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The Troy Studios were first conceived by producer/developer, Sandy Horowitz. He came to Troy, New York in 2003 while looking for real estate investment opportunities in upstate New York. (see Times Union article of 9/29/03).

Horowitz was immediately taken in by Troy’s beautiful architecture and its central location. By car or rail, Troy is only about 2½hrs from Manhattan, 3hrs from Boston and 3½hrs from Montreal. Having done extensive research on the national movement towards urban renewal, Horowitz instantly saw the potential for Troy to reinvent itself into a thriving city, blending its high-tech community (RPI, Sematech North, Tech Valley, etc.) with its beautiful old world charm right on the Hudson River.

A few years later, Mr. Horowitz, working with Senator Joseph Bruno along with Jack Bonesteel from the Rensselaer County Economic Development and Planning Office, talked about expanding film productions in the State of New York using tax credits. One year later, with the cooperation of “The Kaufman Studio’s” legal staff, legislation was initiated, passed and put into effect. It has turned out to be one of New York State’s most successful tax credit programs to date.

Emerging from this experience, Horowitz conferred with Paul Hunt, his film partner of 35 years, about the feasibility of creating a small, efficient film production facility in Troy to make filming in New York more accessible and affordable to the world film community. Both Horowitz and Hunt were totally convinced the idea was feasible in Troy.

From that moment forward Horowitz put his master plan in effect to help ensure that Troy could support, house, feed and entertain potential film crews from anywhere in the world. Horowitz and Hunt both thought that Troy would be a perfect place where crews could set up, have easy access to film locations in New York City as well as Boston, if necessary, while avoiding the tremendous cost and hassle of finding and working in large-city locations. A low-cost hassle-free filming environment in Troy would create filming opportunities never before thought possible.

In April 2007, Horowitz bought The Bruno Machinery building for the future site of The Troy Studios, the first and only LEED [1] Certified “Green Studio” in the world and the most efficient, complete production facility ever built. Consultant, Drew Purvis [2], former Director of Planning for the City of Malibu, CA brought to the project his professional experience of integrating responsible land planning within a socially inspiring environment. Purvis also introduced to the project Sasaki Associates (http://www.sasaki.com), world famous environmental landscape designers whose responsibility it will be to design a concept respectful to the shores of the Hudson River and conscious of its visibility as part of the upcoming 2008 quad-centennial celebration.

The Troy Studios are also unique because their design derives from a consensus of seasoned Hollywood producers and filmmakers as well as from the very top design architect for this field in the world, John Sergio Fisher. Equipped with the newest and most powerful technological tools and systems to date, The Troy Studios will be extremely well organized and totally self-contained. Filmmakers working at The Troy Studios will be surrounded by an environment that in every way has taken into account the necessary ergonomics, work flow and amenities to create an atmosphere that feels like a neighborhood, not a factory.

All production support departments are to be laid out precisely the way a filmmaker would want. All departments including Camera, Grip & Electrical, Set Construction, Props, Costumes, Dressing Rooms and Post-Production, will have direct access to the stages. Additionally, the Post-Production Departments; Editing, 3D Graphics and Animation, Motion Capture, Sound Recording, Mixing, Foley, ADR, Screening Room and a 300-seat Public Theater will all be located next to each other in the studio wing facing the Hudson River.

Most of the studio has 3 floors with a Commissary specializing in organic foods headed up by Chef Larry Schepici. A helipad will be located above the Production and Post-Production Offices. Further, a dock is planned along the eastern bank of the Hudson River to accommodate a seaplane.

Horowitz, Hunt and Purvis were all extremely pleased to be able to obtain the architectural genius of John Sergio Fisher, a preeminent award-winning professional who has designed Theaters, Recording Studios and Sound Stages throughout the world including locations in the United States, Beijing and Copenhagen. Fisher has been published nationally and internationally; some of his work can be viewed on his website, http://www.jsfarchs.com. He has brought to the The Troy Studios a level of competence, thoughtfulness and artistry unmatched by any other production facility.

Our contractor, Rudolph and Sletten, (http://www.rsconst.com), is the foremost sound stage and studio construction company in the world. Its Vice President of Operations, Howard “Butch” A. Gatling, is the man personally in charge of our project. Rudolph and Sletten’s experience is unmatched. Previous developments include stages at Disney Development Company, Disney B & C, Stages 601, 610 and 622; at Fox Studio Operations, Set Construction Building and Sound Stage 21 & 22 (both considered the very best on the lot); at Warner’s, Building 28, Sound Department Buildings 67, 68 and 69 located at 8th Street and Gate and at Lucasfilm Ltd., location of the superb Big Rock Ranch. Other examples are Mann Theaters, Sierra Theaters, SeaWorld, even San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art, to name just a few from their impressive résumé.

European computer expert, Joe Franc, working with Matt Jefferson at NVIDIA, is developing the 3D Animation and Graphics studio, which will include the fastest, most powerful workstations ever built. Franc and Jefferson are also responsible for building the entire computer system for the rest of the studio that will incorporate the Motion Capture, Recording/Mixing Departments, Post-Production, ADR, Administration Offices, Screening Room and Theater complexes.

The Troy Studios team is also presently working on a mutually advantageous integration with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and its EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center) program. We believe our real world, state-of-the-art production facility will create a perfect fit with Rensselaer’s academic and experimental projects (http://www.rpi.edu).

Mike Militello, Bill Kaylor and William Jenkins from Westlake Audio (http://www.westlakeaudio.com) are designing The Troy Studios’ Sound Recording and Mixing Departments, under the supervision of Noel Gould and Bill Tindall. Having constructed world-class systems at Disney, Warner’s, Paramount, Lucasarts, Sony and many others, we have tasked them to create the most cutting-edge, 96-track system to date. In addition to the acoustically exceptional Sound Studio, a built-in, 5-camera video system will allow utilization of every Sound Stage on the lot. All of the special wiring and connection panels will be designed and built right into the construction plans with redundancy included. Additionally, The Troy Studios will be able to produce 7.1 channel recordings with any size Orchestra, Instrumental and Vocal requirements from beginning to Final Master. Finally, the Screening Room and Theater Complexes will have the latest projection facilities available, able to screen any form of product from tape (analogue and digital), disc, 16mm, 35mm, and vertical 70mm film including spliced work-print. To make this part of the project a reality, Steve Tanney of Star Cinema Supply Co. and Christopher Knell of FireLine Studios (http://www.firelinestudios.com) are combining their knowledge and vast experience gained from building every type of projection system and facility as well as Special FX on set. Tanney and Knell are also building the ultimate state-of-the-art screening theaters and the ADR room, incorporating both design and equipment for these departments.

The Troy Studios with its Camera, Grip and Lighting, Set Construction with Modeling and Paint Facilities, Commissary with Catering, Location Services, Logistic Support, etc. will enable us to provide everything a production company visiting from anywhere in the world will need, including crew. We have already compiled a database with over 50 pages of local crew and support talent that is truly local. At The Troy Studios, everything will be provided on site; picture makers won’t be wasting their valuable time trying to find the people, resources and services needed to complete their project. So, filmmaking at The Troy Studios will lead to big budget savings for the picture makers and will contribute greatly to economic growth in the Capital District community.

The Troy Studios team has been and currently is consulting and cooperating with local and state government representatives, including the New York State Film Commission, federal and federal Senators and Members of Congress to put together a comprehensive package that will positively affects the entire greater Capital District, along with the rest of New York State. Establishment of The Troy Studios will surely help make the greater Capital District a much more attractive destination in which people can visit and invest. One of our goals is to create an economic ripple effect and nothing gets attention like the entertainment business.

Craig A. Parsons of Parsons Communications (http://www.parsonscommunications.com) will handle our international and national marketing. Parsons has over 30 years experience in the entertainment and corporate world. His credits are too numerous to list but most recently he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communication and Investor Relations for MGM. He has also served as President and a member of the board of directors for the Los Angeles unit of the American Cancer Society among other civic and professional affiliations.

The Troy Studios will surely get international as well as national attention. It will likely become one of the most talked about projects in New York State and it promises to be one of the most significant developments as well. We believe this project will have such a positive effect that it will change the economic landscape in New York State and the film industry forever. We are looking for the right partners who want to be part of history-in-the-making to help forge a new future for New York State.

[1] Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

[2] Mr. Purvis is also a Partner in the current planning and future development of The Schaghticoke Waterfront Preserve, targeted to be the first completely LEED (leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residential resort community in the country, expanding on the United States Green Building Council’s LEED-Neighborhood Development goals and objectives.