A building that was once used to showcase stodgy old furniture in High Point is now being used to showcase exciting young talent in the arts.

On Wednesday, April 3, the High Point Economic Development Corp. (HPEDC) – a group established to promote business growth and other economic development in that city – was very excited to tour a unique new business:  Brittano Studios at 1690 W. English Road.

And that excitement only grew as the tour went on.

The new 60,000-square-foot studio – a former furniture showroom – has now been transformed into a place that supports film and photographic endeavors as well as other creative activities.

On Wednesday, EDC board members, reporters and others took the tour of the new Piedmont Triad Film Collaborative that’s already becoming a mecca for many creative types in film, TV, music and theatre, including those working in set construction and design.

After a decade in the entertainment industry, actor Julian Brittano now heads up Brittano Studios.  In one of his best-known roles, Brittano co-starred with Oprah Winfrey as ‘David’ in OWN’s ‘Greenleaf’ – a drama about a giant African-American church.

During the tour, the board was very impressed with what they saw.  In addition to enhancing the infrastructure for the arts in High Point, the new studio, which opened in December, has a mission to help the under-employed and unemployed through various workforce development strategies.

High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill said the EDC board members were “amazed” by what they saw at the large studio, and he added that they were very pleased that a venue with the mission of Brittano Studios has opened shop in High Point.

The building that once displayed furniture now has plenty of sets for filming and photography.  On the tour, the group saw some areas that have already been used for films or photo-shoots – such as settings for a hotel lobby, a living room, a dining room and a corporate conference room.

Brittano and his crew also use the various spaces for their own needs and the studio rents out spaces to area filmmakers that need assorted backdrops for scenes.

Hill said one great thing about the new studio is that it helps young people get their foot in the door of the industry.

“He’s employing many local younger folks,” Hill said of Brittano, “giving them a great start in their production careers.”

Hill said it was evident during the tour that there’s a lot of excitement around the project.  One clear sign of that: Four TV news crews showed up for the April 3 tour.

“All four local television news stations covered our tour,” Hill said.  “We usually only have that kind of on-air media attention when the governor is coming to make another announcement in High Point.  Clearly, both Julian being an actor and his studio’s mission brought that extra attention.”

It’s good to see the TV stations all brought together for something other than a four-alarm fire or a major bank heist.