Lights . . . camera . . . business!


    The soundstages are nearly ready, and the first movie production service businesses are checking in to the Fayette economic scene.

    Pinewood-affiliated vendors whose Fayetteville business licenses have been issued include Hertz Entertainment Services, Future Staff, Movie Cars Unlimited, Hanna Brothers Georgia, Hollywood Trucks Georgia, Backstage Printing Solutions and C and S Film Concierge. The city also has business licenses pending for Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Home Depot.

    While most of the companies listed 1-3 initial employees, Hanna Brothers, a catering company, listed eight full-time and eight part-time employees. Home Depot on its business license listed plans for 120 full-time employees.

    In total, the companies thus far on-site or soon to be will employ nearly 150 people.

    Aside from Home Depot which will be located on the 288-acre studio property, the other companies with approved business licenses are expected to be housed in the Pinewood Production Centre, formerly known as Rivers Elementary School, located at Veterans Parkway and Sandy Creek Road.

    Other companies that have committed to locate at the new studio include lighting company MBS Media Campus, motion picture technical fabrics firm The Rag Place and camera support equipment firm Cinemoves, according to Promaker Development Group partner Len Gough.

    Gough said talks with several post-production companies are pending.

    Gough said there is also potential interest from an animal wrangler company to locate at Pinewood.

    The evolution of Pinewood Atlanta Studios is underway and on course to begin expected filming in the coming months. A check of Fayetteville business license approvals and comments by Pinewood Atlanta Studios project manager Jim Pace at the Feb. 25 City Council retreat provided an update on the number and types of companies needed to support the film industry that have located, or soon will be locating, in Fayetteville.

    The annual Fayetteville City Council retreat is a type of meeting where the interaction is less formal and one where presenters are expected to go into significant detail. Such was the case with the agenda item that called for an update of the activities at Pinewood Atlanta Studios.

    Though he did not provide as much detail as might have been desired, Pace gave an update on the current status of the studio and, perhaps of equally significant importance, a glimpse of some of the various vendor companies which are beginning to populate the studio property.

    Pace during the retreat presentation said plans are underway to construct soundstage number 9, an 18,000 sq. ft. building, which will be the sixth soundstage on the studio property. Some of the soundstages will have office buildings attached. Such was the case with soundstage number 2, one of the first stages constructed, that now has a 20,000 sq. ft. pre-production building attached to it.

    Asked by council members about the greatest need in terms of the larger Fayetteville community, Pace said that need is housing. A variety of living accommodations are needed, Pace said, citing examples such as houses to rent or purchase, apartments and hotel rooms.

    Pace said people from out of the area are satisfied with the number of available amenities such as restaurants.

    Promaker Development Group partner Rick Halbert in comments to the council emphasized the overall scope of the development as it unfolds in Fayetteville, noting that the project has spent approximately $60 million in the past eight months.

    Pace during the presentation was adamant as usual in not divulging the name of the movie or the name of the production company that will soon begin filming the studio’s first movie in Fayetteville.

    Citing London-based film and TV production guide publisher, The Citizen in January reported that Marvel Comics’ “Ant-Man” will be the much anticipated blockbuster movie to start filming in May at Pinewood Atlanta Studios. Pinewood Atlanta Studios officials to date have only stated that the first movie will be a “tent-pole” production, denoting that it will be a blockbuster movie with production costs ranging from $150-200 million.