Group Says County Is Missing Out On 100's Of Thousands In Film Production $$$, Push For Residents To Get Involved
Darren Doyle, story: Moriah Peterson, photo:
County officials, local tourism personnel, and business owners met last night at the public library to discuss the possibilities of bringing film revenue to Edmonson County. Judge Executive Wil Cannon, State Rep. Michael Lee Meredith, Sheriff Shane Doyle, and District Judge J.B. Hines were among those in attendance.
Edmonson County joined the Southern Kentucky Film Commission a few months ago, which is an organization created to attract and cater products, services, and locations to film production companies that are interested in filming in south central Ky. The organization which is based in Munfordville, says the economic impact of recent film production has brought over a half million dollars to Hart County.
According to film production companies from networks like Hallmark and Lifetime, Kentucky is the least expensive place in the United States to create a film due to it's lower amount of regulations and taxes and low cost of living.
Four groups from Edmonson County, which include the fiscal court, Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, and the Industrial Authority pooled their money and paid a total of $5,000 to join the commission. So far, nothing has been returned on the investment, but the small group that met last night, called the Edmonson County Film Committee says that can change if county residents are willing to help.
"After meeting with several of the folks that are making films in this area, its seems to me that they're looking for people that are willing to help provide the things they need," said local business owner, Jeff Jacobs. "As a county, we need to show production companies that we're eager to help."
Jacobs and his wife, Laura, who owns Laura's Hilltop Restaurant, have seen some economic impact from one film already. Laura's restaurant has received some catering business and Jacobs has offered their farm as a place for filming and other services. According to Jacobs, production companies want and need products and services immediately and for now, the Cave City area is the main area benefiting from the commission.
Edmonson County's lone representative to the SOKY FC so far has been Rhonda Clemmons, one that is no stranger to committees or being a multi-tasking volunteer extraordinaire. One of the purposes of the meeting was to aid Clemmons in her effort to raise awareness of the potential economic impact that the group says is easily hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the county by way of products, services, and people hired for film use.
Clemmons discussed some of the immediate needs that film companies are in search of when they come to an area to create a film. They include:
Automotive repair-parts, banks-ATM's, salons/barber shops, cell phone providers, chiropractors/massage therapists, Drs and Dentists, general stores, pharmacies, dry cleaning/laundry services, equine, farmers' markets, florist/gift shops, government agencies, groceries, hardware, medical facilities, lodging, nail salons, pet services/care, propane/fuel, security, artists of all types, teachers, tourism help, and transportation.
Clemmons said that while not everyone can offer one or more of those needs, companies are in search of certain areas and landscapes for film, many of which are on private properties in Edmonson County. They include:
Alleys, barns, barn interiors, bridges, warehouses, scenic landscapes, railroads, schools, various business settings, cabins, caves, cemeteries, roads, waterways of all sorts, parks, churches, courthouses/city halls, farmland and fields, historic homes or buildings, and cliffs and waterfalls.
If you have access to any of these potential needs that film companies have, then you might be eligible for some income.
"One particular farmhouse owner was paid $1200 per day for the use of his home for a total of 30 days," said Clemmons. "That's worth it to a lot of people." At $36,000, that's more than some people make in an entire year.
One Hallmark picture recently filmed in Horse Cave called "An Uncommon Grace," has seen some success and has gotten filmmakers excited about the area. According to Clemmons, there is a possibility of up to seven more pictures being filmed in the area.
The group is now in the process of assembling a more solidified committee that can reach out to not only the regional SOKY FC, but film companies themselves. A resource listing has been started for Edmonson County and you or your business can be added to the listing at no cost.
You can visit the SOKY FC website at http://southernkentuckyfilmcommission.com/
For more information on how you can help with Edmonson County's effort in becoming more film-friendly or being added to the local resource listing, please contact Rhonda Clemmons at the Edmonson County Tourism Office:
270-597-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Comments without a first and last name and an email address are not published. All comments are subject for review and must adhere to the Edmonson Voice commenting policy which is posted on this site.