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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Jul. 13, 2018 1 year ago

Actor visits area to film new show

A collaboration between Ringling College and Semkhor Productions led to the filming of "Sweet Jane" in Sarasota.

Quiet on the set.

Actor Dylan McDermott has returned to Sarasota.

He was in Sarasota previously to work on a television series called “Sugar.” Now he’s filming a six-minute segment of “Sweet Jane,” a show that takes on the weighty subject of sex trafficking.

The segment will show what the pilot would look like for “Sweet Jane” and will be used to shop the show around to potential companies interested in it.

The production is part of a collaboration between Semkhor Productions and Ringling College of Art and Design. Semkhor owner David Shapiro tells Coffee Talk the collaboration is about integrating a commercial entity and real-world productions with an educational organization.

Semkhor is also an investor in the soundstage and post-production facilities built on the Ringling campus. Shapiro declines to disclose specific figures, but says along with Ringling and Sarasota County, Semkhor is a major investor in the facilities.

“Part of my role is to bring in these people like Dylan and have them engaged and realize they can do productions here,” Shapiro says.

The “Sweet Jane” filming in Sarasota took place over a series of days in early July. “We’ve picked a fantastic rough-looking warehouse complex,” he says. “We’re using what we find there to enhance the story. It’s good to build a story around what the location actually is.”

The “Sweet Jane” filming represents just one project of many that will be taken on by the collaboration. “I believe that it’s going to grow substantially over the next 24 months,” Shapiro says. “We now have in town infrastructure to make any kind of content.”

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