Film is BACK in #YesWV

Last updated: June 19, 2024
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Film is BACK in #YesWV
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Since the earliest days of silent film, West Virginia has played a role in the film industry. A long list of West Virginians played pivotal roles in film and TV history, from late, great stars such as Dagmar, Soupy Sales, Peter Marshall and Don Knotts to many modern-day stars such as Jennifer Garner, Steve Harvey, John Corbett and Chris Sarandon.

#YesWV has long sent talent to Hollywood to make their way - like Lawrence Kasdan, a Morgantown native who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Bodyguard, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens and Solo: A Star Wars Story - the state is now working to reel in film, TV and creative productions to the Mountain State. Now, people here - whether they are producers, caterers, set carpenters, stunt coordinators, hair and makeup, drone operators or electricians - can plug into the wide range of creative and blue-collar jobs in the film and TV industry.

Film Industry Jobs Here Now!

According to the latest Motion Picture Association statistics, in 2020-21, with eight TV shows (like WV’s own “Barnwood Builders”) and primarily independent film productions shooting in the Mountain State, the industry generated $120 million in wages related to 1,980 direct jobs and 3,880 support jobs.

Thanks to the July 1, 2022 launch of one of the best film tax incentives in the country (up to 31 percent with no cap) - the Mountain State is poised to expand its role in creating film industry jobs and steady work here. The Mountain State has rekindled its West Virginia Film Office in the past year. Embedded within the West Virginia Department of Economic Development, the Film Office helps foster more productions and build out the state’s film industry workforce and opportunities.

Film Industry Trainings - Get Trained and Get to Work on the Set!

In addition to working with the in-state universities and educational institutions to grow programs to train the next generation of filmmakers and crew, the WV Film Office sponsors many stand-alone film industry training seminars and weekend workshops around the state. Teaming up with film festivals - to value-add their programming, as well as film organizations such as the WV Filmmakers Guild and the Film Futures Foundation, the Film Office, has sponsored workshops in SFX makeup, cinematography, screenwriting, animation, making film on a micro-budget - and in Grip and Electric and Location Scouts and Locations Managers - two in-demand crew needs.

The first training opportunity is a free Intro to Basic Grip and Set Lighting course set for 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, at the Valley Park Conference Center in Hurricane with Matt Napier. This free workshop is sponsored by the WV Film Office and organized by the new Film Futures Foundation, a new non-profit to promote film and do industry trainings in WV. Find out more trainings and registration info at www.filmfuturesfoundation.com

Connecting Crew and Services to Jobs and Work in the Film Industry

To help folks connect to jobs in the film industry in West Virginia, the Film Office has a professional crew and services database. You can register to be part of the state’s most extensive list of skilled crew members and support services (catering, lodging, rentals, etc.). You’ll also receive updates about upcoming projects. Click on this link to submit your information for free wv.reel-scout.com/crew_registration.aspx?type=C&cl=C

Additionally, property owners can get in on the film industry by offering their property up as a location. Do you have a farm, a restaurant, a hotel, or an Apocalyptic abandoned building that would make a cool zombie film location? There is no cost to add your sites to our directory. Better yet, get with your local Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Authority to help everyone in your area load up every great site in your region. The more sites in your area, the easier it will be to lure out-of-state filmmakers to create and spend $$ in your backyard. Be sure to see our photography tips before you take pics.

wv.reel-scout.com/loc_add.aspx

Connecting Producers With Crew, Services and Locations

Our Reel-Scout database also connects film and TV producers to the workforce crew, as well as the wealth of nearly 5,000 listed locations in our Locations Directory.

Click here to peruse those locations here: wv.reel-scout.com/loc_results.aspx.

Click here wv.reel-scout.com/crew_directorylist.aspx?type=C&cl=C to check out our Crew Services Directory.

Log your project with us at share.hsforms.com/13LgiMUHLTGOB--oyV9PWyw1iilq to submit information about your project, and we will contact you to assist in any way that we can.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Within the first year of the tax incentive, the Mountain State has a long, long list of both TV and film and music video productions that have come to West Virginia to shoot, from famous natives such as Brad Paisley coming back to film music videos to a stringer of TV shows like American Pickers, What Would You Do, House Hunters, United Shades of America, in addition to the release of so many great independent feature films and headline-worthy documentaries such as King Coal. With more productions on the books and on the way, connect to our website today to engage with the growing film industry and jobs happening right here, right now, in West Virginia.

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Alfredo Rupprecht
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Customer Service Team Manager and COO. Service and Solutions

Cool addition.

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