CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Film Office will sponsor two free half-day workshops in the Northern Panhandle to help counties and municipalities learn what to expect when filming occurs in their communities and how they can become known as a "film-friendly" location.
"As West Virginia becomes a more popular place to shoot feature films, television programs, music videos and commercials, it is important for the Film Office to reach out to communities and community leaders to better prepare them when their region is chosen for filming," said Pam Haynes, director of the Film Office.
The workshops are free and open to the public. Haynes said she encourages representatives of convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, economic development authorities, mayors and city managers, county managers and commissioners, film and video production companies, and freelance film crew to attend.
The workshops are scheduled for May 19 in Weirton and May 20 in Follansbee, said Jamie Cope, location services manager for the Film Office. Cope said the Film Office presented similar workshops last fall in Wheeling, Martinsburg, and Charleston.
Cope explained that an expected increase in filming activity relates to tax credit incentives recently passed by the West Virginia Legislature. "The incentives allow the Film Office to participate more competitively with other states to recruit film production to West Virginia," he said.
Haynes said the workshop, titled "Business of Film: Paths to Opportunity,” will provide an overview of the tax incentives and how they will benefit West Virginia businesses, how communities may become film friendly, what to expect and how to handle filming when it knocks on the door, and how to work effectively with the Film Office. A brief tutorial on location scouting also will be highlighted, and there will be an assortment of helpful handouts.
The current schedule is as follows:
-- Tuesday, May 19, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, 350 Three Spring Drive, Weirton
-- Wednesday, May 20, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Community House at Follansbee City Park, State Route 2, Follansbee
Haynes said additional workshops are slated for July, August and September in other cities across the state. She also added that the Film Office will conduct the workshops in any county or community where interest and participation would be significant.
The West Virginia Film Office is a section under the WV Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, and can be visited at www.wvfilm.com.
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