AbelCine recently completed a build-out of their new location in Brooklyn’s Industry City. The 44,000 sq ft facility encompasses a sales showroom, rental facility, training theater, tech services center, community areas, and a development center. With an Open House planned for February 10, ProductionHUB caught up with Pete Abel, CEO; Mike Nichols, Business Development Manager; and Jeff Lee, National Training Manager to learn more about the new space.
ProductionHUB: Can you tell us what was behind the decision to open up shop in Brooklyn?
Pete Abel: AbelCine has been evolving and growing as a company, especially over the last few years. A lot of this growth has been driven by changes in the industry, as production technology becomes more accessible, and media becomes ever more prevalent in our lives. As a result, the range of content being produced for all platforms is expanding as quickly as technology is advancing.
Our goal with the Brooklyn location was not just to create a new space that was well appointed and spacious, but to create a facility that catered to the needs of content creators at all levels of the market without compromise. Our new Brooklyn flagship is the full embodiment of our purpose as a company and our commitment to innovation, professional services, education and community.
ProductionHUB: Why did you choose Industry City for your Brooklyn location?
Pete Abel: When we set out to design our new space and found Industry City, we were inspired by their community of artists, designers, media producers and makers. We felt that this environment meshed perfectly with our passion for both the technical and creative sides of our industry.
In the short time we’ve been here, we’ve created relationships and business partnerships with many local tenants, and have been feeding off the great energy, spirit and growth of the Industry City campus.
So when you stop by to see us, I highly recommend exploring the food courts, courtyards and amenities in and around the campus.
ProductionHUB: From the rental perspective, what are you most excited about in the new space?
Mike Nichols: We’re able to give our clients a full range of services, scalable from the smallest passion project to a full-on feature. The free-flowing floor plan, spacious layout, and comfortable common areas give content creators a place to meet and mingle in a professional but relaxed environment.
ProductionHUB: What about the rental area? What has its impact been on your day-to-day operations?
Mike Nichols: When you step into Rental, the first thing you notice are the AbelCine-designed Resolution Analysis Charts in each bay. Clients can adjust the chart’s position using a tablet mounted in the pedestal. We’re always improving the system and hope it redefines the checkout experience. Besides making lens preps more accurate, we’re adding features to speed up the process along and make those long, laborious checkouts a thing of the past!
In addition, the layout allows for complete transparency of the flow of gear, and the team has been working on placing a premium on speed without ANY compromise to quality.
ProductionHUB: I know AbelCine puts on a lot of classes and events. What can people attending those in the new space expect?
Jeff Lee: We always strive to provide the best learning experience possible, and our workshops are designed to help professional image-makers keep up with the changing tides of the industry. We’re focused on offering relevant, industry-leading learning experiences in our three locations. For the Industry City facility, we took what we learned from our Los Angeles and Chicago locations to create an environment that incorporates many technological advances, while staying true to our core mission of educating creatives.
Aside from the obvious advantages to having more physical space, the new facility allows us to offer new classes, while strengthening our existing curriculum. Post-production and lighting workshops benefit most from the new space, as everyone in attendance has a great view of the action.
The campus is equally important, as the backdrop of Industry City provides many different shooting locations and scenarios. We can easily recreate the environments our clients are shooting in year-round.
ProductionHUB: Tell us a bit about the new theater and your plans for it?
Jeff Lee: We’ve tried to future-proof the new theater where possible – between our short throw 4K laser projector, and multiple 4K monitors positioned for maximum viewpoints, we’re able to send different signals throughout the facility. For example, in a post-production workshop, we can send the instructor’s GUI to the 4K monitors, while feeding the final color graded image to the projector. This enhances the learning experience, as students are able to see the changes happening in real time.
We’ve also built full 4K live switching and live streaming capabilities, which allows us to broadcast our classes and events online. Since we have multiple inputs strategically placed throughout the theater, we can orient the room as the instructor sees fit.
ProductionHUB: Community seems to be important to AbelCine. How are you brining this into the new Brooklyn space?
Jeff Lee: While the theater tends to be the focal point of most workshops, in truth we find that the networking elements are equally as strong as the information being shared. We’ve created a lounge next to the theater to encourage networking and the exchange of ideas.
In addition to the Open House on February 10, we’ve held several Magic Hour mixers. These informal evening events bring the community together over a technical theme, like VR or live streaming. The first ones were very popular, and we’re eager to host more of them as we build a network of creatives in the neighborhood.
Mike Nichols: AbelCine has always been synonymous with community gatherings, and our goal is to create a lively hub for all creatives. Our Open House is not to be missed!
Register now for AbelCine’s Brooklyn Open House on February 10th. The event will include creative panels, manufacturer presentations, a silent auction and raffle, and more. View the event schedule for details.