Medient CEO answers questions about future of studio - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Medient CEO answers questions about future of studio

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Medient Studios made headlines the last couple of months for all of the wrong reasons, including an ousted CEO and lawsuits.

But the new CEO has a clear message for Effingham County: the massive studio project will happen and it's going to happen quickly.

New CEO Jake Shapiro told the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority and the shareholders that this huge undertaking is worth the money, time and effort.

"We have a very clear, very concise and strategic plan to make this happen," said Shapiro.

But people in the Coastal Empire want more than words. For over a year they have been waiting for ther movie studio to start construction, and it really never has.

Now that all of the old plans have been scrapped, WTOC learned on Thursday night that it will be much simpler than the original $90 million project.

"There will be no circular stages that look like they came out of an old episode of the ‘Jetsons,'" said Shapiro.

The Effingham County Industrial Development Authority has not commented on what has gone on the past six months, but on Thursday night it liked what it heard.

"We are very optimistic," said Effingham County IDA CEO John Henry. "It is a tempered optimism. There are things that have yet to fall into place. There are hurdles that still have to be overcome."

There were also questions the IDA wanted answered, like what will happen with the lawsuit filed by the former CEO that wants the company dissolved?

"Every item of the agenda in the removal of the former CEO was followed 100 percent in compliance with Nevada law," said Shapiro. "We view this merely as a griping of a former employee."

Medient's stock was suspended last month, but is once again trading publicy, even though it is at fractions of a cent. Shapiro had a message for the shareholders.

"We work for you," he said. "You are all our bosses. We will try our best to get a good employee review from you."  

And to show his commitment to the county, Shapiro had two big announcements.

"Medient Studios will be establishing their corporate headquarters in Effingham County," he said. "The second announcement is, that Jay Shapiro, that is me, will be moving out of Chatham County and coming here to Effingham County. "

Shapiro said the new design will be finalized in two weeks and will be cheaper, more efficient and built much faster.

"We will have a lot to talk about in the near future," he said. "The main message is that we are very much alive and we will make this happen."

He also said they've made more progress on their horror film, "The Damned", in the last two months that all of last year. He said there would be another big announcement within the next couple of months involving the film.

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