect with Erica on Twitter at @ericadactress or via email at ericaderricka@gmail. com.

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PRETEND: When You Lose Your Job Sets A Stage

New film by Jim Ohm heads to the Film Festival Circuit in April

Filmmaker Jim Ohm has spent over twenty years editing award-winning documentaries for Turner, National Geographic and PBS, and directed his own independent documentary film, “Spring Training,” about the Red Sox’s pre-season in Florida. Captivated by the stories of human tragedy behind the financial collapse of 2009, Jim began what would become a three-year labor of love, writing a script for a short film entitled PRETEND. The story is a contemporary drama set days before Christmas about an affluent family man, Roger, who’s lost his job, is going broke, but pretends that everything’s all right. The only one who senses trouble is Roger’s pre-adolescent daughter, Maddie.

PRETEND cast & crew. Photo by Donna Megquier
PRETEND cast & crew. Photo by Donna Megquier

To bring the film to life, Jim chose established, local SAG-AFTRA actors. Bradley J. Van Dussen led the cast as Roger, his performance expertly capturing the desperation of a man in freefall. Georgia Lyman played his wife, Susan; Ian Lyons his brother, Chris; Cindy Lentol played Chris’ wife, Joyce; Corey Scott played a street busker Santa Clause; veteran actor William Bloomfield – the pawnshop owner to whom Roger, in dire need of ready cash, sells his silver; Paul C. McKinney played the angry driver; and Jack Tracksler played the real Santa. For the role of young Maddie, Jim cast his own daughter, Maddie Ohm, and had the unique experience of directing her first film performance.

As with any low budget project there are huge challenges at every turn. Jim tells us, “I didn’t have a lot of money, but I was able to tap my industry connections and get a core group of talented people who loved the story and really wanted to make a film of the highest possible quality. Led by Director of Photography Matt Thurber and Producer Beth Tierney, we assembled an amazing crew of local professionals.”

Jim Ohm with Georgia Lyman & Cindy Lentol in the kitchen scene in PRETEND. Photo by Donna Megquier
Jim Ohm with Georgia Lyman & Cindy Lentol in the kitchen scene in PRETEND. Photo by Donna Megquier

That group featured First Camera Assistant Tom Fitzgerald, Gaffer Chris Brown, Key Grips Walter Stone and Tony Ventura, Sound Recordist Djim Reynolds, Set Designer Alexandra Kayhart, and Make Up artist Ashleigh Taylor along with many others from a pool of talented, local technicians.

Jim Ohm continues, “They brought a sense of purpose and dedication, which made for a highly successful shoot and Matt just brought it all together. It shows in the footage”

The nine-day shoot travelled throughout the greater Boston area. As the story moves from the home of Roger to the home of his brother, Chris, Jim was looking for one location that could serve as two distinct interiors. He was fortunate to have a close family friend offer his gorgeous, spacious Lynnfield home to the cast and crew for a three-day shoot. After Lynnfield, the crew set up shop in quaint downtown Dedham—where the drama of an independent film shoot, which closed down part of High Street, made local headlines. Finally, Waltham played a gracious host by providing four separate locations: The Goldcrafters Exchange on Moody Street; the woods of the Robert Treat Paine Estate; the Lyman Estate; and the grounds of the old Fernald School.

Jim says, “Securing locations was quite time consuming, but I had support from friends who helped make vital connections. The story of PRETEND really grabbed people and it seemed everyone knew someone like Roger, whose life had been upended by the financial crisis, and they all wanted to be part of getting this film made.”

Matt Thurber on camera with Tom Fitzgerald and Djim Reynolds on the set of PRETEND. Photo by Donna Megquier
Matt Thurber on camera with Tom Fitzgerald and Djim Reynolds on the set of PRETEND. Photo by Donna Megquier

Jim’s script for PRETEND has already received accolades from the L.A. Fresh Voices Screenwriters’ Competition as one of only 13 scripts that are semi-finalists in the Short Film category, out of hundreds submitted. Renown Hollywood director, Joel Shumacher (ST. ELMO’S FIRE, BATMAN & ROBIN, A TIME TO KILL) will be one of the judges selecting the winning screenplay which will be announced in April.

Additionally, the D.C. Shorts Festival had high praise for Jim’s script: “The characters really popped and had their own voice,” “gut wrenching at the end,” “writer did a fantastic job.”

PRETEND is headed off to the film festival circuit in April and will have its local premier in May. To get more information on the premiere and the latest news check out the Facebook page for PRETEND.

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New Hampshire: Live Free and Film

Independent Filmmaking in New Hampshire

by Matt Newton

NH-portsmouthLet’s start by addressing the elephant in the room:

No, New Hampshire currently does not offer a tax credit for production.

If you’re still reading, then you’re likely to be an independent filmmaker who is interested in learning more about other benefits to filming in The Granite State.

Of course, there’s the obvious; no sales, use, or personal income taxes. There are no general filming permits, and every town and city offers its own unique helping hand.

Portsmouth is the go-to creative hub on the seacoast, with an economic development office that’s ready to aid filmmakers with even the toughest of requests. Manchester is your urban setting that routinely provides indie projects with whatever they need with as little as a phone call. Keene is a quintessential New England city, and the home of a robust film school program, where production assistants are ready to gain real-world experience on projects—all these areas are within a short drive to Boston.

But, filmmakers are not only limited to the southern part of the state.

Take a look at Claremont, New Hampshire. At first glance, you probably wouldn’t think that this old mill city along the Connecticut River is one of our more frequented filming locations. But Claremont is as film-friendly as they come, and a number of smaller independent productions have experienced just how wonderful Claremont can be. Simply put, Claremont gets it. They understand what kind of an impact filmmaking can have on their community and they go to the mat for filmmakers every time—and that’s the key benefit independent filmmakers should have in their back pockets—community buy-in.


New Hampshire State Parks are also very popular for films, TV, commercials, and photo shoots. With 75 state park properties throughout New Hampshire, there are diverse locales for every type of production. Permitting is painless—complete a short online registration form on our website and we’ll start the conversation with our friends at Parks on your behalf. In fact, we have representatives from many of our state agencies and associations on our Film Commission, so whether you’re looking to close a road, hire police details, or work with local businesses, there is always someone within easy reach of the Film Office to help lay the groundwork.


Filmmakers should know about the Team O’Neil Rally School in Dalton. A perfect location for filming vehicles and pyrotechnic effects in a controlled environment, the Rally School offers 6.5 miles of dirt and gravel roads on 600 acres of land for high speed chases located in a beautiful mountain setting in northern New Hampshire. The center is fully operational during winter months for snow and ice driving conditions (and if the weather doesn’t provide, snowmaking is available!) The center is located 10 minutes from I-93 (with close connection to I-91 in Vermont) and full visitor services available in nearby Littleton.

New Hampshire loves independent film. We believe in offering individual attention and a creative atmosphere, and we understand that a little Yankee ingenuity can go a long way in giving indie projects big production value on smaller budgets. Send us an email, give us a call, or even find us on Twitter! We’re looking forward to connecting you in with great locations and supportive people!


Efforts have been ongoing in bringing a production tax credit to the table. The New Hampshire Production Coalition, our industry association, has been working hard on this initiative. If you’re looking for more information, I encourage you to contact the NHPC, learn about what they are up to, and get involved. Visit their website at

Visit the New Hampshire Film & Television Office website at

Matt Newton is the director of the State of New Hampshire Film Office & Television Office.

All Photos courtesy of the New Hampshire Film & Television Office.

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Filming in Rhode Island

<h2>Finding Tax Incentives & Locations in the Smallest State with the Greatest Backlot</h2>

By Steven Feinberg

“Location! Location! Location!” The important magic words in a private conversation as to where a potential movie will be shot right after we’ve discussed the first question about what’s available for tax credit incentives.

The next questions that come up are often like these: “Do you have an abandoned high school where we can have zombies eating up people in the corridors?” “We need a small town train station we can control for a week because a loyal dog will be waiting for his master.” “Do you have any government buildings that can double as Washington, DC?” “Is there a boy scout camp anywhere?” “How about an idyllic lighthouse?”
RItheelmsFor over forty years, I’ve been making movies and whenever a conversation comes up about a movie searching for a home, it’s time to put on my “director’s cap” and try to anticipate the needs of the filmmaker by capturing photographs of the main locations or “anchor locations” which should best represent the production’s concept. For example, when Disney was looking for a home with UNDERDOG, the Rhode Island Film & TV Office spent a weekend taking approximately 250 photographs of the Rhode Island State House, downtown Providence, Hope High School, an affluent neighborhood in Cranston, and a lower income residential neighborhood in Providence, and photographs of the interior of the Cranston Street Armory and its vast marching hall, which ultimately housed the sets of the production. Ninety percent of those initial locations were used on the final film.
It comes down to the right aesthetic, along with the availability of the location and of course, is the price right?
Sometimes we only have a half day to find the spots. On other occasions, we may take days or a week to find locations which we hope will tickle the creative minds of the director and writer while also soothing the practical minds of the producer, line producer and production manager.

Confident that we’ve done our best, we send the images to the director and producer and creative team via email, or secure website and/or binders sent overnight, the creative team will typically come to the state for an on the ground visit. Because Rhode Island is only 48 miles long and 40 miles wide, we can cover lots of ground in a relatively short period of time. My office will typically be the first to contact the targeted location representative to discuss the potential opportunity and gauge their interest for making a movie on their premises.

As soon as there is major interest in the area, and the filmmakers are sparked to the idea of making their movie in Rhode Island, and mentally connect with the anchor locations they’ve seen so far, we often hand off the potential client (filmmaking team) to an experienced, local location scout who can dedicate their full-time energy on this one project, and provide additional locations and follow up with specific details regarding the production and required dates for filming.
When an owner of a location likes the idea of filming at his or her establishment, then comes the important negotiation. How long does the production company need the space? How much are they willing to pay? What are considerations required to ensure that the place will be returned to its previous condition or better?! These are things that are privately discussed, along with insurance policies and legal paperwork.
It’s essential that both filmmakers and owners protect their interests. Do not take this lightly! Accidents happen! Rules and regulations about a particular location should be made in writing! Anticipate worst-case scenarios so you each can protect yourselves. You don’t want any surprises. I cannot stress that enough. If there is a particular stone surface that could be damaged by a vehicle’s weight, etc, that area should be protected and both owner and filmmaker should be responsible to ensure that this is a positive experience. Remember: When you are making a movie, you don’t just represent your one production, but you represent the overall film community and if you screw up, you make the entire film world look bad. Be the best you can be and always strive to leave a positive footprint behind.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, please ask a professional location scout or call your local film office for advice. We’re here to help you!
Now beware the frenzied zombies stalking the corridors and go play among the marble pillars of the Newport mansions or the wondrous Woonsocket train station or Wes Anderson’s favorite campgrounds or even better…. simply discover your own, hidden, movie magic jewel and shine!

Steven Feinberg is the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film Office, serving the Ocean State where he was born and raised and to where he returned after becoming a veteran filmmaker in LA. He fired up the film community and the legislature in 2004 to be the first New England State to offer significant Film Tax Credits.

All photos by Lew Place , courtesy of the Rhode Island Film Office.

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Red Sky Studios Opens in Allston

Clockwise from Top Left: Frans Weterrings and Dave Cambria launch Red Sky Studios in Allston, Massachusetts. Photo by Carolyn Ross. / Comfortable newly redecorated working space at Red Sky Studios. Photo courtesy of Red Sky Studio. / Space to hang out at Red Sky Studios in Allston, MA. Photo courtesy of Red Sky Studio.

By Carol Patton

When a recent occupant of 184 Everett Street left its Harvard University owned set of buildings in Allston, MA, an unusual and rather extraordinary opportunity opened up for someone who would make the decision and who could ultimately be accepted by the landlord. Several individuals and companies considered the prospect, some local and some from far away. But, Harvard believed her best interest would be served by finding just the right local entity that had both local and national ties to the film industry and struck a deal with two young men who have worked in the industry in New England since 1997.

New life was once again breathed into the well known studio complex and Red Sky Studios was born. New paint, new furniture, new ideas all began to take shape and business in this venerable place began to thrive again. Like their preceding owners at this location, both new owners believe the location is a premium asset.

The pair who six months ago were busy operating Red Herring Motion Picture Lighting and working regularly on motion pictures like BASIC MATH, THE EQUALIZER and AMERICAN HUSTLE as gaffer and rigging specialist had no idea they would become owner operators of a studio complex today. To Frans Weterrings and Dave Cambria this opportunity came as a total and complete life changing surprise.

Frans and Dave incorporated Red Herring in a small loft in the South End of Boston, with an ARRI Kit and some Kino Flos’ in 1997. Now Red Herring has a 12,000 square foot warehouse in North Attleboro, with several 48’ tractor-trailers, generators and enough equipment to service several feature films. They’ve provided equipment to most of the large projects that have shot in Boston and serve local and national clients like Element Productions, Redtree, Sony Pictures, Columbia Studios, Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount Studios, NBC Television, ABC Television, Disney Pictures and Fox Searchlight Productions.

Both Dave Cambria and Frans Weterrings have considerable experience in the industry. With their combined New York City and Los Angeles working history and relationships, many Boston bound productions contact them before their arrival for guidance, equipment and crew. Both consider Red Sky an excellent opportunity to create a hometown atmosphere run by local folks who really know the business and want to help you with yours.

Tiffany Kinder, a Los Angeles experienced transplant (she married Frans Wetterings) will serve as General Manager and plans to fashion the operation and interior after the west coast trappings studios and major producers have become accustomed to. When you walk in you can see and feel the Red Sky presence. The changes they have already made are visible and impressive.

She believes the studio’s commissary is an important center for social and commercial activities. A functional kitchen for food styling and preparation is a must, which is why this kitchen has a working oven. One day Red Sky will have a model full functioning kitchen designed to attract TV food shows and demonstrations.

Everything Tiffany does is geared toward what every account executive, photographer and director wants including competitive pricing.

Red Sky is fully functional and already has hosted productions, commercials and photo shoots in their short tenure and they have an appreciative eye for the exploding webseries bonanza and its studio requirements for the future. An entertainment component is next on their agenda – parties, special events and fashion shows, for example.

Red Sky’s two studios are complemented on the premise by production offices, high tech communications, equipment rental, conference rooms, production services, commissary and customized rooms for makeup, hair and wardrobe. Park your trailers in their enormous parking lots and a production could live there for months. So the Red Sky stage is set with two New Englanders through and through at the helm.

Both have and intend to maintain their Massachusetts roots. Frans began his working career right here at 184 Everett Street. It was his first job and he was working for the biggest equipment rental house in New England that also operated the adjacent studios. Frans says he is, “truly grateful and excited for this opportunity to expand Red Herring Motion Picture Lighting, Inc. I consider myself a family man in both my personal and business life. I reside in Medfield, Massachusetts. I have a terrific local crew, a wife (who owns two Boston based companies), a four and a half year old son, three dogs and two horses.”

David entered the film production community in1992. After an internship at CF Video in Watertown managed by his Boston College Professor Paul Reynolds, he was hired to run the production camera and equipment rental department and started the day after graduation. Never looking back, David decided to go out on his own and started freelancing as a lighting technician in 1995. He enjoys cycling and running, and has completed five Pan Mass Challenges, raising over $100,000 for the Jimmy Fund on two Pan Mass cycling teams. David resides in Barrington, Rhode Island with his wife, Rachelle, and children Andrew (six), and Ellie (four).

Both owners are accomplished, hard charging and energetic with a great deal of optimism, enough to share. Both enjoy the continuing challenges and experiences as a full fledged self-started business owner now in their second enterprise, which they believe is full of promise in our burgeoning content producing marketplace.

Carol Patton is the founder and publisher of IMAGINE Magazine and an advocate for the film tax credits and industry growth.

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NATPE: 2014 Report

By JD Freedman

Hey JD. Want to go to NATPE? It was Carol Patton on the phone, the publisher of Imagine Magazine offering me entree to one of the most prestigious programming marketplaces in the Television industry. NATPE 2014 was taking place in Miami with thousands of attendees from over 65 countries worldwide, and thanks to Carol I would have an all access press pass. Would I like to attend? You bet!

This year’s incarnation was a gala event held at the luxurious ocean-side Fontainebleau Resort. The three-day show included everything from exclusive parties to informative seminars to world-class networking. NATPE is continuing its trend of expansion over recent years in almost every category from numbers in attendance to mediums represented. Front and center at the show this year were the rapidly expanding opportunities and requirements for content creators to engage audiences through new media, online and mobile technologies.

The opening keynote presentation “TV x Twitter” explained how social media integration is becoming an important new focus for TV producers. Twitter says that nearly eighty percent of viewers use some form of social media while watching Television. Studies have found that audience members who are tweeting while watching a show have a substantially higher degree of engagement which eventually has a financial impact. Nielsen now measures the “Twitter ratings” of shows which will in turn affect a show’s pricing based on their Nielsen Twitter rating. So TV series, such as “Law & Order: SVU” encourage cast members, like Mariska Hargitay, to live tweet during a show to help boost those ratings.

Innovative new forms of distribution were everywhere. Yahoo had a prominent booth/ island in the middle of one of the Fontainebleau’s beach side pools where they featured some of the half-hour TV series they are webcasting. News Flash for you producer’s out there! They are looking for series so if you can put together some decent programming and come up with at least six decent half hour shows you should contact Yahoo. Red Bull and Maker Studios also had booths that boasted of their prominent online presence and were happy to sit down and talk about collaborating with independent producers.

But online video options at NATPE weren’t limited to the traditional ad based income model. There were also a number of companies like Red Touch Media with highly customizable solutions. RTM provides a central platform for content owners, retailers, and advertisers to distribute and manage all forms of digital content and directly connect with audiences across all platforms. The available options include a pay-per-view “iTunes style” distribution model which allows everyone from small independent producers with a single title to Studios like Disney and Sony Pictures to sell online views of their content on a shared revenue model with RTM providing all content management, cross platform encoding and revenue collection in exchange for a percentage of income.

“They also highlighted production incentives and tax credits as high on the list of elements that would increase a producer’s chance of getting funded.”

I’m currently in development of an independent film so I attended “Financing 3.0: A New World of Global Television and Content Investment” hoping to get some useful advice. The four members of the panel represented four different approaches to production financing and were based in the US, Germany and England. As you can imagine each represented a different perspective so it was helpful to hear their criterion of evaluation and understand what types of productions they would be more likely to fund. It might seem obvious but high on the list of factors that help guarantee financing are: having name talent attached, having a certain amount of pre-sale in place or failing that a solid distribution deal. They also highlighted production incentives and tax credits as high on the list of elements that would increase a producer’s chance of getting funded. But it was encouraging to hear them say that there is a lot of money out there available for investment in the right types of shows.

On the more traditional side there were seemingly endless aisles of distributors that handle everything from Dramatic Series and Cartoons to Documentaries and Feature Films. After all it’s a media market place so the name of the game is programming sales. These distributors are here to meet Television Programming Directors each one of which has a hungry 168 hours of airtime to feed programming to each and every week. But Distributors have to buy what they sell somewhere, so for Producer’s like me NATPE offers an unprecedented networking opportunity.

So many of us are in love with the production end of the business. It’s understandable. So many fun technical toys to play with on set. The joy of getting that beautiful closing shot. The satisfaction of seeing your concepts take form in the edit suite!

But in the end if you want a chance to do it all again you’ve got to find a market for your work somewhere. Well – somewhere is here. This is one of the best places in the world to make initial contact with the people who could become the return on your production investment and even help you to line up the funding for your next production. Unlike any place else, these distribution markets, like NATPE and MIPCOM are where you can most easily get past the call screeners and gatekeepers and meet face to face with the key decision makers for many of the distribution companies that could someday be your distribution partners. Don’t get me wrong, the venue was beautiful, the parties where fun and I enjoyed running into a number of people I hadn’t seen in years, but for me personally, the single greatest aspect of NATPE was the networking. That was what turned the opportunity I’ve been cultivating for the last month or so into a reality. But that’s a whole other story. Tune in for my next article – “What’s a Producer”.

JD Freedman has worked on over twenty feature films, a number of TV series and countless other productions and is currently in development of a full length feature film.


Top Middle: Rod Perth, President and CEO of NATPE||Content First has overall responsibility for the vision, strategic evolution, marketing, programming and financial/administrative operations of the organization. Photo courtesy of NATPE. Top Lef t and Right: Scenes from the 2014 NATPE Convention were taken by JD Freedman

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