This past week the “Lone Ranger” is riding again into Utah’s adventure capital as shooting for the film version of the popular television show is under way in Moab. The movie stars Johnny Depp and brings with it exposure for the state and revenue for local and state coffers.
“As the economy goes, so goes the film industry,” said Utah Film Commission Director Marshall Moore. The state’s “sweet spot” is typically independent films, cable and network television, with the occasional blockbuster like the “Lone Ranger” shooting here. The film is just the latest to take advantage of a decision to provide monetary incentives to those who choose to do business in Utah. “It’s where we’ve been making our living for the last few years,” Moore said. The film commission offers up to 25 percent in post-performance incentives — essentially a rebate — to production companies for shooting in the Beehive State. And it seems to be working. During the past 14 months, the number of film incentive applications approved has jumped to 34 productions. In just a year, the number of production companies filming in Utah has risen from 13 to 29. During fiscal year 2011-12, 30 projects have applied and qualified for incentives, compared to 12 projects the year before. The minimum spending amount for any incentive-approved project is $200,000. Companies receive a 15 percent rebate based on expenditures between $200,000 and $1 million, with higher incentives up to 25 percent offered for projects above $1 million.
“The purpose (of the program) is to create economic development, jobs and promotional opportunities for the entire state,” Moore said. “(Also) to benefit the economy, the Utah taxpayer and to make sure our local talent and crews are being used.” The program is administered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Thus far in fiscal year 2012, approximately 1,300 crew jobs have been created working nearly 1,000 production days.
— Carole Mikita, KSL/Deseret News
We’re proud to see out state taking advantage of the film industry! For more information on film in Utah visit Filmed In Utah.