Picture this: a film studio complex and public entertainment venue in Nashville that would capture the look and feel of Universal Studios Hollywood — only without the rides and with a project pipeline loaded with films targeted at heartland audiences.
That's the pitch being made to redevelop the Tennessee State Fairgrounds by Woodland, Calif.-based Tower Investments and Nashville's 821 Entertainment, whose projects include a forthcoming film about the life of the Rev. Billy Graham, as well as a biopic on music legend Hank Williams.
But whether that studio concept turns out to be one of the four ideas selected by the fair board to revamp the 117-acre site doesn't seem ultimately to matter to Tower Investments Senior Vice President Alex Marks and 821 co-founder Eric Geadelmann.
What matters most to the partners is being able to secure a suitable spot in the Nashville area that allows them to tap into what they said is intense interest from well-heeled potential tenants who want to see movies added to Music City's entertainment portfolio.
Perry Gibson, executive director of the Tennessee Film & Music Commission, said that without a sound stage that's built to accommodate film projects, movies probably will continue to look to Tennessee primarily for its combination of incentives, locations and available crew.
That's where Marks and Geadelmann said their project comes in.
By building what amounts to a film-studio lot — which would include retail, a hotel and a 5,000-7,000-seat indoor music venue, as well as an attached film school — the pair hopes to make Nashville as much of a destination for movies as it is for music.
Monday, August 25, 2008
A studio in Nashville?
Here's a story in the Tennessean about some investors wanting to build a sound stage in Nashville. An excerpt:
Posted by Jon W. Sparks at 9:18 PM