Hot Locations: Utah Lensing Generates $59M In 2019
  • Friday, Jan. 24, 2020
"High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" (photo courtesy of Disney+)

Twenty-three productions received state film incentives to shoot in Utah this past year, including a mix of local and out of state feature films, TV series and documentaries. In 2019, Utah production created more than 1,500 local jobs and generated an estimated $59 million spent in state.

Content created in Utah premiered throughout 2019, including BYU TV’s Dwight in Shining Armor, season 2 of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, and the highly anticipated High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+. Features such as The Fighting Preacher and Out of Liberty were also theatrically released in 2019.

As for 2020 in Utah, Disney will return to film the second season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. In addition, two made in Utah films will premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival--The Killing of Two Lovers starring Clayne Crawford, and Nine Days starring Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz and Benedict Wong. Other productions that were filmed in Utah to keep an eye out for in 2020 include Good Joe Bell starring Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton, along with Echo Boomers starring Michael Shannon, and a thriller series titled Wireless starring Tye Sheridan and Andie MacDowell.

New Jersey Partners With Reel-Scout
The New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission (NJMPTVC) has partnered with Reel-Scout™ to expand its digital location library and enhance its production management and client services.

The Reel-Scout™ software is a fully-integrated system, equipping film offices with a content-rich and fully searchable locations gallery, allowing New Jersey to showcase all the diverse locations it has to offer. The software’s project management tool helps manage the unique operations of the film commission—including recruiting and attracting productions—as well as effectively tracking the agency’s integral role in the production process.

The commission staff is adding new locations daily to the new system with 10,000 images already online and counting, a substantial increase over the commission’s previous online library. “Each region of New Jersey has its own unique characteristics and we’re putting them on full display,” said NJMPTVC executive director Steven Gorelick. “Reel-Scout has given us the necessary tools to do so, which will be beneficial to filmmakers worldwide looking for filming locations.”

Two highly anticipated and notable features that recently filmed in New Jersey are Netflix's Army of the Dead, a zombie outbreak film set in Las Vegas, directed by Zack Snyder and starring Dave Bautista; and Steven Spielberg’s big screen remake of West Side Story from Twentieth Century Fox starring New Jersey-native Rachel Zegler. ABC’s Emergence, created by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas and starring Allison Toman, is a mystery-themed television series currently filming its first season in the Garden State, along with NBC’s Lincoln, set to begin airing next year.

Production Studio In Offing For Belize
The Belize Film Commission has signed a statement of intent with Malini Saba of privately held Saba Industries to fund and operate a fully-functioning film studio and production facility, breaking ground in 2020, according to Nigel Miguel, Belize’s film commissioner. 

“This complex will provide filmmakers opportunities to tap into Belize’s low production cost allowing them to complete productions in-house,” said Miguel. The goal is to have an integrated facility that won’t require resources outside of Belize. The complex will be a historic leap for the film industry in Belize.”

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