Busy Summer for Filmwerks International

For Filmwerks International, there is no such thing as lazy summer days. During the month of August, the company has provided broadcast and event power, site lighting, and mobile studios to multiple productions from coast to coast, including the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament, PGA Championship, and the U.S. Open tennis tournament, not to mention concert tours and movie sets in between.

Filmwerks’ whirlwind August began in West Virginia at the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament in White Sulphur Springs. Concurrent with the tournament, broadcast on CBS, was a Country Music Festival that took place in fairgrounds far from any power outlets.

“We had 11 generators going at the music concert, which was a first-time event held in a first-time venue that had no power, so we had to provide the entire infrastructure,” says CEO Michael Satrazemis. “We also provided the staging, a significant amount of air conditioning, tents — it was a very large job. We were up there for almost 20 days preparing for that.”

At the same time, the Filmwerks team was setting up offices in Kohler, WI, to support four broadcasts from the PGA Championship. Equipment was leapfrogged from West Virginia to Whistling Straits to help create one of the largest truck compounds in the history of the event. Filmwerks was on-site to provide power for most of the compound.

“The PGA Championship compound was absolutely huge,” Satrazemis recalls. “It just gets bigger and bigger. I think, every year, we break a record for the largest compound at the event, but everything went really well. We provided all of the power for CBS, ESPN, Turner, and the world feed.”

Although Satrazemis says there was nothing particularly challenging about supporting the PGA Championship, completing an event of that size and magnitude is always an accomplishment in and of itself. “It’s always special to us when we get through it without having destroyed anything,” he laughs.

Immediately following the conclusion of the PGA Championship, Satrazemis flew in extra drivers to help move all of the equipment out of Wisconsin late Sunday night. Overnight, the equipment was split between Boston and New York in time for load-in the following day.

“We had a mass exodus out of PGA to meet our deadlines in Boston and New York,” he says. “We pulled our big generators and split them between the Boston Country Music festival at Gillette Stadium and the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York. There, we set up everything for CBS, USTA, the world feed, ESPN, the Tennis Channel, and then all the international broadcasters.”

In the meantime, aside from these big-ticket events, ESPN and Turner have kept Filmwerks busy with nearly three dozen additional jobs. To get out of the August heat, Filmwerks is also working on a climate-control project, cooling a 20,000-sq.-ft. sound stage down to 45 degrees for a movie set that will soon host a dozen penguins.

“We’re also mobilizing additional equipment to Miami because it’s going to be a fiasco there all winter because of LeBron,” Satrazemis adds. “All of that has been going on all at one time. Our August has been totally insane.”