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University Beat

Ringling College To Build Soundstage And Production Complex

Ringling College of Art and Design campus in Sarasota.
Ringling College of Art and Design campus in Sarasota.
Ringling College of Art and Design campus in Sarasota.
Credit Bendini / Creative Commons
Ringling College of Art and Design campus in Sarasota.

Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota is getting serious about its film program.

The school, which was recently named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 film schools, will build a 3,000 square foot professional soundstage and post-production studio.

The complex is set to take up a city block in Newtown—a struggling community along the MLK corridor.

Ringling’s president Larry Thompson has been the driving force behind this project. He said the complex will house academic work as well as commercial projects, which he said will be good for the students.

“Our students are going to get not only the academic experience you will get in a normal film school, but more importantly they will be able to get the connections and work side by side with these professionals filmmakers that will be coming to Sarasota to be working in this joint venture of the commercial soundstage and post production studio that will also have an academic bent to it,” Thompson said.

Ringling’s film program is less than a decade old, but it’s been gaining some notoriety.

Thompson said a big driver is the school’s relationship with successful people in the industry. In fact, director Roman Coppola is consulting on this upcoming expansion.

They hope this could help the school further compete with Florida State University, which has been one of the country’s top film schools.

Thompson said he thinks the complex could also help the Newtown community, which has been historically blighted.

Sarasota County has been helping the school fund some of the construction to drive economic growth by making the area an entertainment production hub.

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