[caption id="attachment_48402" align="alignright" width="400" caption="32Ten owners and contract workers, left to right: Anthony Shafer, Scott Smith, Geoff Heron, Nick d'Abo, Vince De Quattro, Greg Maloney, 32Ten president Tim Partridge:, Marty Rosenberg, Marty Brenneis, Sean House, Greg Beaumonte."][/caption]
SAN RAFAEL -- Movie industry veterans led by longtime Dolby executive Tim Partridge have reopened the legendary sound stage at 3210 Kerner Blvd. in San Rafael.
Incorporated as 32Ten Studios, the group wants to provide a production facility for feature films, commercials, TV projects and online videos, as well as model-building and digital effects.
“Many of us have worked at this studio in the past and want to work here again,” said Mr. Partridge.
The address was the site of Kerner Optical, the cover name for Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic division. Blockbuster movies such as the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Star Trek series and some of Pixar’s earliest animated films were produced at 3210 Kerner.
[caption id="attachment_48403" align="alignleft" width="350" caption="The 6,000 square foot sound stage includes a green screen for shooting live footage and superimposing background."][/caption]
The 6,000-square-foot site boasts a huge two-wall green screen, where live action can be shot and background effects superimposed later. There’s also a 130-seat screening theater: “one of the most beautiful theaters in California,” according to Mr. Partridge.
“We want the facility to be a resource for the community as well as the industry,” he said.
Employee-owned and funded, 32Ten Studios has several full-time workers, including co-founder and COO Greg Maloney, a former stereographer and lead compositor with Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers Digital company, acquired by Disney.
Otherwise the new company will rely on contract workers drawn from a pool of Bay Area talent, among them visual special effects and computer graphics artists.
[caption id="attachment_48404" align="alignright" width="315" caption="Explosions such as this one shot at the facility are a specialty of 32Ten Studios."][/caption]
“There are a number of us with 20 or more years in the industry, and we’re all well-connected. Since we announced the company to the public last week we’ve gotten lots of trade press, which we hope will translate into contracts,” said Mr. Partridge.
He and his partners are relying on several revenue streams to make the enterprise profitable: rental of the production space and theater, contract film and commercial making, model-building, digital effects and digital finish work.
“We don’t compete with Lucas or Pixar, and although there are several computer graphic companies locally, we hope to be a resource rather than a competitor,” said Mr. Partridge.
Since George Lucas moved his visual effects operation to the Presidio in 2005 there have been several attempts to keep the Kerner facility open. Kerner Optical and the Kerner Group, an umbrella over Kerner Studios, KernerWorks, Kerner Pictures and Kerner 3D, have all operated at the facility.
Kerner Optical filed for Chapter 11 last year, a victim of industry downturns and the economy, according to its final managing partner, who represented the second set of company owners.
Kerner Group is still operating.
“32Ten Studios is an entirely new venture with no connections to the former Kerner Optical,” he said. “We have no baggage.”
The lease on the Kerner building was arranged by Hayden Ongaro and Mark Carrington of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank.
For more information, visit www.32ten.com.