A local company offers a much-needed service to the Lowcountry’s film community
Black Bear Studios cofounder Warren Ostergard poses in front of the green screen.
“My partner and I were working on two movies in Charleston,” recalls producer and director Warren Ostergard. “We didn’t have a home base, so we decided to open our own.”
Today, both of those films—Arbor Demon and Faceless—are “in the can,” and the 4,000-square-foot Black Bear Studios is rounding out its third year in business. Ostergard and his partners, Blair Hahn and Michael Brickman, use the West Ashley facility for developing and producing everything from documentaries to feature films, while offering their stage, offices, and equipment, as well as the services of producers, directors, and editors, to other creatives.
The studio, for example, has hosted commercials for Joye Law Firm and national companies like Fairlife, Garnet Hill, and Houzz. Local theater groups rent the set construction space, and if Southern Charm is your guilty Bravo pleasure, you may be interested to know that the taped interviews are done in front of Black Bear’s green screen.
“The Lowcountry is a stunning area in which to work,” says Ostergard. “It’s a great place for us to have a face and a location, but our scope is much bigger.” Indeed, along with sister company Producer Capital Fund, which provides financing for feature films, Black Bear has a host of projects in the works, including The Gentlemen Smugglers, a documentary about a multi-million-dollar marijuana empire based in the Lowcountry in the 1970s.
Catch a Flick!
Here’s a look at just a few of Black Bear Studios’ recent and upcoming releases
Tony Bennett speaks to the Find Your Groove cameras.
Find Your Groove: Exploring the power of music, this documentary features Charleston’s Allegro Charter School of Music and includes interviews with loads of stars, including Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, and Whoopi Goldberg. It debuts later this year.
Watch the trailer for Find Your Groove:
FIND YOUR GROOVE (Short Trailer Excerpt 2) from Black Bear Studios on Vimeo.
Extortion: A family vacation in the Caribbean goes terribly wrong in this May release. Distributed by Lionsgate, it’s available through Amazon Prime, iTunes, Redbox, and Video on Demand.
Image: A still from 9/11, due out next month
9/11: Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Charlie Sheen, this drama about five people trapped in a World Trade Center elevator is headed for the big screen on September 8.
Photographs by (Warren Ostergard) TKTKTKTK & courtesy of (2) Black Bear Studios