Chris Breakwell
Chris Breakwell
Chris Breakwell at 31st Street Studios.

Chris Breakwell is owner and CEO of 31st Street Studios, which has hosted 15 productions since opening. Chris returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh in 2011, repurposing an abandoned steel mill in the Strip District to create the largest movie studio east of Hollywood, where he regularly meets with film producers and directors. He previously served as managing partner at JPMorgan Chase, where he created a specialty practice in sports and entertainment and forged relationships with Hollywood and the film industry.

Monday, March 21

Every morning I pick up a juice or two at The Pittsburgh Juice Company which is just a few blocks away from our Studios, and where many people who work here in the film industry also go all of the time.

As we do on most days, I will be meeting with our Production Manager Alyssa Hanna to discuss a variety of items such as construction and maintenance in the Studios.

Tonight I will be attending a screening at the SouthSide Works Cinema. The Pittsburgh Film Office occasionally offers advance screenings of big movies coming out in theaters, especially ones that are linked to Pittsburgh. Although this one in particular has nothing to do with our city, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is sure to be a great time!

Chris with Rich Fitzgerald and Dan Gilman.
Chris with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and City Council member Dan Gilman.

Tuesday, March 22

Alyssa and I will be meeting with several studio execs to make sure all of their needs are met for set construction, wardrobe, hair and makeup and transportation for various productions.

Carnegie Mellon University is holding its 10th annual International Film Festival, Faces of Conflict, from March 7th through April 3rd. 31st Street Studios is a proud sponsor of this event, so I will be attending some of its screenings.

Wednesday, March 23
Today we have meetings with the Teamsters and The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local.

I live in The Cork Factory Lofts which is a great location in the Strip District. I am able to walk right across the street to some of my favorite restaurants including Cioppino. While I typically find myself there on Thursdays because of its live music that night, I will be going to the hockey game later this week, so you can probably find me there on pretty much any other day of the week.

Thursday, March 24

Meetings with several politicians who are advocating for more film tax credits.

Tonight I am going to the Pens game against the New Jersey Devils. I am a huge hockey fan and I even played the sport growing up in Pittsburgh and at Lake Forest College in Chicago. I have season tickets and I love going to as many home games as possible.

Chris in the 31st Street Studios offices
Chris in the 31st Street Studios offices

Friday, March 25

More meetings with our Production Manager to review production, maintenance and construction projects taking place in the Studios.

One of the best wineries around is the Pittsburgh Winery on Penn Avenue in the Strip District. I am good friends with the owner and so I love to pop over there after work every once in a while for a well deserved glass of wine. One of my favorites is the Petite Sirah.

Saturday, March 26

The “Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh!” official movie tour is coming through again this Saturday. It happens every month or so, and always stops by our studios. I will be giving the eager star-struck attendees a glimpse into what goes on inside our 300,000-square-foot studio space which is hosting three major productions this year, including season two of Outsiders and Denzel Washington’s Fences!

Lunch on Saturday will be at Cafe Raymond in the Strip District.

Sunday, March 27

On nice days, which hopefully Sunday will be, I will head down to Enrico’s Biscotti Company, and then to shop at the many markets and vendors in the Strip District. I love to cook and will pick up vegetables, dinner ingredients and goodies for the upcoming week. My dog Crosby loves to tag along with me to various dog-friendly places, particularly around the Strip District.

31st Street Studios
31st Street Studios

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.