Looking for the perfect location for your next production? Now there’s an app for that!
Michigan, Baton Rouge, North Carolina, Montana, and Nevada are among the first film offices to launch their own mobile apps. Developed by Reel-Scout, these apps include information on locations available for filming, local crew, vendors, and other film-related businesses. “Because the industry is so mobile, you need to be able to meet its needs in a mobile way,” said Reel-Scout’s founder Ed Henegar.
Each app can be downloaded for free and connects its users to the film office’s database which houses photographs and information on thousands of film locations and local film-related businesses. With these apps, area businesses can now promote themselves to the film industry professionals directly.
Having a mobile app prominently puts a state or city on the film industry radar. This in turn brings in more filming productions to the area. It’s a cutting-edge tool with an immediate positive effect on the local economy. With these apps, location scouting and crew selection becomes a breeze for film producers, location scouts and managers.
Here are the five film offices and commissions who now have their own mobile apps.
1. Baton Rouge Film Commission
Being the film location for many recent hit movies such as Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and Battleship, Baton Rouge is no stranger to Hollywood. “We started to transition toward Baton Rouge because a lot of our crew lives in Baton Rouge,” director Griff Furst explained why his company Active Entertainment moved to Baton Rouge in 2008. Another major reason for their relocation was the Louisiana’s tax incentives for film productions in the state.
Since then, the company has made over 20 films in South Louisiana. The latest production, Syfy channel’s Arachnoquake, will be the first movie filmed entirely in Baton Rouge. Making the movie in Baton Rouge makes the filming process even more efficient according to Furst.
“It was kind of natural for us to migrate and set up a permanent shop eventually in Baton Rouge,” continued Furst. “Baton Rouge is such a great central location, and everybody can go to work and then go home to their families.”
In addition to convenient housing and accommodations, the local crew’s knowledge of the area also speeds up the filming process in Baton Rouge, explained Producer and University alumnus Daniel Lewis. “You can pull in a crew, reach out to different vendors — it provides a lot of conveniences and a lot of efficiencies,” Lewis explained. “Our company’s been in Louisiana since 2008 so everybody has really picked up a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge of Baton Rouge, Lafayette and the whole state.”
THE FIRST FILM COMMISSION TO LAUNCH ITS IPHONE APP
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden and the Baton Rouge Film Commission held a major news conference on February 2, 2012, to introduce By Baton Rouge, the city’s new iPhone app for film industry professionals. The app links its users with the Baton Rouge Film Commission’s database of thousands of film locations and film industry-related businesses in the area.
HOW “BY BATON ROUGE” HELPS LOCAL BUSINESSES
“It basically allows your vendors and your locations to be found, searched, explored, etc., by the productions that have already made a commitment to shoot in and around Baton Rouge,” shared Reel-Scout’s president Ed Henegar.
“Whether your business is a restaurant, a bar, a hair salon, a plant nursery, a baby nursery, a lumber yard or an office supplies outlet,” said Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden, “this new app will allow you to offer your goods and services directly to the film and movie industry.” This in turn enables local businesses to offer discounts or complimentary services should they choose.
“Through this new app, prospective vendors can offer a percentage off their entire purchase or a complimentary service. Like any other business, film and television productions are always looking for vendors who will positively impact their bottom line,” the Mayor added.
Claire Sanchez, a local handbag designer and one of several local business owners whose products were used in Twilight: Breaking Dawn-Part 1, said in an interview with WAFB Channel 9 CBS that “By Baton Rouge” is yet another step toward improving the city’s economy and fostering home-grown talent. “Out-of-town filmmakers, local filmmakers, but especially out-of-town film makers from out the country and other parts of the world will have easy access to what we have to offer,” said Sanchez proudly.
In 2011, productions filmed in Baton Rouge brought in over $200 million by doing business with local vendors while they were in town. Donna Reichman, executive director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission, believes that By Baton Rouge will prompt even more businesses to list themselves with the film commission. (She talked at length on the app and filming in Baton Rouge in this television interview with 2une In, in case you want to check it out.)
Released on January 12, 2012, “By Baton Rouge” is available for download on iTunes.
Baton Rouge Film Office
359 Third St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
2. North Carolina Film Office
North Carolina has been pretty busy lately with major Hollywood productions - such as The Hunger Games, ABC’s Revenge, and HBO’s Homeland - setting up shop in the state. In addition to the natural beauty of its landscapes, historic southern towns, and quaint coastal villages, the state has a generous 25% film tax credit incentive and a host of studios and filming facilities available for productions big or small.
With the free app, film professionals can now search for North Carolina’s locations, crew, and support services easily from anywhere. The app gives film industry professionals a powerful tool in the palm of their hands as they search for the perfect locations and/or support services for their productions.
Aaron Syrett, director of the North Carolina Film Office, says the app includes tens of thousands of photos shot at several thousand North Carolina locations. NC FILM’s main goal is to promote North Carolina as a location for filming. It’s an excellent device to help facilitate producers’ decisions to film in North Carolina.
Released on January 12, 2012, NC FILM is available for download on iTunes.
North Carolina Film Office
301 N. Wilmington Street
Raleigh, North Carolina USA 27601
3. Michigan Film Office
Founded in 1979, the Michigan Film Office has been active in its efforts to assist and attract incoming production companies to Michigan. In addition to the state’s filming incentives and local sound stages and studios, Michigan has over 3,000 miles of coastline, 11,032 lakes, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, and hundreds of thousands of forest acres.
Michigan is also proud of its diverse agricultural community (second only to California) that includes vineyards, livestock, flowers and fruit farms. Michigan’s two peninsulas, with the world’s longest suspension bridge joining them, giant sand dunes, copper mines, and historic towns provide a rich landscape for the film industry. Impressive indeed! No wonder Michigan has attracted many featured films and productions, including the recent The Ides of March, Alex Cross, and The Five-Year Engagement.
On March 13, 2012, the Michigan Film Office added an iPhone app to its impressive repertoire. With the app, film industry professionals will have access to thousands of film locations right in the palm of their hand. The film office’s goal with the app is to make location scouting in Michigan easier and more productive than ever before.
“It really kind of is cutting edge, breaking ground, in how folks travel around states as they’re looking for locations to use for shooting films,” Michelle Begnoche, a spokesperson for the Michigan Film Office said in an interview with WWJ Newsradio 950. “And we think that this will help give us a pretty big competitive edge for projects that are trying to decide where they’re gonna bring their film,” stated Begnoche.
In addition to having access to the 5,400+ film locations (and over 78,000 photos of those locations) in Michigan, the app also allows directors, location managers and scouts to tap into the local crew and vendor directories directly from their iPhone. They can search their locations by region, city or landmark – anything a scene might call for, and map those locations directly to their phone.
“The Michigan Film Office team is constantly developing innovative ways to keep Michigan a top choice for productions,” said locations manager George Constas. “This new iPhone app is an amazing tool that showcases the beauty and variety of our state, while at the same time creating a more efficient filmmaking process. This app will also show the world how synergy between producers, our film office, and local location managers can be maximized.”
Released on March 13, 2012, the Michigan Film Office app is available for download on iTunes.
Michigan Film Office
300 North Washington Square 3rd Floor
Lansing, MI 48913
Tel. (800) 477-3456 (FILM)
4. Montana Film Office
Since 1974, the Montana Film Office has worked on 114 feature films, 500 television shows, 600 national television commercials, and 1,000 independent film projects. In 2011 alone, there were 63 film projects made in the state. This impressive list of productions has brought in over $250 million for Montana’s economy.
For a brief look at the beautiful filming locations of Montana, check out the Montana Film Office’s Montana, The Ultimate Location.
Today, the Montana Film Office continues to entice the film industry to “Big Sky Country.” On May 10, 2012, the film office launched its own iPhone app.
Dubbed by the Apple’s app store as “the ultimate film guide in the palm of your hand,” the Montana Film Office’s iPhone app is a user-friendly app that allows film professionals to easily browse and map film locations, contact local crew, and even rent filming equipment.
With the newly-released iPhone app, along with the competitive filming incentives of the Montana Film Office’s Studio 406 program, Montana continues to be “fertile ground” for filmmaking.
“Having seen so much of the state and working with so many of its residents has been a wonderful opportunity to not only create relationships with the untapped talent here, but it also has given me an insight into what makes Montana tick,” says Matthew Smaglik, a young filmmaker whose feature film Magpie recently won the Montana Film Office’s “Pitch the 406” contest.
“There was a story that I wanted to tell and people I wanted to tell it with, that, along with recent technological changes, we suddenly found that we could (do it in Montana),” shares Smaglik.
Released on May 10, 2012, the Montana Film Office app is available for download on iTunes.
Montana Film Office
301 S. Park Avenue
Helena MT 59620
Tel. (800) 553-4563
5. Nevada Film Commission
The Nevada Film Office recently launched its highly-anticipated iPhone app on June 1, 2012. The app gives users access to over 10,000 photos representing more than 900 Nevada film locations, all searchable by region, category, or keyword. Film industry professionals can also select and choose local crew assistance through the app’s A-Z Production Directory.
Nevada prides itself on being a production and film-friendly state with special perks such as intergovernmental cooperation, award-winning local crew, state-of-the-art production facilities, favorable film tax incentives, 300-plus days of sunshine, posh accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment.
In addition to the above perks, filmmakers and producers worldwide love the Nevada locations for their distinct characteristics not seen anywhere else. The Nevada landscapes include picturesque lakes, majestic mountains, glittering casino towns, ghost towns, working and abandoned mines, iconic desert landscapes, and much more.
Famous movies filmed in Nevada include Ocean’s 11, Con Air, Transformers, Race to Witch Mountain, Iron Man, The Hangover, What Happens In Vegas, and Star Trek. For more details on other Nevada productions, click here. Also check out the Nevada: a Visual Guide to Locations.
The app is free and you can download it from iTunes.
The Nevada Film Office
6655 West Sahara, Suite C106
Las Vegas, NV 89146