You know, every time we say, enough with Tyler Perry, on this site, and that it's time to finally move on, something comes up which brings him back into the conversation again. DAMN HIM!
So ask anybody who likes and defends Tyler Perry, and they’re sure to say that one of the things they admire is that he owns his own film studio.
Yet I’ve never been impressed with that. First of all, he’s not the first filmmaker to either totally or partially own their own film studio. Francis Ford Coppola, Charlie Chaplin, Tony and Ridley Scott and Robert Aldrich also owned their own studios at one time or another.
And Perry is not the first black filmmaker to own his own studio. That honor goes to Tim Reid and his New Millennium Studios in Petersburg, Virginia which he opened in 1997 and is still in operation today. Though no one ever talks about him.
And the thing about a film studio is that, it's an enormous financial overhead. It’s bloody expensive to run and operate a film studio, which means that you have to bring in outside productions to offset the cost of running it; which I assume is what Perry is doing at his studios in Atlanta. At least I hope so.
Honestly, I don’t know. There is a lot of production going on down South, and unless Perry is bringing in at least some of those productions to shoot and do post-production work at this studio, then the studio is eating up a lot of his profits.
Which is why the announcement today that the UK-based Pinewood Studios will be opening a new studio in Atlanta, just might be a problem for Perry.
Pinewood Studios, which first opened in the mid-1930’s, is one of the truly great film studios in the world, along with Cinecitta Studios in Rome, Babelsberg Studio in Potsdam Germany and The Burbank Studios and Universal Studios in the U.S. And during the last decadem Pinewood has been expanding its reach around the worldm opening studios in Toronto, Berlin, Malaysia and, two years ago, in the Dominican Republic.
And now, with this announcement of a studio planned for Atlanta, they’re clearly staking a claim that they want to dominate film production in the South and in the Midwest as well. Which means that if Perry is attracting outside productions, what’s going to stop them from going over to Pinewood Atlanta?
You’ll say, yeah sure, why should he care since he's making his own films and TV shows at this studio? But that doesn’t pay the bills at the studios. It's just a huge financial nut he has to bear. He needs outside productions to rent out his facility to help cover the costs of running his studio.
And the storied Pinewood name for many filmmakers is the Gold standard when it comes to studio production, with its state of the art facilities. And then there’s the attraction of working at a studio that is associated with the U.K. studio, where thousands of films have been made, including the James Bond, Dark Knight and Star Wars films.
What do you say? Could Pinewood Atlanta spell trouble, or is it just water under the bridge?