Mini Bio (1)
Issy Shabtay is a set builder, special effects production manager, and studio facility manager who has worked over two decades on over 50 feature films, 20 TV shows, and 30 commercials. Originally from Tel-Aviv, Israel and was born Issachar Mathew Shabtay on September 14, 1945, the middle child of 12 siblings, worked since age 10 every day after school as a wood craftsmen to assist in keeping his family out of poverty and paying his way through school. Issy suffered the death of some of his siblings while they were very young. He also lost many friends that stood right beside him in war. Grew up as neighbors to now billionaire Haim Saban and the two were neighborhood friends often frequenting the same movie theaters and night clubs in greater Tel-Aviv. A young military hero by his early 20s who served in Special Forces and arrived in The States in 1968 to find himself nearly drafted to Vietnam. With a back-round in structural engineering and construction and a fine wood craftsmen, he ultimately began working as a custom cabinet maker and soon after a licensed contractor by the mid 70s. News of his talents, abilities, honesty, and loyal discrete friendly demeanor spread through the industry and he was quickly befriended and building homes for Hollywood elites at the time, like Robby Benson, Brandon Tartikoff, Frank Wells, George Burns, Farrah Fawcett and many others. In 1979 he was introduced by a then famous movie director to then Hollywood writer and heavy weight Tom Naud at Raleigh Studios, Hollywood. Naud had purchased and perfected at great expense a new revolutionary special effects system called Introvision and was looking to leave the Raleigh Studio lot in order to build his own special effects facility and movie studio. Actor Kevin Costner had just departed the position of set builder and studio manager after the success of Silverado, so Naud asked Issy if he would fill the position. From an empty one acre parking lot next to the old Warner Brothers Studio in Hollywood, Naud put Issy in charge of building from the ground up a nearly 50,000 square foot new movie studio and special effects facility, Introvision International, Hollywood. During the building of the studio, Issy played additional dual roles as studio facility manager, head set builder for Introvision from 1980 (Outland, Sean Connery) to 1998 (The Big Labowski), after initial studio construction completed in 1982, role of production manager was also added to his resume. From construction design and fabrication of the space station exterior and ladders that carried Sean Connery, to the rail road tracks in Stand by Me or Fugative with Harrison Ford, or Stallone's decent from jail in Lock up or decent from Masada in Rambo III, or the entire special effects studio that held and warehoused these miraculous sets, he had nearly seen, supervised, and built them all from scratch. Issy coaxed Haim Saban to Introvision early on hoping Saban would facilitate all the studio had to offer, as well as Avi Arad, Avi Lerner, and others that fallowed. At one point even there was talk after Golan Globus' Canon Group passed on Spiderman, Sam Raimi had just finished months of work at Introvision on Dark Man and Army of Darkness and there was hope and buzz as far back as the 1990s that Raimi do Spiderman using Introvision. Ironically Rami and Arad did in-fact end up doing Spiderman together. Izzy worked closely with many that became close friends that went on to build Digital Domain that was initially suppose to be housed at Introvision. After work complete on Boogie Nights and Big Labowski, due to guild strikes at the time, union issues, the recession at the time and financial hardships that ensued and health issues suffered by CEO Tom Naud, Introvision after nearly two decades finally closed its doors by 1999 and leased the facility to Quixote Studios that remains there to present. Issy soon after worked as a set building and special effects consultant. During this time on a dare from his older son, Izzy set out on a 5 year project and hand built a 1/1000 scale exact replica of the old temple of Jerusalem, piece by piece built from real Jerusalem stone all imported from The Holy Land. The model is a is an approximate staggering 20 feet wide by 20 feet long and has been used by many documentary film directors free of charge. Issy along with his wife Ann, a retired LAUSD special education school teacher of 25 years have founded and support many programs to help less fortunate here and abroad, as well as environmental protection groups and the use the film and entertainment industry in their support of those causes dear to them.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ink Media Corporation