Utah lawmakers, filmmakers come together for state capitol event

Film Day on the Hill_Vicki Varela_Governor Herbert_Virginia Pearce.jpg
Utah lawmakers, filmmakers come together for state capitol event. (Photo courtesy of Utah Film Commission){ }

(KUTV) — A red carpet was rolled out at the Utah State Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Lawmakers and filmmakers came together for 'Film Day on the Hill' as a visual medium to showcase what the state offers and educate people on what it takes to make a movie.

According to Virginia Pearce, the director of the Utah Film Commission, Utah employs nearly 4,000 people for film work every year from caterers and hair/make-up artists to set designer and engineers.

During the 2018 legislative general session, S.B. 185 would provide better incentives for companies using Utah for their post-production work.

"Paying your editor, doing sound mixes, doing color-corrections, and bringing in animations is an expensive process," said Jenny Mackenzie, and independent documentary filmmaker. "(So) is production when you're shooting the film."

Companies currently receive a 20-percent tax credit for spending at least $500,000 in the state. Filmmakers get a 20-percent cash rebate for spending $1-million.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert considers it a competitive incentive already.

"There's about a $75-million direct impact on the economy here in the state of Utah, every year, because of film," he said.

"We would certainly like more (money)," said Jeff Miller, the Disney Channel film producer, "not to the detriment of education, but more is bring positive soft dollars to the community and state every time a film or series visits Utah."

More than 1,400 films have been produced in Utah, including Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Thelma and Louise, and 127 Hours. Many episodic series have also filmed in Utah, such as CBS’ Touched by an Angel, Disney Channel’s Andi Mack and HBO’s Westworld.