On the heels of Sunday night’s Oscar celebration, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald today joined Chris Breakwell of 31st Street Studios in announcing that Paramount on Location and Knight Vision Studios have signed long-term agreements to be housed at the facility. The studio will also become home to a portion of CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center.
“This is exciting news for our region and the film industry,” said Fitzgerald. “We have been extremely fortunate to have the economic impact that the film industry has brought to our area. In the past three years alone, productions in Pittsburgh have brought over $100 million in each year. With today’s announcement, we will continue to grow.”
The creation of the Film Tax Credit in 2007 has provided a boon for this region. Since its creation, the economic impact has been $385 million. There have been 40 film productions in the region and Pittsburgh has had over $100 million in each year during 2009, 2010 and 2011. The impact has also been seen in jobs and union membership, with IATSE Local 489 membership having quadrupled since 2007.
“It’s exciting to see movie stars like Tom Cruise and Christian Bale in the region, but what’s more exciting is the numbers that we’re seeing in our region,” said Fitzgerald. “The companies that receive a benefit from this industry are much broader than the film work. This includes restaurants, lighting companies, entertainment and more. Pittsburgh hotels have rented nearly 80,000 additional room nights between 2009 and 2011 with an additional 21,259 car rental days as well.”
31st Street Studios is a 300,000 square foot facility with 10 stages and the capacity to host any size production. Its management includes experience in media finance, animation/video game production, feature production and studio executives. Paramount on Location offers lighting and grip equipment and other technologies to assist the trade. Their location at 31st Street Studios will allow for an expansion of their location production services and allows the facility to serve as a gateway to partners across the East Coast.
Knight Vision Studios provides performance capture and virtual production for film, television, games, commercials, music videos and sports. The studio will be cooperating with CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center to provide hands-on opportunity for students to work with existing technologies and engage in other work and innovation. Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center offers a two-year Masters of Entertainment Technology degree, jointly conferred by the University’s College of Fine Arts and School of Computer Science. Students will begin attending classes at the 31st Street Studios complex this semes