When Eric Michelson watched his Middletown movie studio go up in flames, it destroyed an eight-year-old, 60,000-square-foot space that was a dream of his. But he knew he couldn’t look back, only forward.
“When it burned down, as beautiful as the building was, it was time to do something else because it had been finished for quite a few years," said Michelson, founder of Michelson Studios. "And I was ready to build something else.”
That ambition brought him to East Fishkill's iPark, the former IBM campus in East Fishkill. The building will serve as his new movie studio, and a silver lining in the aftermath of the fire.
What You Need To Know
- Eric Michelson, owner of Michelson Studios, is opening a movie studio at East Fishkill's iPark
- His Middletown studio was destroyed in a fire in November, 2020
- The studio is part of a plan to add more movie-making resources at iPark, including eight sound stages
“It’s 52,000 square feet and air-conditioned, sound-proof, and has more power than probably any studio in New York state," Michelson said.
The massive studio space is one part of a plan to build more motion picture resources in the Hudson Valley. Still to come are eight sound stages and a back lot for filming. The IBM building is ready made for this, with unused office space that is ideal for filming and logistical purposes.
“If you were to find something like this in New York City, you would have to clear out, I don’t know how many offices, and it would be astronomically expensive. Here, it's just part of the studio," Michelson said.
As the son of the Hollywood couple, Harold and Lillian Michelson, he says that growing up there, he saw how the mix of sophistication and the over-the-top turned Hollywood into what it is now. And he wants to try and do that here.
“It’s that combination that I grew up with where they almost get it 100% sophisticato and then somebody throws in the "ka-boom," and I’m trying to do a lot of that here," he said.