Hendersonville, TN – August 29, 2018 – Gray Matter Studios, LLC, and Hendersonville developer, Ealey Properties, signed an agreement July 19 for a 43-acre property to develop a production and post-production studio complex here. “We will break ground on the state-of-the-art complex this year,” said Steve Angus, founding partner of Gray Matter Studios and president of Hendersonville-based Camp Digital. “This is the right place and the right time for this project,” he said. “Demand for multi-use studios in all the major markets has topped out. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Atlanta have run out of space.”
Angus believes Nashville is the “next logical place” for television and movie production facilities because the city has roots in the entertainment industry and because television productions such as the Emmy-nominated Pickler & Ben talk show, now in its second season, succeed here. “This city has it all,” he said. “It’s easy for production teams and talent—those who don’t already live here -- to get here from the East and West coasts. We have great hotels, restaurants and a booming economy in a scenic location.” Angus said Nashville has the expertise because “industry people are moving here every day simply because Nashville supports a hyper-creative atmosphere.”
“I am excited when business owners realize the opportunities that Hendersonville offers,” said Mayor Jamie Clary. “Hendersonville has exceptional citizens and a professional workforce. We look forward to Gray Matter Studios investing more in Hendersonville and becoming a greater part of our city.”
Because Hendersonville lies just 15 minutes north of Nashville, Gray Matter partnered with Hendersonville’s Ealey Properties, developers of more than two-million square feet of commercial properties in Middle Tennessee. “This facility will be a huge addition to the Hendersonville economy and will even boost businesses across the state, creating demand for food, accommodations and other services,” said Gary Ealey, company owner.
Radi Akel, former executive vice president of Harpo Studios and special consultant to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN television network has seen interest in Nashville-based entertainment production grow in the past two years as special consultant to the Pickler & Ben show. Gray Matter Studios complex “will provide the only thing Nashville is missing,” he said, “by providing a state-of-the-art multi-use complex for television and movie projects to take life. It’s a win-win project for Nashville, Hendersonville and our industry. I’m thrilled to see Gray Matter make this happen,” he said. “The LA market is saturated with warehouses or less-than-ideal spaces that call themselves studios; but real stages are booked years in advance. Having a set-up like Gray Matter – with everything in one place -- not having to spend half your day driving from studio to post production to post audio would be a dream come true,” Gray Matter Studio intends to begin operations in the fall of 2020 and Angus projects it will infuse millions of dollars into Middle Tennessee’s economy, while delivering savings to clients due to lower operating costs in Tennessee as well as efficiencies at the studio itself.
Angus and his co-founding partner Tom Gregory, Camp Digital Vice President of Business Development, plan to engage “a group of highly respected industry professionals to handle activities at Gray Matter Studios. The construction team includes stage and studio power expert Russ Saunders of Saunders Electric, which recently moved from Los Angles to Middle Tennessee to meet entertainment-industry demand in this area. “We relocated here because we want to be part of this exciting surge in growth,” Saunders said.
Angus and Gregory hand-picked industry-leader Eric Elwell to join the management team at Gray Matter Studios. “Eric Elwell couldn’t be a better match to manage the tour production for Gray Matter,” said Gregory. “He has 35 years’ experience in the music and touring industry. “I’m thrilled to be a part this endeavor,” Elwell said. “This complex will be above and beyond, in many respects, with comprehensive video, television, film and support services coupled with an arena/stadium-level live tour production facility.”
Gray Matter Studios, 20 minutes from Nashville International Airport and 15 minutes from downtown Nashville, will feature ten stages totaling more than 150,000 square feet. The complex will have more than 50,000 square feet of dedicated production office space attached to stages; more than 20,000 square feet of dressing room, green room, wardrobe, hair and make-up space attached to stages; a 40,000 square-foot administrative and executive office building; a 10,000 square-foot post-production building; catering and commissary; warehousing and storage; mill shop; scenic shop; grip department. The 43-acre complex includes a five-acre, “anywhere USA” backlot neighborhood. “We designed the campus to be one-stop shopping,” said Gregory. “We will offer EVERYTHING on site to produce world-class entertainment.”
Camp Digital, Hendersonville-based mobile television production company, will also headquarter at Gray Matter Studios. Formed in 2008, Camp Digital is a music-oriented entertainment production company that also owns and operates a fleet of mobile entertainment production trucks that operate across the United States. Gray Matter Studios, LLC, was formed in 2017 as the parent company for Camp Digital and is the technical production company of record for the Pickler & Ben daily talk show produced in Nashville by Porch Swing Productions.
Located just 15 minutes north of downtown Nashville in Hendersonville, TN, Gray Matter Studios will feature over 150,000 square feet of stages, post production facilities, shop, mill, storage, catering facilities and even a 5 acre residential 'back lot'
Gray Matter Studios will also support tour production and rehearsal, along with a wide variety of tour production support services located on property