Charlotte Entrepreneur Debuts Independent Film “Stroke of Genius”

“Word is spreading about the work we’re doing.” Rick Eldridge told a regional publication one year ago. Twelve months later, it would seem quite the understatement. This week, the 47-year-old president and chief executive at The Film Foundry of Charlotte is preparing for the preview of the new film Stroke of Genius, a biography of the late great golfer Bobby Jones, at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA. Eldridge is Executive Producer of the movie and post production was completed at The Film Foundry. Last week a charity screening of the film drew thousands of big names and big dollars at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on March 31, 2004, including Jim Caviezel, Malcom McDowell and other cast members, as well as members of Bobby Jones’ family and other Atlanta dignitaries. CBS has already begun promoting its version of the making of Stroke of Genius, scheduled to air Sunday, April 11, 2004. The film will open in as many as 1200 theatres across the US on April 30, 2004.

An astounding crew and cast were assembled for this one of a kind project, according to Eldridge. On a modest $18 million-dollar budget, the film boasts Jim Caviezel, who played the role of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion, and co-stars Malcolm McDowell, who starred in A Clockwork Orange and plays Atlanta Journal writer O.B. Keeler in Bobby Jones. Cinematographer Tom Stern (Mystic River) came on board, as did Academy Award-winning composer James Horner (Titanic, A Beautiful Mind).

The Film Foundry, which specializes in audio and video post-production, is by no means a new name in the industry, regularly drawing clients from LA, New York, to Orlando, to name a few. According to Eldridge, the company stands alone in the Southeast as a major player in digital intermediate film finishing, and generates much of its revenue by finishing TV shows, commercials, movies and more, perfecting color, the digital finishing, sound effects, audio mixes — even providing animation. Named among its clients are Turner South, HGTV, ESPN Regional, and The Food Network. It only follows that The Film Foundry handled all post-production on Stroke of Genius.

Business has been so good, in fact, that the firm is currently moving from its 12,000-square-foot facility near uptown Charlotte, into16,000-square-foot offices vacated by dot-com casualty iXL in the City’s trendy South End. Eldridge says upfit at the new offices will run close to $3 million.

An industry veteran, Eldridge set up shop in Charlotte in 1995 following a successful stint in Orlando where he became involved in the numerous films emanating from Disney, MGM and Universal Studios. When he returned to the Carolinas, where he had lived at one time, he brought with him his experience, his creativity, and his expertise. It would seem that Stroke of Genius is also an opportunity to highlight the efforts of this dedicated entrepreneur who has – and will continue – to make his mark in an increasingly competitive industry. Additional information on the upcoming film can be found at www.bobbyjonesthemovie.com. or visit www.thefilmfoundry.com.


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