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Coming soon to the Brooklyn Navy Yard: “The Graduate (Program).”
Steiner Studios, the film and television production center where “Spider-Man,” Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and HBO’s “Bored to Death” were lensed, will include a graduate-level “school of cinema” in its massive, federally and city-subsidized $90-million expansion.
The still-unnamed school, which will be run by Brooklyn College, will be “the first graduate-level film school of its kind” in the city, Mayor Bloomberg said in touting the program in his State of the City address this week.
Studio head Douglas Steiner went further, saying the school would not only “contribute to the further diversification of the industry [and] contribute to a better product,” but also help aspiring auteurs get jobs in the industry.
“Getting your foot in the door is really important in what is essentially a freelance business,” he told Variety. “You need to make connections, and we will facilitate those.”
A seven-story building inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard at the corner of Washington and Flushing avenues will be at the heart of the expansion, which is set to be completed in time for the fall semester of 2013.
The project calls to gut the building and replace its innards with soundstages, photo and post-production studios and the graduate school, which will take up two floors.
Once completed, Steiner Studios will have a total of 16 sound stages, up from five today.
Private lenders are pitching in $65 million to the project. Taxpayer dollars will pay for an additional $15 million as both the city and the federal government earmark money to gut, remediate and renovate the Navy Yard building, which is on city property.
“The government gave us a clean slate to build from — as if we had rented a new building from outside the Navy Yard,” said Steiner, adding that the studio will be responsible for the remaining $10 million.
Once the school is constructed, the studio will rent the space to Brooklyn College, which Steiner said was the first school they thought of as they brainstormed on the project.
“Brooklyn College’s film school has a great reputation, but the most important thing was that it was in the borough. Brooklyn is our home, so it was a good fit,” he said.
The school’s president, Karen Gould, said that the program is expected to hold 275 students enrolled in nine degree programs.
At $35,000, the tuition will be much more affordable than its privately run film school competitors, which can cost $150,000.
“It will be the only public school on the Eastern Seaboard providing an affordable graduate education in all aspects of mainstream cinema production and post-production,” Gould said in a statement. “There is a critical need for a broadly based graduate school focusing on the development of intellectual and professional resources for mainstream cinema.”
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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