:: About the Studio ::
|HOLLYWOOD IMPACT STUDIOS was founded in December of 2007 as a faith-based “outreach” program of Hollywood professionals impacting lives through mentoring. Oddly enough, this idea grew out of Gary's second vocation, that of a Los Angeles Police Officer. It frustrated and saddened him to see lives being wasted because many people living in the numerous projects and jails throughout Los Angeles were not aware of the many different opportunities available to them, including the careers found in the television and motion picture industry. Maybe there was a way to reduce crime and gang violence by introducing them to alternative paths.
Gary and Cyndi realized that for many of these individuals, going to film school was not an option. It was at this moment that they decided to do what had not been done before: take the film school to these individuals. Because of the narcissistic nature of the television and motion picture industry, and because of where the founders were in their lives, they felt it was time to give back. Thus HOLLYWOOD IMPACT STUDIOS was born.
Production began December 2008 with an educational series on the different careers available in the television industry. In addition, Gary & Cyndi met with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Prison Ministry in March of 2009 with the idea of starting a “film school behind bars” through their M.E.R.I.T Program (Men Evolving to Recovery through In-custody Treatment). The Los Angeles County Jail system, incarcerates approximate 20,000 inmates, of that ONLY 150 inmates are accepted into the M.E.R.I.T. Program. On June 3, 2009, we began the interview process to identify 28 "inmate/film & television students", and on June 10th, they held the first class of a 12 week semester.
On February 11, 2010, Gary and Cyndi rolled out the second phase of the studio. This included the lauch of the "Inner-City Film School" in The Nickerson Gardens Housing project in South Central Los Angeles, right in the heart of the Watts community. They have 12 students that will move through a 10 week semester starting with classroom instruction, followed by field trips to 20th Century Fox, numerous hands-on workshops in camera, lighting, voice-over recording, and acting.
We're excited by what the future holds.