CONNECTICUT HOSTS SLATE OF FILM, TV PRODUCTIONS
Commission on Culture & Tourism Film Division Brings Significant Revenue to State.
HARTFORD, CT - March 3, 2005 - Movie stars and an MTV entourage descended on Connecticut the past two weeks as the state continues to serve as a mainstay location for film producers and TV productions. 20th Century Fox wrapped location shooting in Greenwich yesterday for its film, The Family Stone, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Luke Wilson while a week before, MTV completed filming in Farmington of a one-hour special celebrating a new record release. Both projects came to the state through the Film Division of the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism (CCT).
In addition, AMC Network's FilmFakers series has been scouting Connecticut locations again this winter after shooting a number of successful episodes in the state last year. The CBS Wickedly Perfect series taped for six weeks in Fairfield County and continues to air in prime-time. Then excited onlookers watched director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Cruise recently complete location shooting of the climactic scenes in their latest collaboration, a $128 million remake of the H.G. wells sci-fi classic, War of the Worlds, scheduled for June 2005 release. The December wrap put the finishing touches on another successful year of projects for Connecticut which, between in-state and out-of-state production companies, consistently hosts hundreds of film, TV, video, commercial and photography productions each year.
Its convenient proximity to New York City together with its range of locations and first-rate state services has made Connecticut an attractive option for many producers. "There are typically about two projects being shot on location somewhere in Connecticut every week," says John Courtmanche, Film Division Director for the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism. "That's more than 100 projects a year, not counting those from in-state companies ESPN, WWE, Outdoor Life Network and other Connecticut media companies. Nearly $25 million has been pumped into Connecticut's local economies from these productions during the last two years."
With virtually every state having a film office, Connecticut would have lost out on valuable production business simply by doing nothing. Instead, it created its own film office in 1995 to help attract projects that could have easily gone elsewhere - and taken their spending and jobs with them. For many of the productions that come to Connecticut, the CCT Film Division actively competes with other states to win the business.
Not only has the CCT Film Division been able to attract such feature films as War of the Worlds, The Stepford Wives (Nicole Kidman), Mona Lisa Smile (Julia Roberts), Mr. Deeds (Adam Sandler), Sleepers (Kevin Bacon), The Ice Storm (Sigourney Weaver) and Amistad (Sir Anthony Hopkins), but popular TV networks and programs also frequently shoot in Connecticut. The CCT Film Division's recent clients include CBS, ABC, MTV, the Discovery Channel, Court TV, the History Channel and many more.
The state's latest movie, The Family Stone, is a comic story about a family that unites in a common cause when their favorite son brings his uptight girlfriend home for the Christmas holiday with plans of proposing. 20th Century Fox is shooting most of the film in Los Angeles, but chose Greenwich to film their "New England" location to add authenticity. The movie is written and directed by Thomas Bezucha (Big Eden) and produced by Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Michael London (Sideways) and Jennifer Ogden (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) and is scheduled for a Thanksgiving/Christmas 2005 release. The MTV production, filmed at the Farmington estate of Hip Hop artist 50 Cent, will culminate in a one-hour special scheduled to air this week.
In addition to providing assistance for these high profile films and productions, the CCT Film Division offers a wide variety of services to production companies. For example, it recently helped scout locations for an MGM movie starring Dennis Quaid and for an episode of ABC's One Life to Live; and this week it is scouting locations for another major feature film, which is considering shooting in the state next winter. Also, the CCT Film Division is helping a Connecticut film student plan the production of her next film; promoting services to the Connecticut media industry including ESPN, GE and many others; and assisting a Connecticut documentary filmmaker with a CPTV project.
Enhancing an Image While Helping Connecticut's Local Economies
The customer service provided by the CCT Film Division is helping to build Connecticut's prestige as a location for high-end features and quality productions. Spending by these production companies goes into the coffers of local hotels, restaurants and Connecticut production and equipment rental companies, as well as to local talent selected for the projects.
The CCT Film Division's mission is to service and grow the business of film production in Connecticut. Toward that end, the CCT Film Division offers the following services:
· Fielding production inquiries from major film, TV corporate and commercial producers
· Providing an online Production Guide directory at Ctfilm.com to match production companies with in-state service companies, crew and talent
· Generating location listings (schools, industrial plants, coastal communities, estates, farms, etc.) and arranging site visits
· Posting crew calls, casting calls and local business opportunities to its Web site
· Liaising with town officials regarding permits, and helping to coordinate production activities in the state's towns and cities
· Researching state legislation to help attract new film business
· Marketing Connecticut as a destination for productions
Said Courtmanche, "Our state is unique in that if offers a broad array of locations over a condensed geographic area. We are working on many levels to increase awareness of Connecticut as a premier filming location so that we, in turn, can bring more productions to the state, create more jobs and generate increased revenue for Connecticut."
For more information, visit www.ctfilm.com , or call John Courtmanche at 860-256-2724.
The Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism brings together tourism, film, history and the arts. Its mission is to preserve and promote Connecticut's cultural and tourism assets in order to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of the state.