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New Castic studio aims to inspire

Posted: March 22, 2014 5:59 p.m.
Updated: March 22, 2014 5:59 p.m.

Steve Robertson, general manager of Filmmakers Sanctuary Studio, stands in the studio in Castaic.

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Filmmakers Sanctuary Studio in Castaic — replete with more than 70,000 square feet of studio space — officially opened in February, said its studio head and General Manager, Steve Robertson.

The studio includes six sound stages, two screening rooms, editing bays, full-production and post-production offices, and an 80-acre back lot for outdoor filming.

While it’s a full service studio available for traditional media projects just 30 miles north of Los Angeles, the studio also hopes to become a center for the creation of projects that are inspiring and uplifting.

Anyone can make horror movies, for instance, but the Filmmakers Studio wants to be a catalyst for storytelling and movies that inspire people, Robertson said.

The studio wants films and projects with heart.

“We want to inspire, uplift and empower people toward (achieving) the greater good and greater peace on earth,” Robertson said. “When you touch someone’s heart and give them goose bumps, you inspire them.”

The family-friendly consumer market is some 50 million people large, Robertson said referring to Life Styles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). It’s an educated demographic with highly disposable income and a $355 billion market in the United States alone.

The studio also welcomes high-tech and other companies to become involved in the entertainment community for a wide variety of projects ranging from feature films, TV series, music videos, commercials, mobile media series, webisodes and more — anyone interested in becoming involved in socially conscious and family friendly projects.

The vision, Robertson said, is for the studio to become a total production hub from A to Z for anyone with great talent and great ideas to bring their content to Filmmakers Sanctuary Studio. It seeks people with artistry and talent to uplift people in the process of developing and making their projects.

In essence, the studio campus would also become a community.

“We’ll help them fund it, produce and distribute it,” he said.

The long-running success of The Oprah Winfrey Show on network television proves, Robertson believes, that people want socially responsible entertainment.

Syndicated from 1986 to 2011, Oprah’s rising success came after she switched the format from a tabloid talk show to cover broader topics that helped her audience learn and grow.

And, there’s money as well that can be made from producing positive content, he said, pointing out the success of the movie “The Blind Side” starring Sandra Bullock as real-life Leigh Ann Touhy who adopted Michael Oher, taking him from an impoverished life into one of the most coveted sports jobs as an offensive lineman for the National Football League. The film grossed more than $300 million.

The intent of Filmmakers Sanctuary Studio is to promote content that is “transformational” for society. While others see how far they push the boundaries of subject matter, this studio is flipping the Hollywood model of fast-cash upside down, he said.

“We want to inspire people to be more kind and present in the moment,” Robertson said. “It’s a short distance to our own heart, but a very long journey to get there.”

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