Atlanta-based Playa Azul Media Studios has confirmed its purchase of a building at 510 Broad St. for its first film production studio.
Actual production in the building could begin as early as next month, however, a grand opening is not anticipated until sometime in the fall.
Maria Guerra-Stoll, a partner in an Atlanta architectural and design firm, is the principal owner of the production company. She is also a co-founder of GSB Architects and Interiors with William Barker.
The architects have been involved in the film industry for over a decade, when they first collaborated with Tyler Perry and assisted with the growth of his studios in the metro Atlanta area.
“Now we’re working with him on his expansion at Fort McPherson,” Guerra-Stoll said.
“I met Tyler when he had nothing and I saw what he did for his community and I was very impressed and proud of him,” she continued. “I said if he can do that for a community that was underserved — and I believe Latinos and women, even the (whole) independent film industry is underserved — so I said, why can’t I try to do the same here?”
She has been looking for a place to make that happen, going from town to town, designing and redesigning a studio before she found Rome.
Guerra-Stoll was at the Sundance Film Festival a couple of years ago when she met Rome International Film Festival Executive Director Seth Ingram and became familiar with the Rome International Film Festival and Rome.
“We’re actually going to be scouting next week. Our very first project is called ‘40 Akerz and a Brew,’” said Guerra-Stoll.
The reality-type show will feature the Grammy-nominated hip-hop group Nappy Roots. The series follows the group around the country as they tour the art of craft beer with brewmasters.
Filming for that project is expected to begin in July, before renovation of the studio space on Broad Street is completed.
During one episode, members of Nappy Roots will visit Rome City Brewing Co., along with other well-known sites and centers around the city.
In addition to film and television production, PAM Studios is launching a new YouTube show, “Playa Azul Cinema.” The show will feature Guerra-Stoll interviewing important voices in the Georgia film industry. The first episode will feature Ingram.
PAM Studios has close to 10 projects in the early development stage and is looking for as many as two large sound stage facilities of approximately 20,000 square feet each.
“We’ve been looking at different sites and we know where we think it would work,” Guerra-Stoll said. However, no other sites have been locked down yet.
Guerra-Stoll plans to produce content for a variety of platforms, from YouTube to streaming venues like Netflix. At this point, she’s uncertain how many jobs can be grown in the Rome area.
“It all depends on what we build there and what kind of productions come into town,” she said.
Debra McDaniel, an agent with Toles, Temple & Wright Real Estate, represented Guerra-Stoll in locating the property and completing the deal. She said she put in months and months of time while trying to make sure that details of the deal did not leak prior to completion of the sale.
Guerra-Stoll’s design partner, William Barker, said there are no plans at this point to change the first floor of the 510 Broad St. building, which houses the Jamwich lunch restaurant.
“We don’t have any long term plans and her sandwiches are amazing,” Barker said.
To learn more about PAM Studios, its slate of upcoming film and television productions visit www.pam-studios.com.