On the eve of Location Expo, which starts Saturday in Santa Monica, the fax machine gurgled with info from all over the map. Here’s a sampling:
CELEBRATING ITS first year of operation, the British Film Commission plans demonstrations of its National Information Database at Location Expo.
The BFC dubs its database the “state of the art, image-generating system,” which reproduces location information from all of the national and regional United Kingdom agencies at the show, including Edinburgh and Lothian Screen Industries Office, the Liverpool Film Office, Isle of Man Film Commission, Screen Wales and Gwynedd Media.
Project manager Malcolm Paterson will be at Location Expo to put the database through the motions, while commissioner Sydney Samuelson and chief executive Andrew Patrick will be pitching the merits of production — particularly favorable exchange rates — in the U.K.
THE TEXAS FILM commissions, eight in all, are sponsoring a brunch Saturday at the Border Grill in Santa Monica. More than 200 producers, directors, production managers, studio executives and agents will attend the event, according to Texas Film Commission director Marlene Saritzky. “We figure if they come to this they don’t need to go to Location Expo,” Saritzky said.
THE VIRGINIA Dept. of Economic Development has announced that production spending topped $ 15 million in 1992, including $ 7.3 million from seven major films and $ 6 million from television movies.
It was a pretty good year for the Old Dominion, including an important showcase of the state’s grandeur in the Jodie Foster/Richard Gere starrer “Sommersby.” Virginia Film Office acting director Rita D. McClenny will be on hand at Location Expo to pitch the state’s merits.
WENDOL JARVIS and company at the Iowa Film Office are sponsoring a writers retreat in the state from April 23-25. Writers from around the country are expected to attend the event, dubbed “The Bridges of Madison County Retreat — For Those Who Love to Write.”
“This retreat will be a valuable resource for Iowa’s film community,” said Jarvis, manager of the Iowa Film Office. “Writing is the cornerstone of the motion picture industry. Artists who develop here can mean new potential opportunities for our industry.”
Jarvis will be on hand at this year’s Location Expo, trumpeting the state’s benefits for producers. Iowa will feature the computerized Location Connection database at its booth. The standardized system is described as the Dewey Decimel system for film managers (Daily Variety, Feb. 11).
THE AUSTRALIAN Consulate General has scheduled a March 5 breakfast forum to pitch the merits of filming Down Under. Titled “Filming in Australia: What Are the Benefits,” the confab is a joint effort of the Australian Government, the New South Wales Film & Television Office and the Pacific Film & Television Commission.
SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR Frank M. Jordan reported that 64 permits for photography, videos, television and movies — issued during the second quarter ended December 1992 — accounted for $ 10.3 million in production revenues. The City has topped $ 21 million over the six months.
San Francisco Film & Video Arts Commission executive director Lorrae Rominger will be part of California’s full-court press at Location Expo, which is designed to compete with Hollywood, in its home state.
California Film Commission director Patty Archuletta said, “We are proud to say our group will have the largest representation of any state on the showroom floor, which just reinforces the message that California takes the business retention of this vital California industry very seriously.”
THE BRITISH VIRGIN Islands’ Tourism & Film Promotion office has postponed its reception, which was scheduled for tomorrow night at the Hotel Bel Air. According to a British Virgin Islands rep, chief minister of tourism and trade H. Lavity Stoutt, who was to have hosted, has a scheduling conflict, and event will instead be held in approximately four weeks.
WHEN FILMMAKER Bernardo Bertolucci arrived in Seattle for production of “Little Buddha,” Mayor Norm Rice greeted him with the products of locally owned businesses — gourmet chocolates from Diletante Chocolates and java from Starbucks Coffee.
Rice said, “When the motion picture industry films in our city, there is a tremendous ripple effect from that largess.” The state’s motion picture council reported that the ripple reached $ 45 million in 1992.
Washington is exhibiting at Location Expo this year, as newly elected Governor Mike Lowry aggressively backs the push to recruit filming there.
Despite a statewide $ 1 billion deficit and impending across-the-board budget cuts, Washington “is beginning to recognize how important” film advocates are to its economy,” said council vice chairman Robert Johnson.
FILMMAKERS WENT BACK to Kansas in record numbers last year, as production spending topped $ 9 million. Among the top productions were the Glenn Close/Christopher Walken TV movie “Skylark” and three vidpix executive produced by Leonard Hill –“Dead Before Dawn,””I Can Make You Love Me” and “They’ve Taken Our Children.” Kansas Film director Vicky Henley will be on hand at Location Expo.