A new era of ChatterBlast Media creative services has arrived. Welcome to GroundFloor Studios—a brand-new multipurpose production studio on the first floor of our office building, owned and operated by ChatterBlast in partnership with Big Picture Alliance.
If you’ve been friends with or following ChatterBlast for a while now, you may be wondering how in a few short years we’ve gone from this…
Well, it’s kind of a funny story that begins with this…
“We need a green screen!”
Sometimes we find inspiration in the strangest places. For ChatterBlast Chief Creative Officer Matthew Ray, it was in The Green Screen Babushka—a DIY YouTube creator slash Russian grandmother racking up millions of views from a makeshift studio in her St. Petersburg apartment.
He stormed into the office one day in 2018—in his usual dramatic fashion—proclaiming, “we need a green screen!”
1. We had nowhere in our office to put a green screen
2. We had no professional-level production equipment
3. We hadn’t really expanded our creative team and services to in-house video
… some of the team (who shall not be named) pushed back on these demands. But if you know the Matthew Ray that I know, you know that logic and reason are rarely barriers to creativity and inspiration. So it was settled—we were investing in a green screen.
The Next Few Years
Over the next few years, the green screen actually proved itself to be quite useful in our own company marketing in addition to an increasing volume of small video productions for clients. What do you know?! Matt was right! We continued to invest in equipment and doubled the size of our creative team to keep up with demand. The rinky-dink green screen studio became a permanent fixture in the ChatterBlast office kitchen, because we were using it too often to set it up and break it down every time we had a need.
Then 2020 hit. We were all stuck in our houses, working from home, trying to do whatever creative work we could over Zoom. It left us at a bit of a tipping point. We were either going to suspend these efforts and focus more on remote production capabilities, or go all in.
Of course, we did the latter.
We put safety protocols in place and doubled down on our efforts. We continued to do great work despite the challenges, and even picked up some live virtual event capabilities along the way.
It was also around this same time that a lot of businesses were moving out of the city—which brings us to the next tipping point.
On the first floor of the Philadelphia Building there used to be a print shop. No windows, nothing fancy. Just tables, printers, and papers scattered around. The space was left vacant during the pandemic, when they moved their operations back to their headquarters in the ‘burbs.
Where some might see an old windowless print shop, ChatterBlast saw potential. We also saw a need to get that green screen out of our kitchen, so we expanded to this first floor space and started building. Here’s what it quickly turned into.
Quite the miraculous turnover! The new space boasts….
- 2000 square ft. in total space
- 504 square foot multi-purpose production studio with 16′ cyc wall, 16’ x 16’ lighting grid and 8 LED lights with Sidus Link app controls
- Screening room for up to 30 people with 4k laser projector and surround sound
- Control Room with 65″ monitor, Mac Studio and lounge seating
- Communal office space with desks, secure lockers, lounge seating, 65” tv monitor and adjacent kitchenette with microwave, coffee machine, and water dispenser
- First floor access for load-in/out and multiple paid parking sites within walking distance
It also came with its own GroundFloor Studios branding in addition to one great partner.
The Bigger Picture
Over the course of this construction, we came into contact with Big Picture Alliance—a non-profit that empowers Philadelphia through filmmaking and digital media. BPA’s pathway of school, summer, and workforce programs provide hundreds of Philly youth (ages 12-24) access to digital media tools, creative community, and professional mentorship—empowering them to define their own narrative in life from script-to-screen and from curiosity-to-careers.
Their mission immediately resonated with us and we were eager to get involved in any way we could—through offering apprenticeships, participating in workshops, sponsorships, and more.
As fate would have it, around the time we were beginning construction, Big Picture was looking for a new home with a studio to run their programs and workshop. It just so happened that GroundFloor had an extra office space connected to the studio. We call that serendipity. They moved in.
And with that comes the most exciting part of GroundFloor Studios. In addition to a rentable space and that fosters creativity, GroundFloor offers opportunity. This studio is a unique social enterprise partnership that combines the community-based youth media work of Big Picture Alliance and the industry expertise of ChatterBlast Media. That will manifest in a number of different ways—from creating workforce pathways together in this space, to offering workshops and events that empower young creatives and amplify community voices. The possibilities are endless and the wheels have already begun to turn.
So now, a simple call to action: Use this space!
It’s conveniently-located, it’s affordable, and it has the framework you need to bring your next creative vision to life. We’re now taking bookings on Peerspace. Or, of course, you can contact ChatterBlast about packaging some of our creative services with the space and/or to learn more about the transformative workforce opportunities baked into the operations of this exciting new venture.
And follow @groundfloorphilly on Instagram for all of the latest updates!