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Film Production Spaces are Growing in Brooklyn and Queens

Film and production space in Brooklyn and Queens

The first time film production moved away from New York City, it created Hollywood. Today, not everyone knows much about early film history. So it may seem surprising to learn that when the movies were in their infancy, the New York / New Jersey area was the place to be. Currently unglamorous locations like Fort Lee, New Jersey, were the sites of high-profile projects with A-list celebrities. Considering Thomas Edison’s role in early film, and his labs’ locations in New Jersey, this success should not be surprising. Many of the quintessential early silent films were proudly made in New York and New Jersey. However, the fickle star system inevitably pushed westward, to then-cheaper Los Angeles and its landscapes that were ready to transform into almost any different landscape.

For nearly a century now, Hollywood has dominated filmmaking, with a great deal of action still occurring in New York. Iconic scenes from beloved movies have been filmed all over Manhattan, including Taxi Driver, When Harry Met Sally, Manhattan itself, The Godfather, and Trading Places, to name only a few. Yet these films are all iconic because of their Manhattan settings. It has become infuriatingly common for commuters to have to dodge shoots and sometimes even argue with film crew just to get into their own buildings. Manhattan’s residents are souring on location filming, and film producers are tiring of the hassles involved in these shoots as well.

Therefore, film production is moving away from Manhattan once again. Yet this time, it is a much shorter move: Film and TV production is moving into Brooklyn and Queens. With the lower prices, opportunities for location shooting, and, of course, warehouses, these boroughs are especially tantalizing compared to Manhattan. Considering how few people can afford to live in Manhattan these days, a location in the boroughs will likely be a positive move for the professionals who must commute to the set. For the small army of gaffers, grips, production assistants, assistants, and even actors who make movies, shooting in Brooklyn or Queens could mean a shorter commute.

You may be scratching your head, trying to think of cinematic classics that occur in warehouses. Here’s a list of movies filmed in warehouses to help you with this bit of movie trivia! But the point is not that there has been a recent spate of movies set in warehouses, but instead that borough-based warehouses offer incredible opportunities  for filmmakers.

Manhattan is a place that can be filled with frustration for filmmakers. Consider the high costs of location, exterior filmmaking in Manhattan (e.g., permits, parking, and more), the transportation snarls, the endless tourists, and the cynical neighbors. Even indoor filming is astronomically expensive, given the rental costs and the likely need to rig lights or microphones. Despite the city’s generous film subsidies, these productions are still very expensive and are generally logistical nightmares. Yet many assume that the only alternative is working in Los Angeles.

There is a third option. Imagine doing a scene on-set in the morning, and returning after lunch to do looping and watch rushes in the very same building. No enormous noise, no worries about the weather, no eye-popping permit costs, and no locals screaming invective as you film.  The conveniences of the early Hollywood studio system, where everything was located in one place, can be the provenance of the New York-based filmmaker who is savvy enough to use a warehouse in the  boroughs.

After all, the four major studios in New York (Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silvercup Studios, Broadway Stages and Steiner Studios) are all based in Queens or Brooklyn. Perhaps this is due to economic necessity, or perhaps it is due to these companies having been savvy. Either way, it is clear that just as virtually every other source of art and culture has been priced or annoyed out of Manhattan, so too has the film industry.

The portfolio of projects recently filmed at One Stop Spaces’ various warehouses will impress you. More than a few of the shows you already love were created in these spaces. Specifically, these hits include The Americans, Law & Order SVU, Madam Secretary, Zero Hour, Blue Bloods, 30 Rock, and many more. Perhaps the next big hit to emerge from One Stop Spaces will be your own.

Film and television producers who take advantage of these opportunities will enjoy customizable space that they might have only dreamed of in Manhattan and even Los Angeles.

A warehouse need not only be a warehouse. Sometimes it might be hard to imagine what a warehouse can do simply because it is the spatial equivalent of a blank canvas. For enterprising filmmakers, it can be almost any part of the filmmaking process. It can be a sound stage. It can be a storage place for valuable costumes or props, and a space for hair/makeup. It can be a home base for offices, or a space to set up people working in post to add the “movie magic” that audiences crave.

Instead of generating buzz by annoying Manhattanites on their way to and from work or home, and contributing to the endless gridlock, a warehouse can offer the best of many worlds. Warehouses still exist in Manhattan, to be sure, but the cost of renting, buying, or leasing one is likely to be far beyond the budget of even large production companies. Moreover, the extremely recognizable Manhattan aesthetic can become a liability for shots supposed to occur elsewhere. The borough’s overall density can make shooting very difficult, even in a lot.

Options in Queens or Brooklyn may provide a refreshing alternative. Less densely populated areas are easier to control during outdoor shoots, and the outer boroughs themselves are becoming as recognizable as New York City. With just as many high-quality restaurants, parks, and transit options as in Manhattan, these boroughs are still exciting places to work.

Even better, a warehouse can easily be modularized and tailored to the needs of any company or even a specific production. Whether it’s a low-budget mumblecore film with modest needs, an animated film relying on big teams of voice artists, character modelers, and even CGI, or a high-profile superhero work requiring green screens and multiple teams working on special effects, a warehouse is sure meet the production’s needs from the pitch to the premiere and beyond.

The only limits to a warehouse’s use are the limits of the imagination. What a warehouse really offers is something that exists as a very scarce commodity in New York: space. Even better, a warehouse is a space that can take on almost any challenge.

There are many reasons that film production is fleeing Manhattan. But one of the biggest is the opportunities reflected in  One Stop Spaces’ portfolio of spaces. Your location scouts may hate you for it, but One Stop Spaces really is all you need – no in-depth scouting is necessary.

One Stop Spaces is ready to be your one-stop space. With the variety of available properties for rent, there is sure to be one for your needs. Let go of Manhattan and get your project rolling.

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Why Some NYC Companies are Choosing Warehouses as Office Spaces

Commercial Lease Brooklyn

If you’ve ever shopped for a business space, you know some of the common headaches: Getting the right space, at the right place, in a way that can easily be configured for enterprise needs, to say nothing of the complicated calculus of lease times and allocating for growth. The issues go on and on. Maybe you’ve considered the lack of innovation in the commercial real estate market. However, One Stop Spaces has recently disrupted this market – and this has led to an interesting rise in demand for unexpected business environments.

Often compared to WeWork, a flexible office space often aimed at start-ups and freelancers, One Stop Spaces offers something different: Commercial warehouses. The large, empty spaces listed on their site may initially seem a far cry from the decked-out amenities of WeWork, which include fruit water and funky furniture. However, more and more startups and small businesses are turning to these spaces. A skeptic might look at the pictures of huge, empty warehouses, complete with fluorescent lights and loading bays, and raise his or her eyebrows. Yes, this is the next big thing.

To make sense of this shift, we should rewind a little bit. What does a warehouse mean? Its connotation of industry and storage is unfair. In reality, a warehouse is a large, open space. One of the truisms in real estate is to try and make the space seem like a blank canvas that can easily transform into clients’ needs. One Stop’s competition works because most small businesses and start-ups are looking for a space that fits in with their self-image and their view of what a business space “should” look like.

Yet One Stop has broken the mold entirely, and this has led to the rise in popularity of commercial warehouses for startups and small businesses. Increasingly, these companies are turning to warehouses. And why not? In addition to the gritty, hipster factor, there are a multitude of pragmatic reasons why commercial warehouses are becoming so popular. First and foremost, warehouses are cheap. For companies operating on a shoestring budget that have outgrown their parents’ garage, a warehouse can represent a thrifty way to scale up a little bit (Indeed, for those coming directly from garages, the warehouse will already seem like a very familiar environment!).

Speaking of scaling up, warehouses offer one distinct advantage that the traditional office space cannot. Although “open concept” offices have been in vogue, despite scientific evidence that they annihilate productivity, they correspond to the same feature: They are easy to scale up. It is much simpler to add another table or cubicle or desk to a large, open space than it is to add one to a pre-designed space that is already perfectly designed for a very specific number of people. Warehouses take the open concept and dial it up to an 11. Need a new room? This is no problem, and can be arranged with either a contractor or, for those on a serious budget, with some cheap bookcases. Want to add a second floor? Warehouses are usually supportive of adding these features.

Naturally, warehouses also offer the bonus of manifold storage space. For the quintessential start-up CEO who lives in the office, this is a plus: It is also a plus for companies selling physical products that need to align with a supply chain. This excess space can create additional benefits for companies. For one thing, it can be used to create additional amenities for employees, such as bike parking, a break room, lounge space, or even a band practice room.

If, at this point, you might be warming to the idea of a warehouse, but remain wary of traditional rental contracts, we’ve got more good news. One Stop Spaces has disrupted business leases as well as driven the rise of commercial warehouse spaces’ popularity. Unlike competitors, One Stop Spaces respects how critical it is for small businesses and start-ups to remain agile. What did you have to produce the last time you rented, whether personally or for a business? Chances are, it was a fairly large binder or folder containing documentation on your entire financial and work history, including assets, reference letters, and balances from every single account. One Stop Spaces offers what its name implies: No financial statements. No balance sheets. No blood samples or rabies certificates (for either your employees or the office dog). No promising your firstborn to the landlord and no hard sells for a five-year lease. One Stop is all that is needed; you do not have to undergo a lengthy screening and application process on either end of the relationship with One Stop.

Most importantly, One Stop Spaces does not require a commitment to a specific lease. One Stop Spaces understands and if your circumstances change, you can let go faster than your last ex. If a business finds that the commercial warehouse concept does not work for them, or if they cease operations, or if the company is instituting a month-long break, there are no “gotchas.” Commitments are flexible, because One Stop Spaces understands the startup and small business life.

In summary, warehouses are not just for trucking and supply chain management operations anymore. With some creative thinking and experimentation, they can work for almost every business, and for that reason, more and more startups are turning to commercial warehouses as a creative way to solve problems. Sure, a warehouse may not look like much at first glance, but if you see it as a modular, blank canvas for your business that can easily be scaled upwards or downwards, your imagination may be your only limit. Instead of turning to an expensive, ready-made, amenities-stuffed office that may meet most of your needs now, save your money and stay agile for the future by turning to a warehouse for your small business or startup. Check out One Stop’s current rentals and see which ones might work for you.