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Studio Space Requirements


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#1 Tyler Clark

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 02:11 PM

What are the must haves of a good mid level studio space?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 02:55 PM

Room for trucks to park outside the loading doors, ceiling has enough structural integrity to hang a grid with lights, cast & crew parking, enough room for fire lanes with enough exit doors, construction area... Power, if you aren't using a generator. And how sound proof is it?
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#3 Will Barber

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 03:26 PM

What for, and why do you want to know? If you're trying to establish a studio catering to commercial shoots you may want to include a nice looking "client" area, but if you're only going for films you may not need that. A cyc wall is a plus. For mid level you wouldn't have to go all out, but a nice cyc that renters could paint white, black, green, whatever would definitely be an incentive to use your space. 

The reason I ask why you want to know is if you're making a studio space to rent to others your concerns may be different than if you're just making one for personal/company use, though I'd say David's suggestions are a pretty good place to start for either perspective.


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#4 Tyler Clark

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 04:25 PM

Those are both awesome responses! I am 

 

What for, and why do you want to know? If you're trying to establish a studio catering to commercial shoots you may want to include a nice looking "client" area, but if you're only going for films you may not need that. A cyc wall is a plus. For mid level you wouldn't have to go all out, but a nice cyc that renters could paint white, black, green, whatever would definitely be an incentive to use your space. 

The reason I ask why you want to know is if you're making a studio space to rent to others your concerns may be different than if you're just making one for personal/company use, though I'd say David's suggestions are a pretty good place to start for either perspective.

 

 

Room for trucks to park outside the loading doors, ceiling has enough structural integrity to hang a grid with lights, cast & crew parking, enough room for fire lanes with enough exit doors, construction area... Power, if you aren't using a generator. And how sound proof is it?

 

Both amazingly helpful responses!

 

The company I work for just moved us into a former photographer studio space. Our boss wants to turn it into a studio for commercial use/web show use. 

 

We have a psych wall, a place for gear storage and set building/construction, and a loading bay, and a surprisingly nice client hangout area with a kitchen attached. 

 

What we don't have is sound dampening, a grid, a competent power system, or lights and grip (dedicated to the studio). 

 

We unfortunately have 3 sets of surprisingly busy, train tracks 100ft from the loading bay door. 

 

We wish to use it for our own companies purposes as well as have it be a worth renting. 

 

With all that said what would be the most versatile lighting setup?

 

Is there anything else I should be thinking about?


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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 09:16 AM

You could still shoot music videos there but train tracks will be a deal killer for anything involving sync sound.

There will be no way to sound proof it with tracks that near because of the vibration level.

 

Freya


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#6 Mark Dunn

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 12:03 PM

 

 

 

 


 

 

We have a psych wall,

 

What sort of business are you after?!


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#7 Tyler Clark

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 12:38 PM

What sort of business are you after?!

 

With the little clear information my employer has given me, despite my constant prying, is low budget commercial work and students from a local college. 

 

Its weird...I know. 

 

I don't expect this to be the next big studio space in the world but I haven't been around studio spaces in my career to know much about them. Everything I've shot and crewed on has been location based. 

 

But I was tasked with building this and I like paychecks so Im making it work to the best of mine and this companies capability. 


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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:06 PM

... low budget commercial work and students from a local college. 
 
But I was tasked with building this and I like paychecks so Im making it work to the best of mine and this companies capability. 


In my opinion, it's probably in your company's best interest to not spend any more money to build a stage on this location. The proximity to the train tracks and therefore the implications for sound recording is a deal breaker, no one is going to want to shoot there (more than once, anyway). It would be fine for a photo or animation studio, or a stage dedicated to high speed or product shooting. Most stages can't afford to be so specialized though.
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#9 Mark Dunn

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 05:26 AM

 

With the little clear information my employer has given me, despite my constant prying, is low budget commercial work and students from a local college. 

 

Its weird...I know. 

 

I don't expect this to be the next big studio space in the world but I haven't been around studio spaces in my career to know much about them. Everything I've shot and crewed on has been location based. 

 

But I was tasked with building this and I like paychecks so Im making it work to the best of mine and this companies capability. 

Sorry, you missed it. 'Psych' as a typo for 'cyc'.


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#10 Tyler Clark

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:22 AM

Sorry, you missed it. 'Psych' as a typo for 'cyc'.

 

Ha. I get it and thanks!


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#11 Tyler Clark

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:16 AM

In my opinion, it's probably in your company's best interest to not spend any more money to build a stage on this location. The proximity to the train tracks and therefore the implications for sound recording is a deal breaker, no one is going to want to shoot there (more than once, anyway). It would be fine for a photo or animation studio, or a stage dedicated to high speed or product shooting. Most stages can't afford to be so specialized though.

 

I agree....my employer doesn't. Its in their hands now. Thanks for everyone's help and advice. I very much appreciate it. 


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#12 Mark Dunn

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:57 AM

Just make sure you make your objections clear so don't get lumbered with the 'credit' if it goes wrong.


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#13 Eric Jaspers

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 06:47 PM

.... ceiling has enough structural integrity to hang a grid with lights,....

 

David,  I would imagine you have worked on a few shows that used warehouses as stages. Have anyone of the shows you worked on actually had a structural engineer do a load analysis to see if the roof can support the grid and lights.  I ask because this last winter during the filming of the David O'Russell film in a warehouse they had a partial roof collapse under the load of the lights and grid.

 

There are pros and cons to shooting in warehouses.  I would be interested in hearing other peoples' experiences. What they liked about it and what they didn't like. What are the issues from a permitting standpoint and how productions deal with them?   For instance, I have seen some warehouse build outs where there are not clear fire lanes but they seem to get away with it by hiring a fire watch.  That one firemen is not going to be able to clear a way to an exit in the event of a fire. I would also be interested in hearing any anecdotes about your experiences or stories you have heard.

 

Eric Jaspers


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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:13 PM

I seem to recall a few warehouses where we got an estimate on the load restrictions from an engineer, or the owner knew the answer.

 

I visited a warehouse being used for a stage by some low-budget production company, not in Los Angeles, and was shocked in terms of how unsafe the layout was, they built a narrow maze of sets right up to the walls and blocking the loading dock doors and some of the exits, and you had a ton of trash and construction equipment to navigate through.  It was a real firetrap.


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#15 John E Clark

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:39 PM

 

With the little clear information my employer has given me, despite my constant prying, is low budget commercial work and students from a local college. 

 

Its weird...I know. 

 

 

The comment was in reference to 'psych wall'... as in where either something 'psych-ological' takes place, or something 'psych-ic' may be presented...

 

The term is 'cyc' short of cyclorama... the infinite horizon 'white out' backdrop... at least how it used for studio applications... one can have a green screen 'cyc'...

But the term can also be used for large 'surround' wall paintings, which were used from the 18th Century onward... it can also be used in theater stages.


Edited by John E Clark, 20 November 2015 - 08:41 PM.

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#16 timHealy

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 10:03 PM

I visited a warehouse being used for a stage by some low-budget production company, not in Los Angeles, and was shocked in terms of how unsafe the layout was, they built a narrow maze of sets right up to the walls and blocking the loading dock doors and some of the exits, and you had a ton of trash and construction equipment to navigate through.  It was a real firetrap.

 

Let me guess. Was it here in New York where we never really had fire safety standards? Where sometimes LA based studios will stipulate fire safety standards on their New York productions? And then rationalize building into the same fire safety lanes when it suits the producers or production managers? And then the only room for lights may be in the fire lane? Oops there is my sarcasm slipping out again.


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