Blockbuster Year for Movie-Makers in Utah

(KUTV) The Utah Film Commission says 2015 was a blockbuster year for movie-makers in Utah.

In addition to the 35 movies that were filmed in Utah this year, the state also played backdrop to ABC's drama, "Blood and Oil," the first time Utah has hosted a television series in 10 years, according to the Utah Film Commission Director Virginia Pearce.

"We have seen definitely seen an increase in film production," Pearce said. "[Blood and Oil] was our first series in over ten years and I think that really opened the door for us to start talking to bigger productions."

Among several other films, Warner Brothers "Point Break" series about extreme athletes turned robbers shot several scenes in Southern Utah. " Highland Film Group produced "Jackie & Ryan", starring Katherine Heigl, which was both shot and set in Utah.

In 2011, state leaders passed legislation that would give tax incentives to film makers to come to Utah. The Motion Picture Incentives Amendment issued tax credit certificates to motion picture and digital media companies.

Since passing through 2011, film makers have brought more than $195 Million to Utah, according to Pearce.

"We have robust resources, [film makers] can get everything they need here," Pearce said. "Our location really is the draw."

Access to talent and film-making resources is perhaps one of the biggest reasons for movie makers to come to the Beehive State.

Actress and KUTV personality Kari Hawker-Diaz has starred in several motion pictures and says the crews that come to Utah love the state.

"I think Utah is great to film in because there's such a wide array of landscapes and looks so you can have anywhere from the mountains to you have salt flats, to the city look," Hawker-Diaz said. "We have a hugely talented crew here so people can just get the crew here, they can get their day players here, so it's kind of like a one stop shop."

In addition to the 35 films that were shot in Utah, the film commission says there are currently 9 project in the pre-production phase that will be shot here.

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KUTV Thu, 12/17/2015 - 00:00