Pittsburgh to be home to massive movie production effort
February 27, 2012 10:00 PM
Chris Breakwell, left, CEO of 31st Street Studios, stands with James Knight of Knight Vision to describe how the motion capture operation would operate.
By Ann Rodgers Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The best film and video production facility for movies outside Southern California will reside in Pittsburgh with the collaboration of a Strip District production studio, Carnegie Mellon University's entertainment technology program, Paramount Studio Group and the company that produced the digital imagery in the movie "Avatar," organizers say.
In the partnership announced today, CMU's Entertainment Technology Center will remain based on the Monongahela River, but students will take courses and create projects at 31st Street Studios. A major attraction for the students will be the Knight Vision technology used in "Avatar," which will be only the second system of its kind in the world.
In addition, Paramount on Location, which supplies movie-making gear to location film sites, will establish an eastern regional base at 31st Street Studios.
"Our idea from the beginning was to create the best facility of its type in the country," said Chris Breakwell, founder and chief executive officer of The 31st Street Studios in the Strip District. It occupies a former steel plant on the Allegheny River.
The collaboration is "a great coming together of forces," said actor Anthony Daniels, a visiting professor at CMU's Entertainment Technology Center, who is best known as C-3PO in the "Star Wars" movies.
"What it really means is jobs," Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald said.