Philadelphia native Dan Rosenfelt, along with co-founder Michael Hahn, in mid-June opened Electric Owl Studio in south DeKalb County. From his previous recent role at Doraville’s Tri Rail Studios (also alongside Hahn), Rosenfelt brings a storied career from his Los Angeles experience where he managed George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures at Warner Bros., The Jim Henson Company, among many other high-profile projects.
Rosenfelt has worked with stars like Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, and Angelina Jolie, all of whom, he states, “are amazingly nice people.”
On his career as a producer, Rosenfelt said, “Michael is the real estate guy. I like operations and running the studio — pulling all the elements together making films.”
Hahn and Rosenfelt are known for their connections to powerhouses like Disney, Warner Bros., Discovery, Sony, Paramount, Lionsgate, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon, the latter with whom they plan to partner on production sustainability efforts.
With the studio’s price tag of $60 million, Rosenfelt is proud of Electric Owl’s overall efficiency and “green” commitment as the world’s first purpose-built LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-certified film and TV studio where they state, “Our mantra of people and planet first guides everything we do, from sustainable design to thoughtful services and care.”
Other unintended community benefits may include the neighborhood-at-large residents getting high speed fiber sooner.
Rosenfelt added, “I am proud of being a leader in this area. Colleagues from around the world are calling for advice on sustainability and advice on things like our connection to solar companies.” Other “green” factors are 48 EV charging stations, electric golf carts, high efficiency HVAC systems, living walls, rainwater capture and reuse, food dehydrators for landscaping reuse, and composting. Don’t even think about bringing a plastic water bottle on set. The facility sits on 18 acres with six sound stages featuring 3,700 amps of power per stage. The land layout includes wardrobe, The Mill, production offices, and support spaces.
Rosenfelt stated, “Ideally, we are a boutique studio for four to six projects, or doing two large shows at once, or even one giant Marvel-like project…or six to seven TV shows.”
In terms of the studio name, animal lovers know that owls are considered wise birds who can rotate their necks. In today’s modern energy world, an electric owl is a device that monitors electricity consumption and power in terms of cost and CO2 emissions.
All industry eyes are on the ongoing writer’s strike. Rosenfelt elaborated, “We are part of a conversation through the Georgia Entertainment Coalition of what change should mean for the writers to get a great deal versus now where they get shut out of residuals from streaming services, and looking ahead at the need to define what will happen with A.I. They are rightfully scared.”
A resident of Dunwoody, Rosenfelt, 48, who is married with two children, ages 16 and 13, reminisced about channeling the young, also-Jewish Steven Spielberg. He recalled, “At age six or seven, after seeing the movie, ‘ET,’ I announced to my parents that I would have a career in making movies just like Spielberg. I truly had an early love of film.”
The staff begins working at Electric Owl (near the Indian Creek MARTA station) on July 1. Rosenfelt, ever a visionary, revealed that plans are underway to open four to six studios around the world beginning with New York in 2025. Then London, then L.A., with all using their sustainability model.
As a point of reference, a total of 366 film and TV productions spent $4 billion in Georgia in 2021, a new record for the state, in a fast-maturing ecosystem, according to an article in the March 2022 Site Selection Insider, entitled, “Electric Owl Studios Comes in for a Landing.”
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Dan Rosenfelt
- Michael Hahn
- Electric Owl Studio
- Tri Rail Studios
- George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures
- Warner Bros.
- Jim Henson Company
- Brad Pitt
- Will Smith
- Keanu Reeves
- Angelina Jolie
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
- Georgia Entertainment Coalition
- Steven Spielberg
- Indian Creek MARTA station