M. Night Shyamalan made headlines last week with a generous $1.5 million donation to the South Philadelphia neighborhood he used to shoot his 1999 breakthrough pic “The Sixth Sense.” But it’s his ongoing use of Philly and its environs that’s got the City of Brotherly Love singing his praises.
Sharon Pinkenson, exec director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, says Shyamalan’s shoots have generated nearly $100 million in revenues for the region. His 2002 Mel Gibson starrer “Signs” had a total economic impact of nearly $48 million by itself.
“It’s vital, absolutely important for us, him, and local crews and filmmakers that he keep bringing films to these areas,” Pinkenson says, noting the business he generates allows crews to base in the city, which helps lure other lucrative projects into town, such as CBS skein “Hack.”
Shyamalan now is shooting “The Village,” his fifth film, in the area. The Philadelphia film community hopes it won’t be the last.