The state of Ohio brought in $160 million in film production revenue last year, according to Lisa Grigsby, Film Commissioner of Greater Dayton Region.
“The whole purpose behind the film commission is an economic driver for the region,” Grigsby said. “To get outside films to come in and spend money here, hiring locals and locations, renting hotel rooms and equipment. All those things bring money here.”
The commission, also known as FilmDayton, collaborates with TV and film productions in order to drive economic development in the entertainment business within the Dayton region.
They serve as a resource, assisting in identifying suitable venues and filming locations in the Miami Valley, as well as finding crew, equipment, housing and a wide variety of service providers. They also act as an advocate for growth and exposure of the local industry.
Grigsby recalled that when crews came to the Miami Valley to shoot a commercial for Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer,” a total of $50,000 was spent over the course of two days.
“When it comes down to it, it is show business,” Grigsby said. “Yes, they want to make a phenomenal film. Yes, it’s cool that Robert De Niro will be in our area. But the coolest part is how much money they are going to spend in Ohio. It’s bringing real money and real jobs right here.”
Grigsby said that Ohio offers a state rebate, which draws filmmakers from around the country.
The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit that equals 30% of in-state expenditures on eligible productions. Eligible productions must spend a minimum of $300,000 in the State of Ohio.
“Wise Guys” is expected to spend $16,294,108.80 to shoot in Ohio, but the production is not receiving a tax credit, according to DataOhio.
“I’m pretty sure Wise Guys doesn’t take place in Dayton,” Grigsby said. “But as long as we can give [the production companies] what looks like whatever they need – Chicago, New York, for those scenes, wouldn’t they rather go somewhere affordable? In Dayton or Cincinnati, you will get a much more reasonable cost.”
She said there are a variety of ways to get involved with the organization and area filming opportunities.
The Dayton Film Commission offers an online database where people can list their house or property if you are interested in having them featured in a movie.
Their website also offers a frequently updated casting and crew call page for those interested in taking the spotlight or helping out behind the scenes.