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Silvercup bowls over N.Y.-lovin’ producers

Silvercup bowls over N.Y.-lovin' producers

New York’s Silvercup Studios East has been chosen as home for the new ABC primetime drama series “Wonderland.” Facility is the original Silvercup’s newly expanded site and an independent, full-service film and TV production location that’s home to HBO’s Emmy-nominated “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos.”

Imagine Television in association with Touchstone TV and Disney are producing the show created by thesp-turned-exec producer Peter Berg (“Chicago Hope”). “Wonderland” (formerly “Riverside”) portrays the doctors and patients in the trauma center and psychiatric facility of New York City’s largest hospital.

“Today, networks are producing more and more of their own shows, which has caused them to be very focused on the bottom line. At Silvercup, we recognize this cost-effective need and have in turn provided the networks … with a great facility in a great location …,” said Alan N. Suna, CEO of Silvercup.

Silvercup prexy Stuart Match Suna credits the success of the original studio for landing “Wonderland,” which followed Paramount Television’s new dramatic series for CBS “Now and Again,” also in production at Silvercup Studios East since June.

Silvercup is nearing completion on five 16,000-square-foot stages for Silvercup East, which will increase the facility’s capacity to 450,000 square feet, with 18 studios, on-site production offices and extensive set, prop and wardrobe storage areas.

Silvercup has a fully equipped on-site lighting and grip department as well as a lumber yard with set-building supplies. Location lighting subsid Silvertrucks Lighting provides a full complement of lighting and grip equipment as well as generators and Shotmaker camera cars and cranes.

The facility, which opened its first studio in 1983, is located on Star Avenue in Long Island City, within minutes of Midtown Manhattan nearthe Queens Midtown Tunnel and the Queensboro (59th Street) Bridge.

Feature pics shot at Silvercup include “Big Daddy,” “Ransom,” “Great Expectations” and “Howard Stern’s Private Parts.” Over 400 commercials are produced yearly at the studio.

* * *

Mayor Richard M. Daley and director of the Chicago Film Office Rich Moskal have announced that 1999 was Chicago’s highest revenue-generating year ever for filmmaking.

Production on 43 TV and feature film projects created 16,000 jobs and pumped over $124 million into the local economy.

Area natives such as John Cusack, starring in the feature pic “High Fidelity,” and Second City alum Bonnie Hunt, helming MGM’s “Return to Me,” contributed to production revenue, as did the CBS series “Early Edition,” lensed entirely in Chicago. Other feature pics include “The Visitors,” “Save the Last Dance” and Fine Line’s “Unconditional Love.”

“Our ability to attract and accommodate a level of production as successful as this is based largely on community support,” Moskal said.

* * *

Dov Simens, founder of the Hollywood Film Institute and contributing columnist to MovieMaker magazine, will lead a workshop on the basics of the film industry from production to distribution at the Arkansas Cineposium 2000 Jan. 22-23.

The event, held at the Hot Springs Convention Center, is sponsored by the Film and Video Promotion Team of the Arkansas Dept. of Economic Development, Arkansas’ local film teams and the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission to create interest in forming, expanding and educating film teams across the state.

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