Eight Bet $20 Million On It
Never before in the history of the local production industry has so much money been spent so fast and in such a short span of time.
Eight companies collectively will invest around an awesome $20 million within a short period of time to hence their services. Not because they feel competitively pressured to do so, but because the new technology is impelling them into a sci-fi world of limitless possibilities.
“Listen, said Ginger Hall, partner in Del Hall Video, “the one thing you can’t do in this business is stand still. If you have the love of the business and believe in the city, you must grow.” She paused for a breath. “Grow or get out.”
Those companies that elected to grow and stay have been grouped in a special SCREEN’s Best in a category that can only be called Visionaries
Totally new stage rental facilities are being built from the ground up by Essanay partners Jules Tomko and Wayne Kubacki, and Ari Golan of Golan Productions and multimedia-minded branch Atomic Imaging, thus increasing the number of first class stage rentals. They will be neighbors in the same growing Goose Island development that also attracted Lamar Bloodworth of Webster Productions to buy a building and turn it into rentals (and close to where Fletcher Chicago and Schumacher Camera had had the foresight to establish their headquarters.
Spring should be one of the most active periods anyone has ever experienced in the history of local production. Construction of new facilities mainly will be completed around March, setting up a round of open houses each more impressive than the one before. Post Effects’ grand reopening and Essanay’s new stage and lighting facilities are already planning their parties, while Ari Golan’s deconstruction of five buildings where he intends to build starts in March
The cost of Ari Golan’s new building will be between $5 and $6 million. A prop and effects company is interested in signing for 4,000-square-feet adjacent to the main stage, Golan said, along with lighting and sound companies “that want to be a part of the complex.” He anticipated independent producers will want “to be within a large pool of production services.” He will also seek feature rentals
Like the other Visionaries, Hall is confident there’s plenty of business out there to justify the investment. “A friend of ours said, ‘if you are coasting, you are going downhill,'” she related. “You not only have to accept the future, you have to embrace it. Growth is part of the future.”
DECEMBER 11, 1995
VOLUME 17 NO. 45
PGS 19, 51