As of April 1 of this year, new management with a feisty attitude (that’s us!) has taken over Wallace Studios. The Pie in the Sky Studio team arrived with hazmat suits and started putting some much-needed life back into the facility using a 6-pronged attack: Cleaning, Painting, Renos, Mouse Traps, Attitude, and Gear. Thank goodness for our staff including our new cleaner Ana, Norm the Brave and our wonderful intern team!
The new name, by the way, is Pie Wallace Studios 4, 5 and 6! We needed to identify Wallace Avenue, yet make sure people knew they were dealing with Pie. And another 1, 2, 3 could cause confusion with our east end 1, 2 and 3.
Upgrades done since April 1:
New paint in 75% of the facility.
Brand new scissorlift added.
Now 2 lifts on site.
Brand new air conditioner in
Instead of a dumpster by the front door, we put a planter with flowers. (sorry raccoons!)
Best make-up chair we could find; new luxurious
Cars shoots in Wallace...no problem!
The new penthouse is ready for your special guests. We call this the Matt Damon Room! Because, well, we can't tell you why...yet.
A clean grid!!! Inconceivable! Rigging technicians are no longer swallowing dust from the decades!
New washroom stalls…and high-end paper for your back end!
Threw out 20% of the old gear, repaired another 30%, supplemented with $70,000 worth of new gear including 2 x T12s and a dedo kit. Yes, that old gear is now pop cans...
Large studio dimmer packs relocated out of the way to give you more floor space and no noise. All lighting and grip gear is now the best organized and labelled gear in the city. (Come see!)
Vending machines now also sell odd random items, not just food and drink! (We all need surprises)
We definitely improved the parking problem! With the invention of reverse-parking fees, Pie in the Sky now pays people to park off the lot on days when parking is in high demand. Everyone loves it!
We put in popular Pie Traditions:
Spacelights prehung in all studios to make your large lighting jobs simple.
New management policy of all emails and calls answered promptly.
Attentive staff person on site, locatable at every minute of your rental period. (No more leaving at 3!)
Speakers for audio playback or just fun music are now in all studios and washrooms.
Free location supplies: 3 steamers, iron ironing board, wardrobe racks, wireless internet, 80 chairs, 16 tables, 10 garbage cans, the dumpster.
We also have available for purchase at near-cost: craft paper, booties, rolls of gel, pegs, tape, electrical and office supplies, wireless color printer.
2 extra fridges and 2 freezers are stored on site to make your food shoots easier! (Inconcievable!)
As usual, very reasonable rates, gear packages, and additional discount for paying on the shoot day.
Heck we did all this work and actually lowered the rental rates in two of the stages!
Helpful features which this facility has always had:
3 facilities in one building to handle larger facility needs Large lunchroom.
Dedicated parking lot for 25 cars, nearby street parking as well.
Indoor truck loading bay with ramps for driving cars into studios.
Soundstages, excellent curved cyc walls and floors in great shape.
3 stages: 4700 feet, 1400 feet and 1000 feet give you the versatility of multiple isolated sets.
15 make-up /wardrobe/changerooms.
And who has been visiting Wallace since we took over? A lot of our good friends and clients from our commercial and corporate world that have come to know and enjoy Pie in the Sky in the East end of the city, but we have had some new clients as well.
I don't know if I can speak of them directly yet, but maybe that guy who sometimes plays a Jason character with a gun and his real name rhymes with cat…maybe him, also maybe the guy who was on 24 for 4 years with Kiefer Sutherland and whose last name might be Haysbert, and yes practically the whole cast of Saving Hope was there…not mentioning any names... They enjoyed the studio and could really feel our desire to show them a great time.
We are not done yet and there are plans for more changes. But everyone who has been by so far has been telling us that we have made some big steps in the right direction.
Here are some photos of our journey. A big thank you to all of our friends who gave suggestions and those who answered our survey contest. (We will announce the winners soon!) Keep the suggestions coming. It really feels like a community project when you speak up. You are part of what makes Pie what it is and we wouldn’t get things quite right, I don’t think, without you.
During renovations the studios were busy with an abundance of car shoots, set builds, actors wandering on green screens, etc.
You may cut down branches to cast shadows, but mother nature will take your sand bags for her own! Hey if anyone remembers leaving this sand bag on the roof of Wallace 10-20 years ago, let us know!
Just got my pen name inked so guess it's gonna stick :p Thanks to Tim for his pro artistry at Pearl Harbor Gift Shop in Toronto in the heart of the Kensington Market. Also a shot below of my first tattoo I got a few years ago from Pearl Harbor - a birthday gift to myself in the lovely month of July:)