Ringling College Opens Commercial and Academic Soundstage

Filmmaker and Producer Antoine Fuqua to Help Cut Ribbon for Studio A at Ringling Studios, Ringling College's Soundstage and Post Production Complex

Sarasota, Florida, UNITED STATES

SARASOTA, FLA., April 3, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ringling College of Art and Design and Semkhor Productions today opens Studio A of Ringling Studios with a ribbon-cutting ceremony including renowned director and producer Antoine Fuqua ('Training Day,' 'The Equalizer' and 'The Magnificent Seven'). Studio A is a mixed commercial/academic soundstage and production support facility that will be used by directors and producers for commercial media productions and include Ringling students.

Studio A is the first building completed as part of the entire Ringling Studios Soundstage and Post Production Complex. Ringling Studios is the largest film and visual entertainment production facility on the Gulf Coast of Florida and features a unique academic, private and public partnership between Ringling College, Semkhor Productions and Sarasota County. Media image Assets are available at this link.

Studio A and Studio B, scheduled to be completed this summer, each have acoustically-isolated 8,400 Sq. Ft. soundstages with attached production, meeting, editing, and makeup rooms and in Studio B, faculty offices. The separate Post Production building will be completed in Fall of 2017. It has three additional 2,500 sq. ft. soundstages, eight editing bays, three mixing rooms designed by Emmy Award-winning Audio Designer Tom Paul, as well as a Foley sound effects stage, color correction rooms, and office spaces.

"Ringling Studios accelerates our ability to bring productions to the Sarasota-Bradenton area by providing the physical and technological infrastructure needed for larger and more complex film, television and multi-media projects," said Ringling College President Dr. Larry R. Thompson. "We have developed a model with tangible educational and production value reciprocity - our students and grads get valuable experience, contacts, and credits, while producers get access to some of the most talented young people in the world. It is well documented that students having these kind of experiential learning opportunities more than double their odds of being engaged and successful when they graduate."

"This is such an exciting time for our community," said Semkhor Productions founder David Shapiro. "The combination of all the hard work of the Ringling College staff and students over the past several years building top-ranked programs like Film, Computer Animation, Motion Design, Game Art, Illustration, Graphic Design and Fine Arts, to name a few, with the successes we've had co-producing feature film and web series programming, and the support of Sarasota County and our community, have all led to this tipping point. We now have the physical foundation and infrastructure to take content production here to the next level – we've not just built our 'Field of Dreams,' we have made it real."

Ringling Studios is a roughly $15 million project that evolved as a logical outgrowth of the Ringling College Studio Lab, an 8-year collaboration between Ringling College and Semkhor Productions. The Studio Lab continues to bring filmmakers to Ringling College to work with students and graduates on their projects, such as Dylan McDermott's 'Sugar', Justin and Christian Long's 'The Real Stephen Blatt' and Tim Sutton's 'Dark Knight'.

Studio A will be put to use immediately, onboarding three shows from PBS Tampa affiliate television station WEDU; a weekly program, "Florida This Week" and two monthly shows; "Up Close with Cathy Unruh," and "Suncoast Business Forum." In addition, the Ringling College Studio Lab and Semkhor Productions will be coproducing and shooting a collaborative project with acclaimed director, writer, producer and actor Kevin Smith at Ringling Studios this summer. As part of the hybrid model, students and graduates will be able to work on all the above productions.

According to Larry Thompson, "Sarasota County has been extremely supportive in helping develop production capability for our region by providing a $1.75 million grant to build out the post production building. The County has further helped support the film industry by creating a county film rebate program. Even though there's no Florida state film incentives program, our commercial and academic hybrid model will allow projects to maximize production values while lowering production costs."

Ringling Studios is qualifying production equipment, staffing, support and services vendors in the Gulf Coast region to serve incoming productions. Of particular interest are businesses in the immediate Ringling College vicinity.

Thomas Denslow of DSDG Architects, Inc. designed the facility and Tom Wessel Construction Corp. is building it. Denslow consulted with Emmy-award winning sound editor Tom Paul, director and producer Roman Coppola and Gary Siebein, Denslow's former professor at the University of Florida.

Media image Assets are available at this link and will be updated as events progress.

Hash tags for today's ribbon-cutting are #RinglingStudios and #SemkhorPro.

About Ringling College of Art and Design

For 85 years, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ten disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College's rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. Find us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram and our website at www.ringling.edu.

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