Mutual sets 'Plan' for Minnesota

Perseverance pays, says Minnesota Film Board’s executive director Randy Adamsick. It took five years, but the state’s Twin Cities snagged the location rights for Mutual Film’s “A Simple Plan,” which Paramount is releasing domestically.

The pic, which stars Billy Bob Thornton, Bill Paxton (“Titanic”), Bridget Fonda (“Jackie Brown”) and Sissy Spacek and directed by Sam Raimi (“Darkman,” “The Quick and the Dead”), is a thriller about a group of small-town inhabitants who discover a plane crash. The plane was also carrying $4 million cash. Scott Smith wrote the novel and the screenplay.

Besides various state and city locations, St. Paul’s Energy Park Studio will be utilized for soundstage work. Adamsick credits the state’s 5% rebate fund and lots of lobbying by Minnesota’s Film Board and Gov. Arne H. Carlson as the keys in bringing the production to Minnesota. It’s estimated that the shoot will bring some $7 million to the state. Adamsick also announced that “A Chance of Snow,” a Hearst Entertainment production for Lifetime TV, will shoot in Minnesota. Tony Bill helms the pic, which will roll March 15 and is expected to bring in revenues of more than $2 million.

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The U.S. Virgin Islands Dept. of Tourism’s Film Office has developed a promotional package showcasing the islands’ most scenic areas, behind-the-scenes shots from previous productions and tubthumping the abilities of local crews. “This new kit format enables my office to customize each package to the specific needs of the individual project,” explained Manny Centeno, director of the USVI Film Office.

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