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Business and Economy

Famous Hollywood family launches full-service movie studios on the Central Coast

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Jessica Dieny
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Todd Fisher, the son of Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds and the brother of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, recently went public with a high-end production company on the Central Coast. The Hollywood Motion Picture Experience (HMPE) is located in the small San Luis Obispo County town of Creston.

Fisher is the co-founder and chief creative officer of the full production and post-production house that he built on his secluded, self-sustaining, solar-powered ranch.

Fisher’s passion is obvious as he points out various features of the 6000 square foot studio, with his dog by his side. He says it's equipped with the newest technology in the business.

“There are many many different types of filters for different types of effects, all different kinds of lighting, all different kinds of tripod heads,” Fisher said. “We have a very high end sound package that is essentially world class.” 

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Fisher credits his family for his dedication and involvement in the movie industry, and he says he’s taking some risks by following those dreams.

“My family and people around us are investing a lot of money in this,” Fisher said as he launched into what it'll take for the company to be successful. Two of those elements include a strong relationship with the county and the ability to employ good local talent, according to Fisher.

“The reason why we decided to go public with what we were doing,” he reveals, “is that we wanted to try to find crew people, actors, and actresses that want to be part of the film so we don’t have to draw on LA," Fisher said. "It costs me a lot of money to draw on LA.”

His long-term goal is to create a permanent team of local people with a series of projects for better  job stability. 

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“Full-time players, full-time crew, full-time everything and you would continually crank out product. If you talk to artists this is really what they want. They want to work, they don’t want to be out looking for work,” he said.

Fisher wants to expose the world to this area and wants to prove you don’t have to be in Los Angeles to produce quality films.

“I think people who live up here are proud of the lifestyle,” says Fisher. “The economy is going to benefit, obviously, we try to use everything we can locally.”

He also looks to work closely with Cal Poly. He explains, “the movie industry is a multimillion dollar industry it must be addressed by the schools and universities. I think at the very least though, we can establish this mentoring program, to start. That could expand into a north campus approach where you actually work on a movie as part of a class.” 

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Representatives from Cal Poly say conversations are in the early stages, but they will continue to explore the option. While Fisher has big plans to expand into the community, he says the company will remain small and independent.