HomeCity NewsEast End Debuts Glendale Studio Campus

East End Debuts Glendale Studio Campus

Independent studio management and development company East End Studios, recently opened a 97,000 square feet studio campus in Glendale.

East End Capital managing partner Shep Wainwright said this project, brought to fruition with architecture and design firm Bell Design Group, embodies a contemporary, 21st century studio.

Three years in the making, the studio located at 1233 S Glendale Ave. hosts two large scale stages, each with an elephant door opening to the studio’s parking lot, allowing for easy access for trucks to unload and reload onto different sets.

Dubbing the stages’ design “state of the art,” Wainwright said it was critical to maximize efficiency, and the parking lot access does just that.

With Glendale’s proximity to Burbank and Hollywood, Wainwright said the city is a prime location for the studio’s operation. Aside from the geographic benefits, he added that the city has been great to work with, adding that East End Capital is “really happy” with its relationship with Glendale.

Compared to some of the larger cities the company has worked with, Glendale’s smaller city feel gave way to more direct communication with city staff which Wainwright appreciated. 

The property purchased by East End is split between a residential zone and a commercial zone, meaning the team had to be intentional with how they laid out the plans for the studio. Ultimately, they built the parking lot in the residential zone because they could only build on the commercial portion.

While Wainwright was initially worried about navigating these zoning restrictions, he said the city of Glendale helped smooth the process along, approaching the permitting process with a balanced view of respecting zoning rules and also finding creative ways to ensure the project’s vision was executed.

Luis Macias, project manager at Bell Design Group, also spoke to the attention the firm paid to ensuring the building fit in with Glendale.

To allow the space to blend more with the surrounding community, the firm tried to reduce the size and the scale of the building by integrating a curtain wall system and window glazing.

“It’s a duality between the concrete, which is very solid and rigid and robust, with the glazing, where it gives you that interactive between the activity of the sidewalk into the space, which is not typically what you see with other studios,” Macias said.

Photo courtesy Lawrence Anderson The studio’s large parking lot provides direct access for trucks to easily enter and exit the stages to allow for efficient set building.

Additionally, the five-story structure — including mezzanine and rooftop spaces — hosts hair and makeup facilities, greenscreen technology, changing rooms, production offices, screening rooms, writing rooms and individual distribution frame rooms.

“IDF rooms can house all the data from anything that’s filmed in here, which your typical studio does not have,” said Wainwright, adding that having this feature on site saves the studio money. “So we’ve basically set these up to be fully ready for any type of digital production that’s done in here.”

The space also includes a decked-out rooftop suitable for special events, lunch catering, meetings and filming interviews.

Since its opening, the studio has already booked a number of commercial shoots from household name companies across a number of industries. 

As more television shows are greenlit following industry strikes, Wainwright hopes the studio can house an episodic TV series, calling the space the “perfect mini campus” for this type of project. According to Wainwright, there is a “general consensus” in the film and television industry that the economy will recover by the third or fourth quarter of this year.

While Wainwright did not wish to disclose specifics, he said East End is in talks with a number of streamers and networks for possible collaborations. 

The company is also in the process of heading another project in Glendale for an even larger studio, about 600,000 square feet, with 11 stages, on San Fernando Road, and said they hope to break ground soon.

First published in the June 22 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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