Michelson iPark’s vision for upstate soundstages

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A fire destroyed Middletown-based Michelson Studio II film company last November. Less than a year later, owner Eric Michelson launched a bigger and better plan for eight all-new soundstages at iPark in East Fishkill, Dutchess County.

Michelson’s new studio space would be more than triple the size it was in his century-old building across the river in Orange County. The difference this time around is that the stages would be built from the ground up, rather than being redeveloped from an old warehouse that wasn’t intended to be a studio.

Bread boxes – this is how Michelson described the stages that will be built later this year. They’ll be tall with 40-foot-high ceilings and no columns, removing two common attributes of remodeled spaces that cause problems during filming.

The high ceiling heights make it easier to shoot some waterfalls such as falls and falls. The absence of columns allows for more flexibility and eliminates the need to design around them.

“Everyone ran around and did what they could to find an existing building that fits the bill,” Michelson said. Instead, he asked himself, “Why not just build an empty building and raise the ceilings? No one built one on purpose ”here in the Hudson Valley.


Michelson first heard of iPark 84 when the Hudson Valley Film Commission brought it to their attention. He then pitched the idea for the new soundstages to Joe Cotter, President and CEO of National Resources, who is the developer of iPark 84 and iPark Hudson in Yonkers, who are currently building a production facility. cinematic for Lionsgate Entertainment. Cotter was in full swing.

“He’s a smart guy and [is] giving me this opportunity to do crazy things, ”Michelson said – referring to the dramatic vibe he hopes to create through his design. Apart from the sound stages, he plans to have giant rectangular cement structures originally designed for underground sewer systems as well as reflection basins for aesthetics.

Hollywood roots to illuminate the vision of the Hudson Valley

Some people are calling Hudson Valley the New Hollywood because of the rise in film production in the area. Michelson is not saying quite. He grew up in Hollywood and grew up in studios where his father Harold, a screenwriter, and his mother Lillian, a film researcher, worked.

Their collaborative film career was the subject of Daniel Raim’s documentary “Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story,” which detailed the lives of his parents who were largely uncredited in the Hollywood system, though they left a mark on the classics of Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and more.

The East Coast, says Michelson, who moved to the Warwick area in the 1980s, doesn’t “understand” Hollywood.

“Hollywood is weird, funny, dreamy, weird and everything you can imagine,” he said.

Michelson Studios at the Hudson Valley Film Commission iPark on Vimeo.

He has a bold, Hollywood take on his soundstages and works closely with architect Stephen O’Dell, who previously worked on the W and Hilton hotels, and engineer Wei Wang, who worked on the new bridge. Mario Cuomo, to create a futuristic look that attracts people.

“Usually when you walk into a studio here, that’s when you get it,” Michelson said. “I want you to get it a mile away.”

The eight new stages will include six 30,000 square foot facilities and two 15,000 square foot facilities, all with 40 foot ceilings. In addition to the eight sound stages, there will also be 10 acres of backlot – an area containing permanent outdoor buildings for the outdoor stages – making Michelson iPark a one-stop-shop for film and television production.

There are no productions planned for Michelson iPark yet, but the goal is to get a big entertainment company like HBO, Netflix, Amazon or Showtime to use the stages for years to come, Michelson said.

The eight floors will not be built at the same time. The first studio should be up and running in a year, and if all goes well, the other seven will be built the following year.

Located within 10 minutes of over 2,500 hotel rooms, iPark 84 is also home to Sloop Brewing, GlobalFoundries, eMagin, a bakery, gymnasium and more. It has over 11 new businesses spread across six plots, including a new Amazon reception center.




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