The Economic Contribution of Film & Television
Muriel Eason | 1/30/13

The production and distribution of films and television programs is one of the nation’s most valuable cultural and economic resources. The industry is a major private sector employer across the nation, with salaries above the national average. The industry is a nationwide network of tens of thousands of small businesses, located in every state in the country, the majority of which employ ten people or fewer. The industry is heavily reliant on vendors in other industries all over the country. Each year, film and television production activity takes place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Pagosa Springs Potential Revenue Producer

Closer to home in Colorado, the motion picture and television industry is responsible for 10,434 direct jobs and $454.0 million in wages in Colorado, including both production and distribution-related jobs. Nearly 1,800 of the jobs are production-related. 

Between 2010 and 2012, at least 11 movies and more than 8 TV series filmed in the state. Some of the movies include A Modern Pride and Prejudice, Mind's Eye, The Origin, Pretty Obsession, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, Gathering of Heros: Legend of the Seven Swords,  Cougar Hunting and Stained Glass Windows. An extensive list of movies filmed in Colorado can be found HERE and on the Film in Colorado website. TV series include Cool Tools, DIY Disaster House, DIY Dominator, Rescue Renovation, Food Network Challenge, HGTV Professional Grade, Secrets of Aspen and Unwrapped.

Donald Zuckerman is the head of the relatively new Colorado Film & Video Association which is part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and Trade (OEDIT).  He'd like to see Colorado once again become a player in the motion picture and television production industry, a position the state once held in the pre-incentive days when producers came to the state for its great locations, professional production crews, facilities, post houses, and readily available equipment. Colorado offered – and still does – a darn nice working environment. 

According to Zuckerman, “Colorado’s new film production isn't some passing fancy for some overpaid Hollywood studio mogul. It is serious, down to earth economic development, a vehicle for generating clean economic activity and creating top paying permanent jobs. And he would like to see the production industry take a more expansive role in the state's economic future.”   And Zuckerman does know a bit about the motion picture industry. Colorado's incentives to production include a 10% rebate on qualifying in-state expenditures, provided 25% of the actors and crew are Colorado residents. More information is available at the: Colorado Film Office.

Want to know more?
  Marc Snider of the Four Corners Film Office, an Enhanced Enterprise Zone Project  will be the guest speaker at the next public Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation (PSCDC) meeting, Monday, February 4th at 5pm at the Quality Resort to tell us more about the Four Corners Film Office--what they are doing, the successes they’ve had and how we can participate. 

Archuleta County is comprised of 867,263 acres (1,355 sq. miles) and only 31% of lands in Archuleta County are in private ownership. We have incredible scenic vistas and wide open spaces and 49% of the county is federal land.    Productions are a clean industry, and primarily recession proof. The economic impacts of film and television production are well documented, with the budget of Walt Disney’s the Lone Ranger which filmed portions in Creede, for example, ranging around $100,000 per day.  CLICK HERE for info on this project in Creede. According to Laura Lewis Marchino of Region 9 EDD, “In two weeks of filming it is estimated to have had a $7M impact on the local economy.  This does not even include the ancillary expenditures of visiting cast and crew, and the tourism associated with feature films and their fans.”

“Long-term economic impacts, like drawing tourists here to discover the endless beauty of the San Luis Valley when the movie opens in 2013, is a more innocuous measurement, but equally important because of the footprint left behind by an epic film production like The Lone Ranger, according to Eric Grossman, Creede town trustee and mayor-elect”.

The mission of the Four Corners Film Office is to increase jobs and income from film, television and digital media production in the Four Corners region. They do that by serving as a liaison, facilitator and information hub.  Marc will be happy to answer any questions you may have during the Monday, September 4th meeting, or afterwards at a public reception at The Quality Inn.


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