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testing waters for new studio in San Francisco

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Adrian Smith
testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 3, 2009 at 10:01:33 pm

Hello all:

I am thinking of setting up a soundproof (or close to) studio space that would be ideal for interviews, and simple blue/green screen shoots. It would be situated ten-minutes from downtown San Francisco with easy parking and views of the ocean. I would include a basic lighting set-up (crews can bring their own) and the studio would have live/fast satellite,internet,Vyvx connectivity as needed.

My question is a simple one: do you think there would be demand for this kind of facility in San Francisco and is it an already overcrowded market?

Thanks

A.S


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Christopher Wright
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 2:48:30 am

Ask the people who used to work at the Orphanage about the market in San Francisco.

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Ron Lindeboom
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 2:56:30 am

[Christopher Wright] "Ask the people who used to work at the Orphanage about the market in San Francisco."

Translation? The Orphange is now out of business and was one of the premier studios in San Francisco. Some would argue THE premier studio in San Francisco. (I wouldn't argue against them.)

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Christopher Wright
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:06:53 am

That is exactly my point Ron!
The competition was/is very brutal in San Fran!

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David Roth Weiss
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:37:54 am

[Christopher Wright] "The competition was/is very brutal in San Fran! "

Christopher,

Where isn't the competition brutal nowadays?

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Christopher Wright
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:44:49 am

the southernmost tip of Chile....

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David Roth Weiss
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:58:25 am

I'll bet it's tough there too. August Pinochet's relatives probably still run the whole damned place, and they'll be expanding their studio to San Fran. any day now.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Adrian Smith
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 4:01:12 am

Actually I have already tapped the Pinochet clan as investors. They are very keen on cooking shows apparently.


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Tim Wilson
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 6:48:24 am

[Adrian Smith] "They are very keen on cooking shows apparently."

And petunias.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:16:41 pm

[Adrian Smith] "Actually I have already tapped the Pinochet clan as investors. They are very keen on cooking shows apparently."

Oh my God, another guy with a sense a of humor the Cow. That puts you in an elite class Adrian.

BTW, I have an old friend who has a facility somewhere in the S.F. area, and I know he's not spending great gobs of cash, so if you would like to call him and compare notes, I'll be glad to hook you guys up. If so, just go to drwfilms dot com and you'll see how to contact me.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Bill Davis
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 7, 2009 at 8:41:30 am

Also I've got to be worried about anyone whose wish list includes "views" as a positive bonus in a green screen studio environment.

Real estate overhead costs are a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE factor in running a profitable studio operation.

If you're thinking that views are worth spending money on each month, sorry, but you're NOT going to make it in the studio business.

(sorry to be so harsh, but that's just the cold hard truth.)





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Adrian Smith
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:13:01 pm

Dear Mr. Harsh:

I guess you missed the Business 101 lesson that went over the first (or second rule) of business: "Location, location, oh and location!"

You've gotta know how important ambient factors are in any business, i.e. good parking, pleasant environment, good neighborhood cafes, etc. This is especially true when dealing with corporate clients, celebrity interviewees, politicians, etc. Funky industrial parks don't really cut it unless you're catering to the hipster market.

Oh and by the way you can pretty much name your price at the moment for commercial space on the peninsular.

Sorry to rain on your reality parade.

Anyway, I got money to burn... and it's groovy to be irresponsible.

Meanwhile, cheer up. The sun is shining and the surf is up. Go outside and tend your petunias!


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Vince Becquiot
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:46:27 pm

I think I'm with "Mr. Harsh" in this one. The "location" term doesn't really apply to studios. In fact you will find that the majority of successful studios are in pretty ugly industrial parts of town.

Studios aren't helped by foot traffic whatsoever, and certainly not by the cafe next door. They are helped by good marketing and word of mouth.

On top of that, you rarely find windows in studios, so view doesn't matter much, if at all.



Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Adrian Smith
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:52:13 pm

The window is for my benefit. I really like having window boxes. I'm a keen container gardener. On that note, has anyone had much success growing strawberries in our foggy coastal climate?



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Vince Becquiot
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:54:12 pm

If you've got a studio, you've light. You can pretty much grow anything with a couple of 2k fresnels :-)

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:52:45 pm

[Adrian Smith] "I guess you missed the Business 101 lesson that went over the first (or second rule) of business: "Location, location, oh and location!" You've gotta know how important ambient factors are in any business, i.e. good parking, pleasant environment, good neighborhood cafes, etc. This is especially true when dealing with corporate clients, celebrity interviewees, politicians, etc. Funky industrial parks don't really cut it unless you're catering to the hipster market."


We once spent the better part of $100,000 building the nicest office digs that we knew of anywhere in central California. It was all color-coordinated, with wall carpeting (to help with both light and sound dampening), fine woods, great flooring, desks, etc. It was located in Cambria, in the West Village -- the ultra hip and trendy part of town -- and was minutes from Hearst Castle (one of the most popular tourist traps in the State), as well as walking distance to many great restaurants, the beach, parks, etc., etc.

...and guess what?

In a year, it added only one new customer that we didn't already have and that single new customer didn't make us anywhere near the cost to win them over.

All the rest of our customers came from word-of-mouth customer referrals and from repeat business with the existing clients we already had.

If you already have the clients that can carry your fancy digs, go for it, and serve them well. But if you think that "location" is as important for marketing a video-related business as you seem to, then I would have to respectfully disagree.

It's a gamble I would never take again and I have had huge websites and marketing machines to draw on that most people do not have.

In the end, it all came down to our connections, not our offices.

PS: That Business 101 class that you refer to? That was for those in retail, not for those in the service trades and crafts. It has more to do with impulse buys and walk-by traffic. These are hardly the backbone of client marketing in service industries.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Vince Becquiot
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:57:03 pm

Isn't that the truth?

I always thought the best office was a 20x20 with a 60' plasma on the wall showing your best work :-)

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Adrian Smith
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:54:57 am

Chaps, methinks you ain't comparing apples to apples (as they taught me in divinity school). I'm not about to set up an animation company or any kind of production company (other than the ongoing work I already do for the dear old Beeb - let the British license payer pay say I).

My venture would be to set up a modest building housing a modest insert stage for modest interviews like those I already do for the BBC, the New York Times, etc. I have a hard time finding affordable space at a moments notice and when I do it is often noisy, hard to get to or has terrible acoustics. So, my thinking goes... if I'm having hard time finding suitable studio space as an independent but very busy TV journalist.... surely there are others too in this predicament.

So no, I don't want to compete with Industrial Light and Magic. I was thinking more along the lines of Click and Clack The Tappet Brothers Shoot a Video in their garage (but boy have they made it nice). The tea's good too (and extra revenue and $1.50 a cup).



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Adrian Smith
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:05:04 am

Yes it was sad news to hear of The Orphanages demise. Was it purely financial or were other factors at play?

My planned enterprise is a lot more modest and is born of my own frustration at find affordable and quiet insert/interview stages in or around San Francisco that you can actually park at. So my mantra would quiet, affordable. accessible (and yes with decent gear).

So before I embark much further on this plot I'm trying to get some feedback as to whether this would fly and suggestions as to what services I could additionally provide to keep it the modest and affordable bracket.


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Christopher Wright
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 4:53:53 am

Well for one thing, affordable and good, quiet neighborhood are two mutually exclusive things in SF.
My honest thinking is that you would have to pay so much for a decent space that it would be very hard to recoup your investment/monthly rent. Have you already done a search of the post and creative community to see what already exists and what the rates are?? That is where I would start.

Dual 2.5 G5, IO, Kona LH, IO, Medea Raid, UL4D, NVidia 6800, 4Gig RAM
Nehalem Octocore 12 GB Ram, Nvidia card, MBP, MXO, MXO2 mini, Windows Vista Adobe Studio CS4, Vegas 9.0, Lightwave 9.6, Sound Forge 9, Acid Pro 7, Continuum 6, Boris Red 4, Combustion 2008, Sapphire Effects


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Adrian Smith
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 5:45:54 am

Good advice and points all. I already use many of the studio spaces in the San Francisco area and you would be amazed at the asking prices and the very little (or too much) you get in return. You either end up with a noisy and overly reverbrant shack or the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Even in this economy you have to get out the thumbscrews to get realistic prices out of the schmucks (over and over again). So my trick is to try and find the middle ground. 15 minutes from downtown is the coastal city of Pacifica. It is quiet, beautiful and affordable. But, sshh don't tell anyone.

Anyway. Think I've obsessed over this enough for one night. Tomorrow I will be posting on how to grow petunias on your balcony for fun and profit.


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Vince Becquiot
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 4:59:14 pm

Come on up in the North Bay !



Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Studios
San Francisco - Bay Area


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Richard Herd
Re: testing waters for new studio in San Francisco
on Sep 4, 2009 at 5:48:43 pm

Check out these google earth coordinates:
The Richmond district is very quiet, and it's by the ocean and the values ain't so bad. THere's some nice and hidden locations reasonably accessible by public transportation, too.

Here's the google earth coordinates:
Latitude: 37°45'39.00"N
Longitude: 122°30'33.04"W

The Sunset District and the Richmond District are very quiet.


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