Biggest of the Little Guys
Windmill Studios brings movie-making to the Williamsburg waterfront
When Bennett Wilson learned that a 13,000-square-foot warehouse was available for rent on the Brooklyn waterfront, he did everything he could to move in, including cashing out his 401(k) and draining his savings account. The warehouse – part of the former Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg – was the ideal place to grow his fledgling film studio, Windmill Studios.
With their construction know-how, imagination and a little faith, Bennett, his brother Adam, and his friend Martin began hosting shoots and building sets in the new space, while struggling to find investors to pay for the necessary improvements to the building. In the post-2008 economy, they've learned that if you want a job doing something you love, you have to create that job, a spirit that is transforming the Williamsburg waterfront.
By the Numbers
New York State is second only to California in film and television productions and in 2010 the industry created $7.7 billion in wages in New York State, second only to California's $16 billion.
New York State saw a significant uptick in new film and television productions in early 2011 following the multiyear funding of the state's 30 percent tax credit for productions shot at New York locations and studios.
Sources: Motion Picture Association of America; NY Governor's Office of Film and Television.