by Darren Doyle:
It's a little known fact, but according to recent film directors from networks like the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime Network, Kentucky is tied with Georgia as the least expensive place to film a movie production in the United States.
At the recent introductory meeting regarding the inception of a new local film commission attended by Edmonson County Tourism Director Rhonda Clemmons, the Hart County Fiscal Court discussed the positive impact from recent productions, as movies from the popular cable networks have recently been filmed there.
According to Clemmons, Hart County Judge Executive Terry Martin is leading the charge to encourage more of the film industry to set up shop in Hart and surrounding counties. She said Judge Martin has been a key factor in creating the "South Central Kentucky Film Commission," which will be an organization to promote film production and to incorporate the production process into the local economy.
"The operations of the newly organized SCKYFC include a part-time associate that will recruit film projects and be a clearing house of business resources that are needed to any production company looking to create a film such as: movie extras, electricians, carpenters, beauticians, makeup artists, horse rental, buggy rental, catering, film sites, and a host of other products and services that are also necessary," said Clemmons.
Director Clemmons also said that one local business woman, Janet Dennison of Mammoth Cave Transplants, has already seen some positive influence from the lastest movie filmed in Hart County as she recently rented several plants to be used in the production.
"Film companies arrive in town and they need things like hotels, catering, set builders, extras, and so much more. The new film commission would be the go-to for these companies. They would serve as a directory which would cover all of the counties that have been invited to join."
One of the five surrounding counties invited is Edmonson, but joining would require a $5,000 fee.
"There would not be any guarantee of a return on the $5,000 investment, but Hart County said they have already seen that one film alone brought an impact of $500,000 to their economy," said Clemmons.
Edmonson County Judge Executive Wil Cannon said while EC can't offer as many products and services as Hart and larger counties, he would still be interested in becoming a member if other county organizations would split the costs.
"If the fiscal court, Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, and Industrial Authority can all split the cost by offering $1250 each, it lowers the burden for the county and I think that would be well worth the investment it would take to join," Judge Cannon said.
Director Clemmons said that the KY Film Commission oversees the content of the films and if the script is not approved the films are not considered for state tax incentives. She also said that the Hart County Industrial Authority spoke at the meeting and pledged $200,000 to build a brand new facility that will be the Southern Kentucky Film Commission Building in Munfordville.
Grants are currently being sought for the facility, according to Clemmons.
12/2/2016 11:54:26 am
Actors in Edmonson Co?
12/2/2016 08:27:22 pm
I am excited and pleased that our county would consider investing in joining the film commission to capitalize on everything Edmonson has to offer. Although there will likely be some resistance initially either from fear of the unknowns from entering a new venture or simply the desire to keep our community the hidden pearl it is; with more insight gathered and time to process the economical gains, I believe most would come to enjoy the occasional filming presence being experienced here. As a child, my mother allowed our family to be hired as movie extras and/or stand-ins on weekends and school holidays for low-budget films like the ones this new commission is considering. Low-budget means no EXPENSIVE car chases and high action stunts. Mostly it is family-friendly movies that are aired on Hallmark or Lifetime Channels then released at Walmart in 5-pack movie DVDs. As a child extra, I was paid on average $30 for up to 6 hrs or $70 a day if used as a background pedestrian or customer in multiple scenes. Background actors won't strike it rich, but a tiny padding of the pockets and resumes wouldn't hurt. The main cast were not local as you usually have to be part of the actors' guild to speak on film, so I met many actors years before they became famous yet retain signed photos with some of them on these local sets. Therefore, in addition to local businesses financially benefitting from the crew rendering their services, some would also benefit by being rented out for a day as a scene shooting location with forever bragging rights and possible movie credits in movies being sold at national retailers. We don't need to supply a huge talent pool of great actors (Although we surely have some possibly in our mists); just great people to work and interact with, of which we have plenty! Hairdressers, carpenters, caterers, friendly business establishments, and a few common folk to bring the set alive would bring return on this investment many times over even if we only committed to opening our town once to an approved movie script in need of a town just like ours.
12/4/2016 12:55:06 am
Principal actors are USUALLY, but not always SAG or AFTRA actors. This being said, if a movie company picks Edmonson Co to film in, the rate actors and extras are paid, depends entirely on the budget of the film. There are many rules and tiers, such as $50,000-$100,000 has a specific pay scale and the big box office pictures, with the million dollar budgets, pay well for everyone involved. Not to mention, that even if an unknown local person gets a speaking role in a SAG project, that person can become SAG eligible ( Screen Actors Guild / AFTRA union) which means a much higher pay scale than non-union.
12/5/2016 02:20:31 am
Why not ask the city to donate part of the money? They would reap most of the money.
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