Monday, March 23, 2009

STL to star in Hollywood movie

The news is reporting that Sutton Avenue in Maplewood is closed to traffic today for the filming of George Clooney's "Up in the Air" movie. For the next few months, film crews will be working in St. Louis on Clooney's next big screen production. I don't know anything about the movie, except with George Clooney in it, it's sure to get a lot of attention. And that's good for St. Louis.

Over the past few weeks, film crews have been downtown. They were lined up along Memorial Drive near the Arch, and also by the Bowling Hall of Fame/St. Louis Cardinals Museum. With the great renaissance happening in Maplewood, it's no wonder location scouts have landed upon Sutton Avenue.

St. Louis makes some sense for film makers. We have four seasons. We have a wide variety of scenery. And we're an affordable place to do business. In the 70s, our run down buildings were chosen to serve as the backdrop for a post-civilized New York City in "Escape from New York". Today, STL is being chosen as an authentic American landscape.

It will be interesting to learn the impressions from movie people about their experiences working in St. Louis. With good word and a successful project, St. Louis can raise it's standing as a viable option for more Hollywood movie making.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Despite some recent defections, most major studio films are still shot in Hollywood. The local talent pool, production facilities, and networking events there trump pretty much every advantage other cities and states hold.

But, indie filmmaking – an important market segment – has slightly different criteria, including all the things mentioned above, PLUS low cost studio options, a variety of locations, and municipal/state financial incentives.

What cities/states are doing a good job at that right now and attracting both major studio and indie productions? New York (for years), Austin, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, the states of Louisiana and Tennessee, and Baltimore. In the future? Michigan has sharply beefed up its facilities and its economic incentives.

St. Louis has the locations, but Missouri’s incentives are pretty small and we are short of production facilities. The Clooney film currently shooting is using almost all the state incentives available for a couple of years.