Sarasota, FL – July 2, 2019 – Ringling College of Art and Design and Semkhor Productions today announced the wrap of Season Ten of the Ringling College Studio Labs, and that the 2019 Summer Studio Labs feature film, Acting: The First Six Lessons, with Beau Bridges, will begin shooting July 5th in Sarasota.
“The past decade has been a pivotal period for Ringling College and our community,” said Ringling College of Art and Design President Dr. Larry R. Thompson. “The Ringling College Studio Labs came about as a result of a meeting David Shapiro and I had twelve years ago with Paul Schiff, Katherine Harris, and the late Murf Klauber – God rest his soul – to discuss how to bring Hollywood to Sarasota to support the growth of our Film program and creative community. Paul became our very first guest the first year of the Studio Labs, which also included Werner Herzog, Ben Foster, and Oren Moverman. From its inception, Paul has continued to help shape the Studio Labs so students are ready for, and have access to, top-tier productions. As our team of graduates and students now moves from three months of exhaustive pre-production to beginning principal photography on the Beau Bridges project, I am pleased to say that this experiment has been a phenomenal success. It has offered an amazing opportunity for our students to earn invaluable real-world experience while making crucial industry contacts and has helped our graduates to continue to advance their careers.”
“The Studio Labs is a unique collaboration integrating Semkhor’s commercial productions with Ringling College’s top-tier academic programs,” said Semkhor Principal and Studio Labs co-founder David Shapiro. “Our goal has been to create an artist-centric development and production hub that attracts creative projects from Los Angeles and New York City that also provides Ringling students with real-world experience and Sarasota’s resident filmmakers with interesting and local work. We are getting better with each year. We are finishing post-production on Killroy Was Here, an original film directed and written by Kevin Smith, and our short film with Dylan McDermott, Sweet Jane, is now being presented to media outlets to produce a series based upon it,” said Shapiro.
Studio Labs continues to bring industry luminaries to Sarasota. Its upcoming project with Beau Bridges is another leap forward. The project is a hybrid documentary/feature film entitled Acting: The First Six Lessons that is based on a play written by Beau and Emily Bridges of the same name. That play is in turn based on the book of the same name written by Richard Boleslavsky, which was given to both Beau and his brother, Jeff, by their father, Lloyd Bridges.
“I was looking for a project that explored the intersection of life and art,” explained Shapiro. “When Beau visited us last year and I read the play, I knew this was the perfect project. The production includes over 20 Ringling students, who will be receiving full film credit, as well as local filmmakers. We have many more great projects in development which we will be announcing next season,” Shapiro concluded.
Acting: The First Six Lessons has been in pre-production for the past three months with Ringling College Film Program graduates and seniors staffing key positions on the project, including Producers Zifeng Zhuo and Austin Gorski; Director of Photography Jack Patterson; Camera Operators Darrien Land and Jada Poon; Production Designer Alexis Dolfi; and Sound Mixer Maciej Ruminkiewicz. More than 30 Film students are also working on the film under the guidance of Ringling College Film Program Head Bradley Battersby. The opportunity for experiential learning that enables students to work alongside industry professionals before graduation is a hallmark of the Ringling College Film Program and one that distinguishes it from many of its peers.
Zak Penn kicked off Studio Labs Season Ten in November, working with Film and Creative Writing students and helping to cut the ribbon on the new state-of-the-art Ringling College Studio Labs Post-Production Facility. In December, Brit Marling enraptured students and Studio Labs supporters with her insight into creative collaboration and the development of her hit series, Original Angel. Winston Duke captivated students and the community as a whole in January, sharing his views on creative and classical education through the perspective afforded him via his Yale training and role as M’Buku in Black Panther. Discussions with Duke regarding the possibility of developing a Studio Labs project are in process.
In March, Paul Schiff brought Netflix’s Karyn Edwards to the Studio Labs to share a behind-the-scenes look at filmmaking in the era of streaming services, and Dylan McDermott and Andy Armstrong premiered the Studio Labs-produced action segment for their Sweet Janepilot. Noted documentary filmmaker Steve Michelson rounded out the season in April with a master class on Making Media That Matters.
The Studio Labs program, housed in the Ringling College Studio Labs Complex, combines commercial film and content generation with academic and community benefit. It blends commercial production with experiential education and creates production employment opportunities in the region. Through its innovative approach, the Studio Labs program drives economic and cultural growth, helping to retain talent in the region and driving engagement with the community and businesses that are passionate about and supportive of the creative arts.
Inverting the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy to ‘they came, and we built it,’ the Ringling College Studio Labs Complex provides state-of-the-art production facilities, including two 8,400 square foot and three 2,000 square foot soundstages; editing, mix, and color correct suites; dubbing bays; a private screening and final mix studio; and the only Foley stage in the region. The Complex, which also houses the Ringling College Film Program, enables Ringling College and Semkhor Productions to facilitate Hollywood and high-end film and television productions from initial pre-production through final cut and distribution while advancing the learning, professionalism, screen credits, and career potential of Ringling College students and graduates.
About Ringling College of Art and Design
Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit, fully-accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. www.ringling.edu
About Semkhor Productions
Semkhor is a turnkey development, investment, and production company focusing on digital content and production. We work with a wide range of recognized filmmakers and develop original content and help our clients realize their vision. In collaboration with Ringling College and Sarasota County, we have together created a 40,000 sq. ft. Sound Stage and Post- Production facility. We believe the future of entertainment will be driven by artists working directly with their audience. We provide unique and creative solutions that allow this interaction to reach this potential.