Four movie-making institutions have banded together in Pittsburgh to create what they believe is the best production site outside of Hollywood.
If a producer wants to find comparable capabilities, "it would have to be in LA. Not even New York has what we're talking about today," said Chris Breakwell, chief executive officer of The 31st Street Studios in the Strip District.
His studio, the site for major films including "The Dark Knight Rises," announced long-term agreements to house Paramount On Location, some classes for Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center and Knight Vision, which did the groundbreaking digital effects for "Avatar." The studio occupies a 300,000-square-foot former Crucible Steel plant on 10 acres along the Allegheny River.
Emphasis added. Why do something in New York City when you can do it in Pittsburgh, where the talent is produced? The Big Apple will have to settle for sloppy seconds. The creative Brooklyn exodus to Rust Belt cities will continue. Pittsburgh doesn't need New York. New York needs Pittsburgh.
To understand how this flip-flop occurred, you have to look at the brain circulation between the two metros. Pittsburgh and NYC are major talent trading partners. The brain drain to the alpha global city is finally paying dividends for a third tier city more renown for being stuck in a cul-de-sac of globalization. Pittsburgh just staked its claim to the title of Sixth Borough.