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Should Tyler Perry Worry About The New Pinewood Studios Opening In Atlanta?

by Sergio
April 29, 2013 11:31 AM
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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?

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  • Giwrites | December 10, 2013 5:11 PMReply

    I wish people would stop saying Atlanta. Pinewood is building in Fayetteville, da' county, more than 35 miles south of Atlanta. If they wanted to be in Atlanta they would build here but they're building outside of the city and using the city's name to attract attention. At least Mr. Perry built his studio in the city.

  • Sophie Carty | May 27, 2013 9:07 PMReply

    To be honest, Tyler has taken movie making out of Hollywood and that really is a great thing. Well done I say. With regards to Pinewood, well they are struggling in the UK and that's with the frat Bond franchise. Competition is healthy and we need to keep film making fresh and new. There are so many remakes coming out of Hollywood, its dull. It's like a scounts club nothing new. Nothing taken seriously.

  • Miles Ellison | May 3, 2013 12:16 AMReply

    Only if Pinewood provides a quality alternative to Perry's burnt cork hot garbage that audiences will actually watch. I don't think Perry has anything to worry about there.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | April 30, 2013 9:31 AMReply

    Competition never hurts. Pinewood has quite the pedigree. Good luck to them in Atlanta.

  • ALM | April 29, 2013 9:38 PMReply

    As Charles Judson stated, there are multiple movie studios currently being built or renovated in Atlanta.

    I say that it's great. The added competition may raise the bar on the quality of films coming out of the area. "Flight" was great, but for every "Flight" you get 15 "What to Expect When You're Expecting" movies.

  • Charles Judson | April 29, 2013 6:01 PMReply

    Pinewood is just the latest studio to announce they're building here. In total, there are 5 new studios that have been announced in recent months, with the developers of Atlantic Station (AKA that location that seemed to get a hell of a lot play--in all the wrong ways--in THE GAME's first season on BET) included in that mix.

    A more interesting question to ask: What will the potential impact be on black television and film? Several black shows have been produced here at (newishly recent) sound stages like EUE/Screen Gems and existing complexes such as Turner Studios off 10th st.

    With several black cable networks and stations, as well as actors and other producers, based in whole or in part out of Atlanta, new spaces can mean more production, more production can lead to more crew, more crew can support more projects. Or, it could mean smaller productions will eventually be shut out by large studio projects such as the third HUNGER GAMES film dominating Atlanta's landscape.

    Love or hate Tyler Perry, the one truism is that a number of black folks here have gotten production experience they would have likely never gotten elsewhere. One barrier to not being in L.A. has traditionally not only been getting in to film, it's the difficulty in accruing the number of hours and credits needed to build a career when you do.

    Over the last 5 years that's changed. L.A. is still the king and while I love my city, I try to not oversell what will happen if you move to Atlanta.

    However, if there's one element that's kept black folks shut out is having thin resumes because of even thinner networks compared to our white counterparts. We can always speak to quality, but at the end of the day, this is a business, and in any business you need experience to get hired and keep getting hired. Being able to show you've worked on even half-a-dozen features and tv shows, and building usable connections from that, is more of a starting point than many getting into the biz have had in the past.

  • jeftcg | April 29, 2013 5:04 PMReply

    TP has nothing to worry about. No one is infringing upon his label. Pinewood makes actual movies.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | April 30, 2013 9:27 AM


  • Akimbo | April 29, 2013 3:23 PMReply

    Unless there's evidence of Tyler Perry Studios serving outside productions, there's no excuse for invoking his name in this article. With only five sound stages, three shows currently in production, and no immediate proof of any other production filming there I'm gonna go out on a limb and call this a NON-ISSUE.

    No matter if we tire of them, you guys will always aim for Tyler Perry posts because they bring lots of eyes, convo, and precious clicks for your ad sales. Absolutely nothing stated in the article makes the new studio sound like a threat in any way to the TP empire; seems he pays his modest studio's bills with the crazy money he makes off of his numerous projects.

  • Thank you! | April 29, 2013 4:23 PM

    Thank you Akimbo! At least someone is speaking truth here. He is a constant target. I am sure he doesn't need Shadow and Act invoking his name in order to get clicks on their site, but they apparently need him or this baseless article wouldn't exist. If they're so worried about focusing on other people, then do more articles on Tim Reid or Byron Allen, or maybe call out people like Will Smith who has the money to do his own studio but doesn't. This is a non-issue as last time I checked, Tyler Perry had two studios-the smaller one he started out in, and the larger one he does most of his productions in now-without needing to farm it out to others. I am sure if he needs to do that, there is plenty of work to go around. Stop trying to bring this man down. Believe it or not, his success benefits all of us as he's showing we are a viable audience and given the product and if we show up, we can make money and therefore need more product. It's not his fault his audience is loyal, stop punishing him for his success.

  • Truth | April 29, 2013 2:03 PMReply

    Based on your article and the current comments so far none of you are FANS of Tyler Perry... THE HATERISM is so obvious . You would rather see and support folks coming from the UK to get rich off of profits than support Tyler Perry efforts??? At least Tyler Perry is hiring actors and actresses who have been overlooked and unemployed. Tyler just don't hire " brown people or people of color that proves you haven't watched any of his films. He employs talented creative people of all races. Although the entertainment industry has favored "one" nationality for life and you don't seem to get this, it only becomes a problem when a man of color builds his OWN dreams mainly because the scale is not equal in the entertainment industry then he is labeled and his fans are referred to as WHORES? I shake my head at your ignorant comments. The one thing you cannot take from Tyler Perry is his dreams and accomplishments , they are sealed and blessed.

  • Jihudi | April 29, 2013 1:03 PMReply

    Then I would say, it's time for him to up his game and start diversifying his slate. Look to the diaspora, bring in films with African, Caribbean, and Afro-European themes that have universal appeal, do something PINEWOOD can't do. Also get into that global distribution game, start distributing your films on a global scale. I can't tell you how many of my friends in both the Caribbean and Africa actually WATCH Tyler Perry's stuff. They have his shit from the theater days so obviously they are fans.

    I was in Accra last year when the 'Avengers' came out, it was playing in a theater in Accra I believe a week after the US release. 'Think Like A Man' was also out at that time, the song, the Jennifer Hudson song, was all over the airwaves. The movie....MIA. If PINEWOOD is gunning for his turf then change the game, make a new paradigm.

    Let's see some historical action movies that give as much BANG for their buck as a Gladiator, or a Spartacus or a 300, the stories are there, it's just about being open to shifting the motif...

  • Carl | April 29, 2013 12:14 PMReply

    Expect the Tyler Perry whores to deny any problems with the Pinewood opening. They will say Tyler is employing black folk and that's all that matters and he will still dominate in Atlanta because of that.

    And of course, the predictable fucks will attack YOU for even bringing up the possibility that their God "Tyler Perry" would have trouble of any kind and of course, lastly, the HATER label will be used against you which is typical of good SHEEP.

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