Mayor Price called action and clapped the slate to mark the grand opening of Red Productions new office along with Backlot Studio & Workspace on Thursday night at 329 S. Main St.
The new production facility is a 12,000 square-foot dedicated space for commercial and film production, photography, music, and events. Backlot also offers furnished private workspaces of varying sizes for creative teams to rent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
The former Crouch Dairy Supply building was a warehouse on South Main Street built in the 1930s and a partnership managed by Kelly Capital Partners took on the adaptive reuse project when construction started last spring. The 45,000 square-foot building is now called Main+Broad and is a shining example of the thought leadership laid out in the 2007 South Main Urban Village Master Plan created by the City and Near Southside.
Thursday was not just a grand opening for these two great companies new building, but also the first official completion of a project in Fort Worth’s newly designated Media Production Development Zone known as the MPDZ. City Council and Mayor approved this zone after Red Productions owner, Red Sanders, brought the proposal before them last year. It’s only the second MPDZ in the state behind Austin, offering a two-year sales tax exemption at the city and state levels which was key in making the building remodel on South Main possible. The zone is approved for three projects and this is just one of the projects. So there is room already created for two more projects to come and build anything media related here in the Southside.
A video and film production company, Red Productions, started 14 years ago by planting a flag here in Fort Worth and has grown both as a company and as a leader within Fort Worth’s creative class. They have been based on Foch Street in the Cultural District for over a decade but originally started at TECH Fort Worth, a nonprofit organization started by the City and located in the Near Southside that helps local entrepreneurs launch and grow emerging technology companies. Red Productions became the first graduate of TECH Fort Worth’s Acceleration Program in 2008, and one of the first tenants of the West 7th neighborhood, which was then primarily an industrial area.
One of the core values of Red Productions is to cultivate community, and in an effort to fill a need for creatives as well as get the growing neighborhood of West 7th together, Red created a new offering called Backlot in 2013. This started simply by expanding their office on Foch and offering a shared space for local creatives to have an office to work out of. A model now widely known as co-working. Backlot also hosted a free outdoor movie screening series in West 7th as the neighborhood began to get more residential citizens in order to connect people and build relationships.
At the grand opening celebration, Mayor Price shared a story about how the Fort Wort Film Commission came into existence over a conversation that she and Red Productions owner, Red Sanders, had while on a mission with the DFW Airport to China five years ago. A film commission is a specialized economic development tool for any major city. Unlike the name, it goes way beyond film, as they work with any moving image, commercial, photography, and new media companies that come to do business and hire people in Fort Worth. Upon their return from China, Red worked with Mayor, the Chamber, and Visit Fort Worth to found the film commission. Over the past three years the Fort Worth Film Commission, led by Jessica Christopherson, has been instrumental as a beacon for the creative class here and has attracted high profile films to town such as the latest Robert Redford film, The Old Man and the Gun.
Thinking about how all of these elements come together, Red Sanders says, “We look forward to utilizing the new Backlot Studio & Workspace as well as strong state film incentives and an engaged local film commission to lure even larger films here that would typically shoot in other states.”
Contact: Monica Martinez firstname.lastname@example.org 817-989-9406