OK, here’s a project near and dear to my heart. I went to a film community mixer last week and local film producer Lacey Leavitt clued me in about a huge new project. The Seattle filmmaking community is banding together in an effort to create a badly needed film/video production studio facility in Seattle. The space up for grabs is a 144,000 square foot complex that was formerly a hangar at Sand Point Naval Air Station at what is now Magnuson Park in northeast Seattle on the shores of Lake Washington. Now owned by the City of Seattle and managed by Seattle Parks and Recreation, the complex known as “Building Two” is up for development. In January of this year, Seattle Parks and Recreation issued a “RFP”…a request for proposals seeking interested parties to redevelop the site.
Among the projects vying for the property: groups wishing to turn it into an archery range or a lacrosse complex…or, something actually useful like a soundstage/film arts complex to encourage and develop film/video projects that would benefit the area’s filmmaking community as well as the local economy.
It’s estimated it will cost $20 to $30 million to redevelop the property regardless of what proposal is chosen by Parks & Rec. The facility is in poor condition and needs extensive renovations to bring it up to code.
If you think a soundstage would be a huge boon to Seattle, then you can help support it by letting Seattle Parks & Rec know you support it. And, by attending a meeting this Thursday, July 7, 2016 at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill. Organized by the Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange and members of the Building 2 film industry task force and Washington Filmworks, the meeting begins with a mingle/meet’n’greet from 5:30 pm to 6 pm, then a presentation/Q&A from 6 pm to 7 pm.
Do you think that Seattle needs a state of the art soundstage for film production? What about a place where creative professionals can connect and collaborate? Join the Board of Directors of the Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange and members of the Building 2 film industry task force for an informational session to learn more about the proposal submitted to the city of Seattle to build a soundstage at Magnuson Park.
We are writing to urge that you support the film industry’s proposal lead by Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange (SPACE) to transform Building 2 at Sand Point into Magnuson Studios, a creative center for film and entrepreneurship.
At Magnuson Studios masters of storytelling will gather to teach, to create and to contribute to our community through music, technology and filmmaking. The space will serve as an epicenter for creativity in Washington State where private business, non profit organizations and entrepreneurs will cross pollinate to launch new and innovative businesses that will fuel Washington State’s economy.
The film industry is deeply committed to bringing a robust calendar of arts and cultural programming to Sand Point focused on equity and access for all community members. At Magnuson Studios everyone is welcome and it will be a home for education, employment and cutting edge content creation.
We urge you to support the film industry’s proposal to build Magnuson Studios, a center for creativity that will quickly be recognized as a global destination for arts, culture and economic prosperity.
Seattle very much needs this facility. Despite a huge amount of talent in our filmmaking community, it’s a struggle working in Seattle due to a lack of resources including affordable access to professional soundstages and production facilities. Due to Washington State foolishly not supporting our filmmaking community, we lose both talent and out of town productions to the far better funded Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR.
And, the local film community is not asking for the city to give them this valuable property so it can be turned into “Hollywood North”. Having a production facility like this will obviously help in attracting outside productions, but the goal of this project is to aid independent productions made by local filmmakers. To help local filmmakers like Lynn Shelton and Megan Griffiths but also encourage lesser known artists and the artists of the future to make their art in our city. Having such a facility could also encourage further investment in our local film economy….including getting Amazon Studios to invest in more local filming and facilities. Right now, much of Amazon’s actual filming occurs in Vancouver and Los Angeles. Area filmmakers and artists including actors and technical crew would love to see more opportunities for our city.
Also: Fuck Lacrosse. A sport for rich people.