As you may recall, we have questioned whether the money S.C. spends trying to lure movie productions here is well spent. The Commerce Department does not question it, however, even after "Nailed" had to leave town after running out of money several times. You have to wonder whether an employer that keeps failing to pay its employees is the kind of business you want in town, even if one of the employees it brings in is a total babe.
But the Commerce Department doesn’t wonder. Here’s a release I got today:
S.C. Department of Commerce Announces Two New Feature Films Approved to Shoot in the Palmetto State
COLUMBIA, S.C. – June 25, 2008 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce today announced two new feature films have been approved to begin filming in South Carolina in 2008. Both productions are quality family entertainment that will offer a positive reflection of South Carolina.
“Band of Angels” is a Hallmark Production directed by Bill Duke. The film traces the history of the Fisk University Jubilee Singers from their roots as a struggling opera company to their early success as gospel and spiritual singers. It is set post Civil War and will be shot primarily in and around Charleston.
“Dear John” was written by Nicholas Sparks and is a New Line studios production with Production Designer Sarah Knowles. New Line studios and Knowles both worked on “The Notebook,” which was filmed in South Carolina in 2003. “Dear John” will be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who directed Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid and Robert Duval in “Something to Talk About,” which was also shot in South Carolina in 1995.
“Dear John” is the story of a soldier who falls in love with a conservative college girl who he plans to marry, but time and distance take their toll on the fledging relationship. If the production company opts to move forward, the film will be shot in multiple locations along the South Carolina coast.
“Both of these productions were recruited under the incentive guidelines revised by the Department of Commerce and the Coordinating Council for Economic Development. As a result, the state did a much better job of utilizing our crew base in South Carolina. The film recruitment success this spring should end the debate that South Carolina needs to pay more to recruit more films to the state. The goal relative to film recruitment should be to lower the negative fiscal impact and create jobs for South Carolinians. The productions recruited since the first of the year are a step in the right direction to achieve both goals,” said Joe Taylor, Secretary of Commerce.
“Even with the national writers’ strike slowing productions around the country in the fall of 2007, South Carolina enjoyed its strongest spring of film recruitment ever. With four feature films and a television series, our resident crew base has been virtually fully utilized. The focus of film recruitment should be employing South Carolina residents and keeping the South Carolina crew base working is the strongest measure of film recruitment success,” said Daniel Young, Executive Director of the Coordinating Council for Economic Development.
“The New Daughter” completed filming along the coast in May and “Nailed” has completed production in the Columbia area. “Army Wives” is still in production filming in Charleston.
“Band of Angels” is currently in preproduction and is scheduled to begin filming in South Carolina soon. Individuals interested in applying for work on the production should contact the South Carolina Film Commission or visit www.filmsc.com.
“Dear John” has been approved for film incentives by the Coordinating Council for Economic Development. The production company is still finalizing details concerning the production including the exact schedule.
Notice how Commerce worded that: “Nailed” has completed production in the Columbia area.
That’s a funny way of putting it, in light of the facts.
Of course, I’m sure that there was some positive economic impact while the production lasted. I hear, for instance, that a certain underground bar across from the State House got so much business from cast and crew — including at various times Paul Rubens and a guy who was in "X-Men" — that they recently they had to shoo out some of the "Nailed" folks so they could close the place.
But as much as I love movies — and I do — we on The State‘s editorial board remain unconvinced that money spent in this sector is worth it.