Virginia's new movie incentives attracting business

By Ben Garbarek  - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Local football players auditioned today to be a part of a new lifetime movie called "Unanswered Prayers." Film industry officials say this movie is a direct result of the governor's new tax incentives.

Many dream of starring in a movie, and today several football players auditioned for their spot in the spotlight at Dorey Park. For people like Demario Cooper it's a good opportunity to hopefully find a job playing football and make some money at the same time.

"Just hoping somebody can see what I can do so maybe I can get into a school or another professional team," he said.

The Virginia Film Office says the lifetime movie "Unanswered Prayers" is a direct result of tax incentives signed by Governor Bob McDonnell earlier this summer.

"Sony made no mistake about it that Virginia has to step up and compete directly, one-on-one with other states," said Rita McClenney with the Virginia Film Office.

Currently forty two states and the District of Columbia have tax incentives in place to attract film productions. Mark Ellis is a Hollywood director responsible for many sports movies like "Miracle", "Invincible" and "The Longest Yard". He says the competition among states for movies is fierce.

"Richmond offers a lot, not only great people but a great location. You've got water here, you got mountains here, you've got good people, great locations, not too big, not too small so it serves a lot of purposes for the Hollywood community," said Ellis.

The film office says "Unanswered Prayers" will employ three hundred crew members plus several hundred actors and extras...directors say lots of people need the work nowadays.

"Make some extra money and everybody knows extra money is always a plus," said Cooper.

The film office says last year there were six movies filmed in Virginia and already this year there have been four since July.

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