July 1, 2010: The Florida Legislature-approved $242 million in transferable tax credits over five years to be utilized as incentives for the Sunshine State entertainment industry goes into effect.
Sept. 1, 2010: Gulf Coast Studios, LLC name changed to Sanborn Studios, LLC. Kenneth Sanborn and Karinne Behr listed as managers.
Sept. 5, 2010: The Herald reported that the Sarasota County Film Commission announced it landed “Project Waterboy,” a multimillion-dollar TV production company to open in Lakewood Ranch. The studios would be based in an existing 30,000-square-foot facility with the option to purchase 22 acres by 2015, when the company would be fully functional. The firm predicted an economic impact of $164.2 million and creation of 117 jobs with an average salary of $72,029, according to Sarasota County records. Sarasota County agreed to provide $650,000 in additional economic incentives.
The company had three TV pilots and two independent films in the works, and it could move into its facility within six months, said Jeff Maultsby, business and economic development manager for Sarasota County.
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Sept. 13, 2010: Miami 24/7, LLC formed. Kenneth Sanborn and Karinne Behr listed as managers.
Sept. 16, 2010: Herald reported that Sarasota County established an incentive program specifically geared toward bringing more film and TV-related projects to the area. Sarasota County commissioners voted to allocate $250,000 from their Economic Development Incentive Program to create a Film Industry Incentive Program.
Sept. 20, 2010: Project Waterboy was identified as Sanborn Studios LLC, which said its capital investment would be an estimated $30 million over the next 18 months. Founder/Chief Executive Officer Ken Sanborn said he planned to hire about 60 employees in the first year of operation. The studio announced it had plans to purchase 6 acres from Schroeder-Manatee Ranch to build several sound stages and an office building for Sanborn Studios’ future home.
Sanborn Studios stated its first major pilot would be a TV action series titled “Miami 24/7.” Other projects announced on Sanborn Entertainment’s slate included two reality TV series: “Cutting Edge Medicine” and “You Can Make A Difference.” Production was expected to begin in November 2010 on “Miami 24/7.” Karinne Behr was introduced as president of Sanborn Studios.
Nov. 12, 2010: Sanborn Studios officially opened in Lakewood Ranch. Studio said “Miami 24/7,” the TV show about competing news helicopters starring Casper Van Dien (“Starship Troopers”), sold the standard 13 episodes to foreign distributors at the 2010 American Film Market trade show held in Santa Monica, Calif., but declined to disclose names of the buyers. Philippe Martinez, brother and longtime business partner of Karinne Behr, was chairman and CEO of Cinepro Pictures International, the sales agent for “Miami 24/7” at AFM, according to the 2010 AFM Product Guide.
Jan. 23, 2011: The Herald reported Sanborn Studios hired Alan Bailey as chief financial officer. He maximized state production incentives while working at Paramount Pictures for 35 years. Bailey said he would work in Lakewood Ranch and in Los Angeles, where he planned to open a Sanborn Studios satellite office in the Century City district.
Sanborn Studios also named Dan Forman as senior vice president of program development. Forman directed live news coverage in New York City for 30 years and created non-news programming such as the original Howard Stern TV show, according to the Sanborn Studios website. “Miami 24/7” remained listed on the company’s website as in “pre-production.”
February 2011: Sanborn Studios Director of Media Relations & Creative Development Ray Collins resigned and returned to his consulting company -- RayCollinsMedia.com.
Feb. 17, 2011: Sanborn Studios terminated its agreement with Schroeder-Manatee Ranch to buy land in Lakewood Ranch. “On February 17 we received a fax from their attorney terminating the purchase agreement on the property,” said Rex Jensen, president and chief executive officer of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch. “Therefore, we really have no further relationship with Sanborn Studios.”
Feb. 23, 2011: Herald reported Sanborn Studios requested $500,000 from Sarasota County in addition to the $650,000 grant previously awarded by the county in September 2010.
Feb. 24, 2011: Sanborn Studios withdrew its request for a $500,000 grant from Sarasota County.
Feb. 25, 2011: In an e-mail to Sarasota County commissioners, Chief Financial Planner Jeff Seward outlined steps they might have to take to potentially recover the $650,000 grant paid to Sanborn Studios.
April 2011: Dan Forman resigned from Sanborn Studios.
April 2011: Sanborn Studios provided services for Morgan Fairchild TV show pilot “Workers’ Comp.” VadarCorp.com, the website for the Bradenton-based production company, lists “Workers’ Comp” as a “A VADAR Corp & Sanborn Studios Production.”
May 6, 2011: USF Sarasota-Manatee teamed with Sanborn Film & Television Institute, LLC to offer a master’s degree in business with a concentration in film and television production.
June 2011: The first Movieville International Film Festival takes place over three days at the Lakewood Ranch Cinemas. The festival was sponsored by Sanborn Studios LLC, the Sarasota Film Society and the Sarasota County Film & Television Office for up-and-comers in the film industry.
July 2, 2011: Herald reported that Ken Sanborn and Karinne Behr’s television show “Miami 24/7” pushed its start date back several months and was reclassified as a feature-length film to qualify for a $700,000 state tax credit; 500 Floridians could land jobs from the production. Meanwhile, four Sanborn employees were let go temporarily because business was slow. Ken Sanborn told the Herald about unpaid vacations for “four people out of a staff of 21.”
August 2011: Sanborn Studios’ chief financial officer resigned. Karinne Behr later told the Herald via email: “Alan Bailey after providing eight months of services as CFO has now moved on to pursue other interests.”
Oct. 21, 2011: Sanborn Studios’ website still stated Cinepro Pictures International has already secured distribution for “Miami 24/7.” “We are no longer the distributor,” said the former “Miami 24/7” executive producer and Cinepro Pictures International Chief Executive Officer Philippe Martinez in a phone interview with the Herald. “We were. We made some sales and then we walked away.” When asked why Cinepro was still listed on the Sanborn website, Martinez responded, “I haven’t talked to Sanborn Studios in months.”
Oct. 24, 2011: Sanborn Studios no longer listed “Miami 24/7” as in “pre-production” on its website and had removed all mention of Cinepro Pictures International and any distribution deals. The only mention of “Miami 24/7” on the Sanborn Studios site is along with “Workers’ Comp” on a page titled: “Sanborn Studios Recent Work.” According to the website for the Florida Office of Film & Entertainment, on the page for Florida Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive Recipients, “Miami 24/7” is listed as having a start date of Nov. 18, 2011, and wrap date of Feb. 1, 2012.
Dec. 7, 2011: “Sony and Sanborn Studios present an exclusive digital 35mm/3D Filmmaker event: December 7, 2011, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Sanborn Studios, 7321 Trade Court Ave., Sarasota. (Invitation only not transferable).”
-- Herald reporter Wade Tatangelo, Herald archives