From the desk of Michael Hackman – The Culver Studios CEO
The Culver Studios is one of the great treasures of Culver City—the home of GONE WITH THE WIND and CITIZEN KANE; a place where for almost 100 years, the history of the moving image has been created. The Culver Studios sits at the heart of a vibrant, creative city, and is nothing less than the birthplace of some of the most iconic film and television shows the world has ever seen.
I see my role as the steward of this site, protecting the history and vision of the studio’s founder, Thomas Ince, as we move to the next century and embrace the new technologies of the digital age. My vision for the future of the studio is clear: to improve not just the built space of the studio, but also every aspect of its operations, by expanding our digital capabilities, modernizing our technological infrastructure, emphasizing sustainability across our operations, creating opportunities for younger filmmakers and start-up companies to come and set up shop here, and build on our relationship with the Culver City community.
When I took ownership of The Culver Studios, a modernization program was already underway. The project, as approved, is designed to address pressing operational needs including radically upgrading the physical plant of the studio for efficiency and reliability, bringing all studio-related parking onto the lot to minimize impacts to the neighbors, and building flexible, creative spaces to meet the needs of digital producers.
To keep the studio on the vanguard of production, and as a source of long-term revenue and job creation in the City, we need to respond to today’s needs and at the same time, anticipate where the industry will go next. We have more to do than just what is being accomplished today.
Our blueprint for the future of the studio is The Culver Studios Innovation Plan. This plan will transform the Studio’s physical campus, its infrastructure, and dramatically reduce its carbon footprint. It will transform how movies and TV shows are made here, while creating an environment that minimizes operational impacts on our neighbors.
As the media landscape has undergone significant changes in the last few years, so have the types of companies that produce media. Young, small, start-up firms are replacing larger more established companies, and their needs are clearly technology-based: reliable power, flexible production and office spaces, super-fast broadband services. And they expect—as do we—that all of these services will be provided in a way that reduces impact to the environment: including bike sharing, efficient use of power and water, and access to public transportation. Making the studio’s operations sustainable is the right choice on every level: it’s responsible, a benefit for the community and of course a key marketing tool to attract new media tenants who share our collective view of the importance of sustainability.
I am committed to keeping this property a working studio, and production resources and jobs in Culver City. The TCS Innovation Plan honors Culver City’s rich past by preserving the studio’s iconic buildings, while giving birth to new spaces that will inspire the next generation of digital geniuses.
With Thomas Ince’s vision from 1918 as our foundation, we will continue his legacy of always looking forward to meet the needs of our tenants, the City, and our neighbors.