September 18, 2015 by Eleanor Craig
New York City, Chelsea neighborhood and 2000+ square feet of bright vibrant space. Elk Studios has everything you need to create the perfect kind of set for you. With its great location and two spacious daylight shooting studios, it is no wonder Elk Studios have shot for clients such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Mary J Blige. Here, you can read more about their story.
Production Paradise: Together you are a successful collaborative photographer duo, how did you get into opening your own rental studio?
Elk Studios: It was somewhat serendipitous actually. When we started out our first studio was tiny! We grew a lot as a shooting team in that space, but after a couple years we knew we needed something bigger. When we moved into where we are, it took us a while to build out our dream space. After it was done and we started working a photographer friend came by and was really impressed. She asked if she could rent the studio when we weren’t using it, and that was the start of our rental business.
Production Paradise: What makes your studio stand out from the crowd?
Elk Studios: It’s the most charming, intimate penthouse studio in Manhattan that still offers rental packages at rates you mostly find in Brooklyn. We designed and built Elk Studios from scratch and when we say it’s our dream space, we mean it. We designed it to be a flexible, moldable blank slate to shoot, film, or build on. We have grand old skylights and big beautiful industrial windows lining our south and west walls, which means the space can be filled with natural light—or totally blocked out. We have high ceilings, beautiful natural wood floors, lots of green plants—and you wouldn’t believe how often they wind up as last minute props! Oh, and we have a kitchen, which means your crew can eat and drink comfortably during set breaks and meals.
Elk Studios: Convenience is king in New York City and our location makes a lot of things very easy for our clients. For one, it’s enabled us to have a great equipment rental program. Literally whatever the client requests we can have waiting for them in their studio when they arrive. They don’t have to worry about the admin of their shoot and can really just focus on shooting. Fashion designers have used our studio as a pop up space because of its location. A lot of editorial shoots come to us because the talent is local and we’re so accessible. And of course Chelsea attracts incredibly talented assistants, techs, makeup artists, stylists, and collaborators—exactly the kind of people you want nearby.
Production Paradise: Many great shoots have been made in Elk Studio for brands and magazines such as American Express and the New Yorker, which ones have been the most memorable?
Elk Studios: Josh Kline, a New York based multi media artist, took over our studio for two days to create a significant video work for his installation in the 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience at the New Museum. It was amazing to get an insider view into his process and see how he created the 17-minute video of an impassioned President Obama (video mapped onto the face of an actor) giving an imagined 2009 inaugural address. It was a wild experience to see how he brings his vision to life.
Production Paradise: Why is being a Production Paradise member important for you?
Elk Studios: It’s one of the best things we’ve done. It allows us to be a highly visible resource to the industry, which helps foster a thriving community.
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