Epic Builds Creative Co-Op - The Woodlands Villager - 10/7/10
Below is a reprint of the article that appeared in the Woodlands Villager on October, 7, 2010.
By: Lauren Hodges ([email protected])
A dimly lit room with personal space for each employee surrounded by recycled office materials, known as “the cave,” is the workspace for employees at epic Software Group Inc.
But the cave is growing. Epic, a company comprised of artists, animators and programmers is building a 4,800-square-foot production studio on Sawdust Road. The 20-year-old company will call the building the epic Creative Co-Op.
The 3D animation web development company was founded in 1990 by Vic Cherubini as part of a business plan he submitted while completing his master’s in business administration at the University of Houston. Professor Jon Goodman challenged him to turn the plan into a business, which he did.
“The need for high-quality, dynamic websites is expanding,” said Cherubini, president of the company. “Companies are realizing the importance of their online presence. Video is helping them to better communicate their products and services to prospective customers. Our vision for the epic Creative Co-Op is a one-stop shop for all a company’s online marketing needs. We feel the time is right to build a first-class production studio here in The Woodlands.”
Fifty percent of the building will be occupied by Silver Rock Productions, a video production company. Silver Rock’s services include documentary video production, marketing, television commercials and capital campaigns and training videos. They work mostly on a corporate level and are in the final stages of post-production and distribution on a documentary covering the life of Sam Houston.
“We will have a larger, more functional production-friendly studio,” said Mike Huffine who partners with Brian Falcon at Silver Rock. “In addition, we are redesigning our edit facilities to be smarter, more energy efficient and very client friendly.”
This will be a relocation for the company, and they will have a larger studio at their new address.
“It has been an interesting project all along,” Huffine said. “…The process Vic is undertaking has been a really inclusive type of process. His blogs and weekly reports about the construction will prove invaluable for anyone else planning to construct this type of building. With this Creative Co-op, Silver Rock and epic will be capable of providing the highest-quality production services in the greater Houston market, few other companies are capable of what we together will be able to accomplish. The Creative Co-Op is going to be a strong, strong opportunity.”
There will be three other units open for lease, a 28-by-44-foot green screen studio, and epic will be using studio space.
“It will be built out of cargo containers used for inter-modal steel building units,” Cherubini said. “The kind you see for shipping on the back of a 40-foot tractor-trailer. They are in excess supply. … They are incredibly strong and hurricane resistant.”
He said this option will be inexpensive per square foot and is a green option, which he refers to as upcycling or taking something intended for one purpose and using it for a better purpose. Each unit is 320 square feet, which also makes the construction process faster. They are seeking recycled items from people doing renovations or wholesalers with excess inventory. This includes windows, doors, cabinets and other building materials.
“We are looking for people to help with this green project,” Cherubini said. … So far, we’ve gotten a really good reception.”
Epic offers limited video production services and is feeling out the community’s need for an online television station. The software company works with clients like CB&I, NASA, Baker Hughes, Texas A&M and Kawasaki. Cherubini said the recent project with The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau has led to more opportunities locally through companies they met on the project. With the expansion, they will add artists, animators, programmers and other personnel.
The company is waiting on permits; and pending those will begin breaking ground in one month. It will be ready for occupancy in three months.
“This will be a creative co-op,” Cherubini said. “We are looking for other creative companies like web developers and designers, writers, animators, programmers. (Companies) that will provide an ally service to what we are doing.”
To follow the progress, visit the blog section of http://www.epicsoftware.com. For more information on Silver Rock, visit http://www.silverrock.net/.