By Rich Schineller
Ringling College of Art and Design and Semkhor Productions announced the wrap of Season 10 of the Ringling College Studio Labs on July 2 and that the 2019 Summer Studio Labs feature film, “Acting: The First Six Lessons,” with Beau Bridges, was slated to begin shooting July 5 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 12 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.
“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.
“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. 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.
The Studio Labs program, which is 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.
Learn more about Ringing College at ringling.edu.