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Studio Sound Stage Marketing Questions

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Mike JeffsStudio Sound Stage Marketing Questions
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 5:24:41 pm


I haven't posted in this forum for a while but since I value your opinions I thought I would ask for some ideas and feedback. I have recently taken a new position here in San Diego one of the goals I have been give is to increase Sound Stage rentals at the facility here. As I haven't done thisin my career before I have a few starting out questions.

What information do people looking to rent a sound stage looking for (other send size and power)

For you what makes one place more attractive then another?

What do you personally look at when considering a venue stage rental? What are your number 1 priorities?

Any other information would be great. While this wasn't the initial duty I was hired to do, I was given this task as part of the "Other duties as assinged" :)

Mike Jeffs
Video Coordinator

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Nick GriffinRe: Studio Sound Stage Marketing Questions
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 6:44:27 pm

This is not something I have rented more than a few times, but..

# 1 is size with background cyc, greenscreen, curtains or whatever a close #2. The power is important, but having an overhead grid in place maybe critical for some.

The set should be easily vehicle-accessable for un-loading/loading gear with the ideal being room to drive in a car and position it, if that's what's needed.

Things like the # of dressing rooms, client lounge and kitchen mean a lot to some people. For others not so much.

Very clean sound proofing is also very important for many shoots. A truck going by outside forcing a re-take can be VERY bad for long-term business.

These are all the things that come to mind right off the top. Just make sure that your soundstage is just that and not an empty warehouse claiming to be a soundstage

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Todd TerryRe: Studio Sound Stage Marketing Questions
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 7:12:22 pm

Nick's needs/wants are similar to mine.

Size is very important. We have our own stage here, but it's small. If we ever need a big set or room for more than one vehicle we go elsewhere, so size is important. I'd say virtually the ONLY reason we ever rent space is because our stage is too small, so that's number one in my book.

Accessibility is up there too. Ideally it should have both a loading dock (regular dock height) and a ramp so that you can load straight from a truck and drive a vehicle onto the stage floor. If the stage floor is ground level (drive right on it), then the opposite setup would be nice... a ramped loading "pit" that you can back a truck down into for easy off-loading.

Sound-proofing (and physical location) is right up there as well. My favorite stage space here in my city (which sadly is no longer in use) was a multi-million-dollar true state-of-the-art stage... built right beside railroad tracks. I mean right beside them... like 20 yards away, maybe. The whole stage floor, several thousand square feet, was a completely suspended floating floor to counteract train vibrations... but you could still hear it a bit. They had this unbelievably expensive totally-silent HVAC system... yet you could hear the darn train. Another otherwise great stage in Atlanta is right in the flight path of Hartsfield International... and you can definitely hear the planes.

Those are my top issues... your mileage may vary.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Studio Sound Stage Marketing Questions
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 9:49:13 pm

In addition to the great ideas already given, I as a customer will be interested in "added value" bonus features I don't have to budget for, that makes your studio stand apart. That can be technical and logistical.

Do you already have a/v monitors that lead back to the dressing and meeting rooms? Do you have intercoms hard-wired? If there is no full time built-in switcher, is there a room well-suited to bringing in a client's own switcher or a "fly-away" switcher kit? What kind of dimmer racks for lighting, if any? Is this just a space, or does it come with some lights and sound already in place? Is there a scenery dock and workshop to assemble and paint scenery/props in? Is there a kitchen and easting space accessible to a caterer/craft services? Sufficient bathrooms/showers/ laundry room/ changing rooms? Costume storage? Parking? Security and secure storage? Adequate internet and wifi? Easy access to additional workers? Some kind of wiring trunk to connect to, say, an uplink truck outside? Access to rented furniture for audience seating, for example? Dance floor tiles to cover the concrete? Special weekend/night rates?

If it saves me time or money somehow, it makes that studio more of a consideration than another.

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Mike JeffsRe: Studio Sound Stage Marketing Questions
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 10:22:51 pm

These are all great suggestions and ideas!!!! Thank you! I made sure to keep it a little vague was to what I am working with to hopefully get the most info from you.

But FYI it is a longstanding PBS TV station sound stage (largest in the region) with all the bells and whistles. I will definitly make sure to Highlight a lot of these things you have given me.

If I may as a follow up when you do look for a rental where do you turn?

Internet Google search, some sort of agitator like Production hub

Magazines or publications

word of mouth?

My guess is these days most people would turn to a simple Google search first maybe there is value to also going with a site like Production hub or even here.


Mike Jeffs
Production Services Manager
KPBS San Diego

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Mark SuszkoRe: Studio Sound Stage Marketing Questions
by on Jan 12, 2015 at 11:59:42 pm

Mike; tread carefully. There are some video pros I've talked to over the years who take a dim view of having to compete with what they call a "government-subsdized" production facility. The accounts vary, but apparently, some small local stations, in the past, may have set rates the local guy couldn't match, and it nearly drove him out of business, so that now, he's got a chip on his shoulder about publicly-subsidized outfits of ANY type.

Now, you and I know, the gubmint share of funding to PBS TV and NPR radio is really a very, very small fraction these days; nevertheless, there will always be some folks who believe it isn't fair that their 100 percent for-profit private facility might have to compete with your place. When you do your marketing surveys, you might want to keep a special sensitivity to this issue in the back of your mind. For a studio to thrive in a production community, it has to be seen as a common resource with high accessibility, part of an ecosystem, a node or nexus in a larger overall network of local resources.

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Mike JeffsRe: Studio Sound Stage Marketing Questions
by on Jan 13, 2015 at 12:04:30 am

Mark I completely understand what you are saying. interestingly enough from my research so far, when it comes to pricing we are right in line with our competitors. So hopefully we don't step on any toes

Mike Jeffs
Production Services Manager
KPBS San Diego

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