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Film Dayton pictures the Gem City as a magnet for movie, TV production

> Other states aggressive in offering incentives to filmmakers

By Tim Tresslar,

Staff Writer

Sunday, August 17, 2008

DAYTON — On stage in a local gallery on a sweltering July evening, J. Todd Anderson strayed from the topic at hand — his work as a Hollywood storyboard artist — and issued a friendly challenge to local leaders.

Anderson — whose work has included storyboards for such films as “Leatherheads” and “No Country for Old Men” — called for Dayton to offer incentives to entice film projects here. Those assembled in the Cannery Art & Design Center‘s 520 Gallery answered his call with cheers of approval.

Anderson, a New Carlisle native and Oakwood resident, is not alone in seeing films as an industry to be developed in Dayton. A recently launched group, Film Dayton, is an all-volunteer effort that wants to encourage more filmmaking in the region, including by offering incentives for film projects.

Film Dayton is part of the Creative Region Initiative, an undertaking based on the work of urban theorist Richard Florida. The initiative wants to find ways to develop a creative class — professional thinkers and creators such as musicians, writers and engineers — to drive economic growth.

Gloria Skurski, president of Film Dayton, said the group’s organizers haven’t determined which incentives might work best to draw film projects here. But they have begun looking at what other cities and states offer and hope to have some ideas to share with local leaders during the next couple of weeks, Skurski said.

But filmmaking could give the area’s economy a boost, not only by employing local film professionals but also through the money spent here during production.

“Dayton has a lot of assets between locations and film producers and crew,” Skurski said. “It just seemed this would be something important to develop.”

Additionally, the project also is seen as a way to grow film audiences through such steps as creating a Web portal to plug local film festivals, Skurski said.

State officials also are trying to lure more film production to Ohio. In December, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher announced the launch of the Ohio Film Commission and the hiring of Christina Grozik as director of the film office. Grozik’s duties include promoting Ohio as a place to make films, television shows, music videos and other projects, she said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7317 or ttresslar@DaytonDailyNews.com.

> Other states aggressive in offering incentives to filmmakers

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