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One Successful ISBU (Cargo Container) Project Spawns Another…

December 04, 2012 - Last weekend the epic Creative Co-Op hosted a holiday kickoff party for the Piney Woods branch of the US Green Building Council where they announced details of their new ISBU project which will be built just down the road from our building. Their project will be built from 2 cargo containers, and will serve as a demonstration home. The design calls for it to be totally off-the-grid and it will also do double duty as the office of the Piney Woods USGBC Branch.

The building will be open to the public, and built to LEED-H Platinum level certification. It will also be used as a green reference library and will springboard the start of the Montgomery County Green Resource Center. Sergio Grado is spearheading the project and is working with our County Commissioner who has allowed the use of the land to construct the project. Sergio told me...

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Posted by on December 05, 2012

Louis Gossett Jr. Event by Eakin Films and Publishing Held at epic Creative Co-Op

November 10, 2012 - This evening Silver Rock Productions hosted an event at the epic Creative Co-Op featuring a reading by Louis Gossett Jr. from the book 12 Years a Slave. A small, select group of film industry folks and friends attended. Local media also took notice and on hand were representatives from Fox News, Voice of America, Chronicle, Pubic Radio (KUHF), HCN papers (The Woodlands Villager/Conroe Courier), Culture Map and others.

Frank Eakin, President of Eakin Films and Publishing and Producer of The Bracelet of Bordeaux gave us the backstory of how this 1850's autobiography was re-discovered by Dr. Sue Eakin as a child in the 1920's. Dr. Eakin, who is also Frank's mom, became a prominent author-historian, and civil rights leader and Hall of Fame journalist in Louisiana.  She completed the first authenticated version of the story in 1968; following a successful 40-year publishing run. Dr. Eakin released a final updated version in 2007 before her death at age 90.  Her edition of Twelve Years has been recognized as one of the most important and complete authenticated accounts of American slavery in existence.

Twelve Years a Slave is the story of a black man named Solomon Northup kidnapped into slavery in New York and rescued 12 years later in the 1850’s in central Louisiana. The book is also being turned into a feature film by Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B, of Los Angeles.  It will be released in late 2013

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Posted by on November 11, 2012

Construction Work Ends on the the epic Creative Co-Op - We Celebrate with an Open House Party

April 20, 2012 - All major construction on the epic Creative Co-Op came to an end this week, and to celebrate we had an open house party. After the studio fire at the end of January, we made a comprehensive punch list of things we needed to get done on the building before we could call the job complete. Early this week, we checked off the last of the items on that three page list. Yes!

Between Silver Rock Productions, GTIN Services, and Inspectioneering Journal we sent out over 225 invitations and we had between 125-150 people attend the event. We began planning the open house a couple of weeks ago when we met with Luke Redus, Founder of Compassion United Church of Conroe. Their mission is to help people in need through community outreach. They feed hundreds of folks each month including breakfast in the park on Saturday mornings, and through their food pantry. They have a large BBQ rig, tables and chairs, sound equipment and volunteers - which was just what we needed for our event.

Luke cooked up 12 briskets the night before the event, and in spite of a truck that was acting up, showed up early on Friday morning with his crew (his wife Carla, three boys, and volunteer Cody), and got everything set up. The weather - which had been beautiful all week - predicted rain for the afternoon. The sky's were overcast and we needed some divine intervention to get us through the lunch hour.

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Posted by on April 21, 2012

Details - Details - Details - Finishing up on the epic Creative Co-Op

April 2, 2012 - We got a lot done in the past week or so including the completion of the work on the cyclorama (cyc) wall, and the foam insulation under the ADA ramp. Finally, all the big jobs on the Creative Co-Op are behind us. That leaves us with a punch list of odds and ends that are very manageable, and even includes some wish list items. Silver Rock managed to use the new studio for a video shoot for the local United Way chapter. With access to the dynamic lighting grid along with the whisper quiet nature of the mineral wool insulation on the upper walls and ceilings  - the guys had an excellent day of shooting.

Anytime you get a second chance to do something you have never done before, there is an opportunity to learn and do it even better the second time around. That was the case with the cyc wall for us. The cyclorama wall seemed to take forever when we first built it. Everything we were doing was trial and error, and there was a great deal of discussion on both major and minor decisions. On the rebuild, we knew exactly what was necessary and proceeded this time with the confidence of knowing what would work. As before, the trickiest part of the installation was the corner where the walls and floor come together. If you don't get it perfect, you need to take everything apart and start all over again.

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Posted by on April 02, 2012

epic Creative Co-Op - Studio Progress, Summer Kitchen, and Interior Work - We Are Almost There!

March 16, 2012 - We are back to a short punch list of items and we'll be done with the building of the epic Creative Co-Op! The pace over the past month has been fast and furious, but the building is now as good, if not better, then it was before the fire.

We added a roof to the summer kitchen, and added a funky mailbox for our tenants - Silver Rock Productions, Inspectioneering Journal, and GTIN Services, and everyone is setteling in. Each space has it's own alarm system, and we all enjoy high speed fiber optic services provided by ICTX-Wavemedia of Texas.  Now that the heavy lifting is just about done, we can turn our attention to adding all the little things that will make the building even more special.

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Posted by on March 16, 2012

Sheetrock Installed - Mineral Wool Blow Onto Studio Walls - Unit #3 Leased to GTIN

March 6, 2012 - Danny Span and his crew returned this week to install the Sheetrock on the walls and ceilings of the studio. This is a BIG job, and because the walls are used as shooting backgrounds, there is no room for error.

As you can see by the photos, Danny delivered and the studio is coming back to life. When cellulose is blown into the wall cavities and attic space, the difference in ambient sound levels is profound. While just about any substance will burn if heated enough, we were kind of disappointed that the fire burned the cellulose in the space between the containers for several days before it turned into a full blown blaze. While a 100% fire proof building is not practical, we wanted to do everything possible to make sure we were protected against the possibility of fire in the future. In my earlier research, I learned about Mineral Wool insulation, and decided it was worth a closer look. 

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Posted by on March 06, 2012

Major Repairs Made This Week - Framing - Insulation - Electrical

February 22, 2012 - We made a great deal of progress on the repair work over the past 12 days as you will see by the photos in this blog entry. The studio was a beehive of activity as Danny Span and his crew of framers and sheet rockers returned. The crews from Comfortemp returned and insulated the walls and ceilings (thanks for working on Sunday so we could keep our schedule). In addition, Adam, Cliff and Chad took care of the electrical work, carpentry, and steel work that needed to be done.

Fernando returned to replace the HVAC units and run new ducting. During the fire, the ducts acted as conduits and did a great job of spreading the smoke. The air handler took the biggest hit and we had to remove and replace it with a new one.  Adam checked the wiring in the studio and determined it was damaged in the fire. He ran new wire, and took this opportunity to add some soffit lights to the front of the building. They really make the place look great at night.

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Posted by on February 22, 2012

Fire Clean Up Work Ends - Reconstruction Begins

February 10, 2012 - Blackman Mooring completed their work on cleaning the interior of the building and they did a fantastic job. Every inch of the exposed walls and rafters were wiped down with chemical sponges, vacuumed, ozone treated and 2 dumpster loads of debris were carted off. Just a week after the fire started, the only place that smelled like smoke was the studio, and that is only when you get close to the source of the fire. I am confident that once the burned studs are removed, and the studio put back together, you will be hard pressed to know there was ever a fire here in the first place.

The only damage to the interior of the 11 containers was some paint that was burned in container #11. The fireman cut the container with a steel saw, and we welded the piece back in place this week. A couple coats of paint and we are back in business. With the clean-up work completed, we turned our attention to the rebuilding work that will be with us for the next few weeks.

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Posted by on February 12, 2012

Profiling the Edge of a (Man-Made) Granite Countertop - Toolocity Makes It Easy!

January 30, 2012 - After a restless night of sleep, we arrived back at the building early on Saturday to survey the damage in the light of day. Blackmon Mooring worked until midnight, and their crew of 20-25 workers did an excellent job of removing much of the wet and damaged insulation. But much like an iceberg, the actual damage turned out to be much greater then what we first surveyed that morning. The fireman had used a great deal of water and foam in the attic, and we determined that all the Sheetrock on the walls and ceiling along with the insulation would have to come out. This was a big job.

Since we could not work in the building, we decided to turn our attention to the outside work we had planned to do the week of January 30th. Earlier in the month I check with some local contractors on the cost to join the three pieces of the summer kitchen counter top together, and put an edge (called a profile) on it. The cost was outside our budget, and because we are at the end of the project and funds are really low, we had to find an alternative.  I turned to Youtube and found a very helpful video from Toolocity.com -  that shows the step-by-step procedure.  This looked like something we could tackle, so I called the company and asked for their advice. We talked with Marshall Pan who helped us determine exactly what we needed for our job.

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Posted by on January 30, 2012

The Cleanup Work Begins - Days 2 and 3 - Gut, Remove Clean and Dehumidify

January 29, 2011 -On Saturday morning the cleaning crews from Blackmon Mooring arrived in mass. At times there were at least 25 people working on all areas of the building. The company was also hired by Silver Rock Productions to clean their offices (first and second floor). They did a really good job by removing  the small objects and cleaning them by hand. The walls and furniture were cleaned and the rugs shampooed.The air ducts were also cleaned. 

They also has an technician who is an expert on cleaning and servicing electrical equipment. They cleaned the Silver Rock computers, and he looked at some of the epic gear that was in the studio and just feet from where the fire started. On Friday I took some photos with the camera and many of the photos were out of focus. The technician said the electronics in the equipment were compromised by the smoke and heat, and they will all be declared a loss. We will meet with the Hartford adjuster tomorrow to determine the amount of loss.

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Posted by on January 29, 2012

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