Business

Movies and Beer: Man’s Greatest Achievements Find Each Other in Norcross

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You never know when you’ll be "tapped" for show-business. That’s supposed to be a pun by the way. Because if anyone had asked Steve Economos a few years ago if he would be the head of a television and film studio, he would have thought they had been drinking a little too much of the beer his company distributed. Eagle Rock Studios Atlanta is now the largest studio under one roof in the United States with stages, loading docks, abundant storage areas, catering spaces, offices and shops. It’s a state-of-the-art facility with the infrastructure needed to make it totally flexible, convenient and accessible. Innovatively designed breezeways, or interior roads, are unique in the fact that everything is housed in one building, eliminating weather issues and delays, a money-saver for producers. But of course, building out a movie studio wasn’t in the beverage distributors first business plan, so how did all this happen?

When Eagle Rock Distributing Company decided to consolidate their locations, they bought the old Kraft warehouse and moved their operations to that location in Norcross in 2013, and a "good" problem was created. The warehouse was so large, they had acquired more than three times the space they needed. Timing, opportunity and a chance meeting changed Economos’s business plan. ABC’s television production of "Resurrection" needed a space to film, right at the time Eagle Rock Distributing had left their Stone Mountain facility. Gidean Amir, producer of the show, found out about the facility and contacted Economos. The facility turned out to be a better fit than Amir could have imagined. The thick, insulated walls proved ideal to keep out unintended noises and the cooling mechanisms that kept the beverages chilled were perfect to keep temperatures from getting too high due to intense lighting. The relationship between movies and beer was born, but in a totally different way than anyone might think. The positive experience with Amir convinced Economos to build out the extra space in Norcross as a production studio. After consulting with many industry experts, Economos hired the architect Richard Kramer to design not just a production studio, but the quintessential production studio. Since the studios opening, soundstages have been booked solid and the studio is now home to Amir Gideon’s "Devious Maids," Gary Marshall’s film "Mother’s Day," "Greenleaf," an Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate production for television, and "Powers," a new series for PlayStation Network.