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Medient ready to deliver revised master plan

POSTED: August 7, 2014 7:27 p.m.
Photo by Pat Donahue/

Medient Studios CEO Jake Shapiro with his triplet daughters Olivia, Sophia and Chloe

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The new master plan for a planned massive film production studio could be in the hands of Effingham County officials as soon as Friday, the studio CEO said.

Jake Shapiro said the revised master plan for Medient Studios is expected to be delivered Friday.

“We’re very excited about that,” he said.

The studio, which is planning to build the largest studio complex in the U.S. in Effingham County, also will be moving its offices to the tract off Interstate 16, Shapiro affirmed. Medient’s offices have been located off Chatham Parkway, and the studio has given notice it intends to vacate its space.

“It’s really wonderful to have our offices on the property,” he said. “It’s very, very important to us that the property in Effingham County is our home. It’s important we view it as our home.”

Medient will use modular offices until permanent structures are in place. Shapiro expects the offices to be operational by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, sets are under construction on the site for use in films to be determined at a later date.

Shapiro also reiterated he will be moving to Effingham County. He currently lives in west Chatham County, and his triplet daughters have joined him for the summer.

“I’m a big believer in leading by example,” he said.

Shapiro’s daughters, Olivia, Sophia and Chloe, have been working on the property, painting one of the sets for an upcoming film.

“There were a few moments where we had to sit in the shade together,” Shapiro said. “But they love being here.”

The Shapiros even had a campfire by the 23-acre lake on the property, and the favorite part for the girls, naturally, was making smores.

“We’re all huge pop culture buffs, and we all love movies,” he said.

His daughters, now 13 years old, also are all athletes, playing varsity sports and even taking part in triathlons. On their way to school, Shapiro plays alternative rock for his girls.

“It’s important to me they have a great rock ‘n roll education,” he said. “They know all the bands, and they have a great pop culture education. They are excited to work on the sets, and they’re having a great time.”

Shapiro has been bouncing back and forth between the East and West coasts the last several weeks.

“They spend as much time as they can here,” he said. “And I go to visit them as much as I can.”

His daughters are about to enter the eighth grade, and along with being budding athletes, they also are academically-driven, having already declared a desire to pursue science or medicine.

“They’re just great, great kids,” Shapiro said. “Daddy’s very proud. They are incredibly very supportive of each other, and what’s great is each one excels at something else. They have different things they can claim they’re the best at.”

The Shapiro girls weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces, 1 pound, 15 ounces and 2 pounds, 7 ounces at birth. “And now they are from 4-foot-11 to 5-foot-9,” their father said. “We found out very early it was going to be triplets and early on, they said it was going to be two boys and a girl.”

Doctors warned the Shapiros about “the terrible things to expect as probabilities, versus likelihoods,” he said. “It was very scary.”

One of the daughters was born with a hole in her heart. Another stopped breathing in front of her parents in the neonatal intensive care unit.

“That’s why, no matter what, I’m the luckiest man in the world,” Shapiro said. “Every day is a blessing.”

The Shapiro sisters have enjoyed their summer in the Coastal Empire, between the beach, the food and the ghost tours.
“It’s a kid’s delight, for sure,” Jake Shapiro said.

He’s also been astounded by the reactions he gets from people as he goes for a run, with waves and friendly horn honks from drivers — a departure from what he’s used to  in New York.

“The community overall is friendly. It is wonderful,” he said. “People are outgoing and quick to introduce themselves and make you feel at home. It’s been wonderful building up those relationships. It’s something I like very much about the area.”

A house the studio had been leasing adjacent to the property as its office early on has since been leased again.

“I have examined everything from a pup tent to an Airstream trailer,” Shapiro said. “I want to live as close as possibly to the property to show the commitment to the project. I look forward to commuting to work by ATV.”

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