Ringling College and the community prepare for the impact of the first professional soundstage and post production complex in the region.

Two new professional level soundstages opened this spring with a stunning ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Ringling College soundstages and post production facilities are an academic and private enterprise built by Ringling College of Art and Design and Semkhor Productions with regional support provided through a $1.75 million grant from Sarasota County.

“We are building upon the slate of works produced by the Ringling College Studio Lab and Semkhor that are already ‘in the can.’ We see unlimited potential for our students, our College and our region in the growing roster of professional filmmakers committing to shoot and do post production work here,” says Ringling College President Dr. Larry R. Thompson. “Integral to retaining talent in this region is having the infrastructure and resources to support their endeavors. With this entire facility we have created a foundation upon which to attract creative leaders in film, television and other new media who are developing content for productions. As another benefit, we will work toward our objective to retain the marvelous creative talent our College and region is known for.”

“Our collaborative academic/commercial model draws filmmakers and generates a virtuous circle—young people are educated and learn faster with real world experience.”

Semkhor CEO and Studio Lab co-founder David Shapiro

“Ringling College Studio Lab productions of Dylan McDermott’s Sugar and Justin and Christian Long’s The Real Stephen Blatt have proven the mutually beneficial nature of our academic/commercial production model,” says Semkhor CEO and Studio Lab co-founder David Shapiro. “Visionary directors, producers, production designers and actors have the opportunity to work with our extremely talented Ringling students and grads who bring competency, passion and enthusiasm to their projects while they gain valuable experience, contacts and film credits.

“Many Ringling grads who worked as students on last season’s Tim Sutton production of Dark Night have continued to work with Sutton and his team on ensuing productions following graduation,” he adds.

The design of the soundstages and post production complex allows for maximum flexibility to produce any type of content now and well into the future. The mixing rooms and acoustics were developed by Emmy Award-winner Tom Paul, and one stage is designed with the Mix Room looking directly onto the stage, making it an ideal space for recording symphonic soundtracks, live music and performances. The complex has been designed to handle traditional films as well as rapidly evolving digital content—including Virtual Reality, storytelling, marketing, advertising and e-commerce productions.

Each of the two stand-alone 8,000-square-foot soundstages has more than 2,000 square feet of attached service space that includes editing bays, green rooms, offices and work spaces. The post production facility also has three attached 2,000-square-foot stages, eight editing bays, three top-of-the-line mixing rooms—including a massive 40-person mixing/screening room, a Foley stage, color correct rooms and communal and office space.

Stage A opened for business upon the ground-breaking. This studio is a hybrid commercial/academic soundstage which already has productions slated for this spring, including three shows from PBS affiliate WEDU that start shooting in the spring. Also slated for summer 2017 production is a Kevin Smith Ringling College Studio Lab production.

WEDU’s ‘Florida This Week’ program will shoot weekly, and ‘UpClose with Cathy Unruh’ and ‘Suncoast Business Forum’ will shoot monthly episodes supported onsite by the WEDU mobile production truck. Under the hybrid model, Ringling students will be assisting in the commercial productions done in Stage A.

Stage B is also complete, and faculty will move in this summer. It will be used exclusively for the College’s film students and faculty.

The post production complex is slated for completion late in the fall semester.

“Our collaborative academic/commercial model draws filmmakers and generates a virtuous circle—young people are educated and learn faster with real world experience. Plus, great content is created, our community gains more respect as a production hub and it becomes easier to establish a production crew comprising increasing percentages of local talent. These three world-class buildings will bring more filmmakers to campus. This is truly an exciting time for our students, our College and our community,” Dr. Thompson and Shapiro conclude.

By Rich Schineller | Photography by Aerial Innovations Of Florida

To learn more about Ringling Studios, view our website.