UofL conference aims to boost film production in Kentucky - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

UofL conference aims to boost film production in Kentucky

Posted: Updated:
In an effort to boost film production in Kentucky, industry professionals gathered in Louisville Friday for the first ever Film and Filmmaking in Kentucky Symposium. In an effort to boost film production in Kentucky, industry professionals gathered in Louisville Friday for the first ever Film and Filmmaking in Kentucky Symposium.
Peter Morrin Peter Morrin
Marc Salmon Marc Salmon
Milan Chakraborty Milan Chakraborty
Salmon said the production of "Elizabethtown" helped further put the Brown Hotel on the map. Salmon said the production of "Elizabethtown" helped further put the Brown Hotel on the map.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In an effort to boost film production in Kentucky, industry professionals gathered in Louisville Friday for the first ever Film and Filmmaking in Kentucky Symposium.

Hosted by members of the University of Louisville Center for Arts and Culture Partnerships, the day-long conference featured a panel discussion, interactive sessions and keynote speakers including Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear.

"We brought in directors, scholars, critics, a whole range of people involved in film," said University of Louisville Center for Arts and Culture Partnerships Director Peter Morrin. "We're trying to create an agenda to push forward in making Kentucky more of a film center."

Morrin said currently about ten people are working on films in the Commonwealth, but that more filmmakers may be interested if Kentucky offered better incentives.

"There are some state incentives for film investing, however they are not particularly competitive with other states. Louisiana, in particular, offers filmmakers much greater financial incentives," said Morrin.

"It's here. It's just {that} people don't know about it," said filmmaker and conference panelist Milan Chakraborty. The Terre Haute, Indiana native is in the pre-production phase of filming a movie called "Produce" in Louisville. Chakraborty said Kentucky film incentives coupled with Louisville's Midwestern feel led him to pick the Derby city, but only after realizing incentives were not being offered in Indiana.

"It's a 20 percent rebate. So, essentially 20 percent of the money we spend, we get back," explained Chakraborty. "There's a lot of good things going on here. I think the bigger thing is branding, and getting that word out."

Better branding could lead to an economic boost for the Commonwealth, bringing in millions of dollars with each motion picture project.

"The film industry creates about $3 billion in revenue a year," began Morrin. "We'd like Kentucky to get a bigger share of that."

"It was an incredible experience for us," recalled Brown Hotel Human Resources Manager Marc Salmon as he thought back to the Paramount Pictures filming of "Elizabethtown" at the hotel. "The cast and crew were here for a solid six weeks in the summer of 2004. They occupied 90 percent of the hotel. It was a tremendous revenue opportunity for us."

In addition to boosting occupancy, Salmon said the production helped further put the Brown Hotel on the map, and also included a few extra perks.

"They said there was too much glare coming in," said Salmon as he gestured toward the lobby. "So they put these curtains up to make us look maybe even a little more like ourselves and they left them here afterwards. So, we're happy to have them."

Having seen the benefits of being filmed and hosting a film crew, Salmon said he welcomes new filmmakers to set up shop in the Bluegrass state.

"Nothing says Kentucky like some of the landmarks here in Louisville and nothing says authentic like a place like the Brown Hotel," said Salmon.

"Louisville is the place that really captures the community values that we're looking for," said Chakraborty.

Chakraborty said he expects to begin filming throughout Louisville starting October 28.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.