After six weeks of top-to-bottom renovation, Product Productions’ new full-service Space Stage Studios is up and running in what had been Steve Broderick’s old West Grand Studios at 1844 W. Hubbard St.
“It was time for us to enlarge our facility, as the types of jobs we’d been getting required much more space than we previously had,” says Bennett Grossman, general manager and executive producer.
Space Stage Studios is a division of Phil Contursi’s 30-year old Production Productions lighting/grip/generators/camera car rentals company.
Contursi owned the former building, located three blocks east of the new stage, for 12 years. The old building is now in the process of being sold, and the company is leasing the new building with an option to buy.
“Our new facility opens us up to more business opportunities. The 18,000 -sq. ft. enclosed brick courtyard area, for instance, is an ideal venue for live events,” Grossman says.
One of the buildings facing the courtyard, and adjacent to the stage building, is an empty warehouse that eventually will become a second stage, estimated at 60×100-sq. ft. with 30 ft. ceilings
The new 23,000-sq. ft. building houses a 50x-50–sq. ft. stage, 16-ft. to the grid, with an attached kitchen, craft services area, makeup and dressing rooms, and an enclosed “client control room” that looks out onto the big new stage.
The stage’s main feature is a 35-ft., two-wall hard cyc, 15-ft. high. “It’s one of the largest two-wall cycs in the city, and when it when it’s painted with chromakey green, it’s probably the biggest green screen in Chicago,” Grossman says.
Vehicles can drive right into the studio via the courtyard, which also serves as generous free parking space.
“We do a lot of car shoots and recently an ambulance drove onto the stage for a Columbia College student film,” he says.
Among their jobs since opening in early December were a corporate training video, featuring former Chicago Bear Dan Hampton, for Hoopis Performance Network, a corporate training company, a pilot for a comedic reality game show, exercise and music videos and several corporate videos, their core production business.
Space Stage Studios’ rate, “with power and all the amenities is $1,200 for a full day – come early or leave late, we don’t charge for overtime,” Grossman says, “and we really go out of way not to nickel-and-dime our clients to death.”
Lighting and grip equipment, at discounted rates for stage rental, is available through Product Productions.
Production Productions is located at 1806 W. Grand Ave.
As a point of reference, the new Space Stage Studios is up the street from the MCA Building and Salvage One and around the corner from Kinzie Studios.