The Zaentz Media Center is a celebrated media facility originally designed to house Fantasy Records and the accompanying Fantasy Studios as well as the Saul Zaentz Film Company’s Post Production and administrative offices.
In September of 1967 Saul Zaentz and partners acquired ownership of Fantasy Records, and in 1969 Fantasy purchased the property located at Tenth and Parker Streets in Berkeley from Peterson Trucking Company and began building the first portion of the complex that was to house Fantasy Records and included three recording studios that still stand today.
Saul Zaentz and his partners had parallel success with several films including three Academy Award-Winning Best Pictures ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ ‘Amadeus’ and ‘The English Patient’. In 1980 a seven story mid-rise tower was built adjacent to the existing location to accommodate, among other things, post production facilities as well as an additional recording studio.
Among the wide range of artists who have recorded at the facility include David Bowie, U2, Santana, Grateful Dead, Chris Isaak, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, The Buzzcocks, Green Day, En Vogue, Journey and INXS.
Films including ‘Ghost World,’ ‘Rushmore,’ ‘Talented Mr. Ripley,’ ‘Ed Wood,’ ‘Serial Mom,’ and ‘Blue Velvet’ have used the site for various post-production activities as well as many others and the prestigious films of the Saul Zaentz Film Company.
The existing community of independent documentary filmmakers at the Zaentz Media Center has garnered equivalent accolades, winning an Oscar and thirteen separate nominations as well as three Sundance Grand Jury Prizes and another five nominations. Their work has also brought home a variety of awards from international festivals including The Locarno International Film Festival, The Berlin International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Karlovy-Vary International Film Festival and The Valladolid International Film Festival.
The community continues to produce unique and ambitious work showcased internationally.