Mar 28, 2017
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Still Making It in Marin
by Jay Randy Gordon, The MARINsider
Monster from 'Pacific Rim' which destroyed an office building in a practical by 32TEN. photo: courtesy G. del Toro
NOT JUST A PRODUCTION FACILTY
or VFX services provider or a fantastic theater, 32TEN Studios is still cooking with gas, doing quality work, notably in miniatures and practical effects, and remaining relevant in Marin County, as well as in Southern California and beyond. See
When I caught up with co-directors, CEO Tim Partridge (formerly of Dolby) and COO, Greg Maloney (formerly of ILM) at the Mill Valley Film Festival, they were in the filmmakers' lounge, chatting up Deborah Albre, Film Liaison at the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau.
During a break, Partridge and Maloney let me in on a few fascinating things happening of late. Although most of the goings on are hush-hush, due to pre-signed NDA's (non-disclosure agreements), they shared that:
1) 32TEN worked with ILM's VFX Supervisor Tim Alexander to provide various models, practical effects, practical elements, and pick-up shots for the "Jurassic World" film (directed by Colin Trevorrow), more info
2) After those effects were “baked” into the film, NBC Universal returned to 32TEN asking them to build the huge, towering "Park Entrance Gates" again, but only much bigger, and for early October's
New York ComicCon
and for the ‘Jurassic World’ DVD release.
For the consumer show, the gates were built based on the scale model that 32TEN had built, only this time, the gates were 34-feet high, by 60-feet wide. "It was a challenge since they were so big and we could never fully erect them in our studio," as Partridge pointed out.
The ‘‘‘Jurassic World’’’ ComicCon gates featured in New York last June. photo: courtesy T. Partridge
Nevertheless, the gates were built and the Jurassic World sign was laser cut at 32TEN to match the design used in the movie— exactly! Moreover, the gates were supplemented with smoke effects, foliage AND a 14-foot tall raptor.
3) Prior to the ‘Jurassic World’ ComicCon build out, last June, 32TEN Studios was the rehearsal studio for the Grateful Dead before their "Fare Thee Well Tour" in July. The band members rehearsed on the stage for about a week, more info
4) Finally, but not lastly, 32TEN Studios launched 32TEN Entertainment LLC, a company to develop and
produce original content
. We're thinking something post-apocalyptic and zombie-laden could be very appropo, but who knows?
Tim Partridge probably knows but due to those pesky NDA’s he needs to remain very tight-lipped with a unique, low profile, in order to best continue the awe-inspiring, Hollywood big budget production-level of work that the 32TEN Team continues to do (behind closed studio doors, of course).
In October, there was a fascinating three-person panel discussion of “The Martian’, with the book's author Andy Weir, Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, and Adam Savage.
Tim Partridge in his building's deluxe theater, once known as the George Lucas Theater, where the THX Sound was developed. photo: D. Blair
Before "America Is Still The Place", the local feature about a black entrepreneur who cleaned up part of the ’71 oil spill, started its award-winning Black Film Festival run (see CS article) the producers held two invite-only screenings for the film at the 32TEN Studios' the 135-seat theater.
That was in March and it was also accompanied by a CD release party for Tiger Lyn, finance of EP for "America Is Still The Place", at nearby the Terrapin Crossroads restaurant and music venue owned by Phil Lesh of the Dead. 32TEN also did some exit interviews following the screenings.
Indeed, that fabulous 135-seat theater, once called George Lucas Theater, got THX re-certification back in July, a bit ironic, since it is the very same room where the THX cinema certification program was developed 33 years ago.
With Digital Cinema projection, Dolby 3D Digital Cinema servers and Dolby 7.1 audio, all that was left was the TNX certification and that just occurred on June 26th.
"As the birthplace of THX, the screening room at 32TEN Studios is of special significance to us," explained Steve Martz, Senior Design Engineer at THX. "With so much historical value to our company, we were thrilled to work with 32TEN Studios to bring this room back to the reference theater it once was."
Partridge with Maloney before the Grateful Dead band rehearsal at 32TEN Studios. photo: courtesy T. Partridge
"This theater has a lot of history and has always been one of the best theaters around to watch a movie in,” echoed Partridge. “With these upgrades and the THX seal of approval, it will once again be a benchmark for local filmmakers."
Four-wall screenings and events can still be arranged through Greg Maloney's
or phone: (800) 717-3210.
Jay Randy Gordon
is The MARINsider, the author of '
' and the founder of
and can be reached
Posted on Dec 08, 2015 - 03:33 PM