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Movies made in Utah bring $33 million to state

Published September 19, 2012 9:19 pm

Economy • Tax credits, rebates to producers paying dividends, lawmakers told.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

They say there's no business like show business, and it's apparently been good business for Utah, according to an annual report from the Utah Film Commission.

Thanks to major film productions shot in Utah such as "The Lone Ranger," starring Johnny Depp, and the upcoming science fiction film "After Earth," starring Will Smith (both shot in Moab), $33 million was spent in Utah, commission executive director Marshall Moore told a legislative interim committee Wednesday at the State Capitol.

This past fiscal year, from July to June, 18 new film productions were shot in Utah, up from 13 the previous year. Moore said the increase could be attributed to the Legislature approving added incentives for filmmakers who make their movies in the state.

Movie and television producers can receive either tax credits or cash rebates if they spend a certain amount of money while shooting in Utah. The 18 productions shot last fiscal year resulted in 1,026 production jobs and 698 working days for local crew members, Moore said.

In addition to the films, two television productions soon will be shooting in the state, adding sustainable work. BYUtv is shooting the new coming-of-age drama "Granite Flats," which gets under way in October. A children's program, "Aqua Bats Supershow," begins shooting soon for the Hub Network. They are the first TV series to be shot in Utah since "Everwood" wrapped in 2006.

Utah also is sponsoring a "Utah in Hollywood" event in Los Angeles beginning Thursday during which members of the state's film commission and the Utah Office of Tourism will try to woo filmmakers and TV productions to Utah.

Such work "is keeping people working and keeping projects in the state, and bringing new projects," Moore said.

vince@sltrib.com