Columbus seeks bigger role in the film industry

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Movies like Captain America and Thor battled bad guys on the streets of Cleveland.

George Clooney and Ryan Gosling starred in the Ides of March, filmed in Cincinnati.

Huge blockbusters seem to be shot in the north and south of Columbus, but never here. Columbus is the largest city in Ohio, but typically the city only gets small cameos inside bigger films. One of those scenes was in I Am Wrath with John Travolta.

The Greater Columbus Film Commission wants to change that.

“We’re scouting right now for a film that might actually take place in LA, but they want to come here and shoot it,” said John Daugherty, Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Film Commission.

“Right now in terms of post-production, we’re the only facility that I know of in Ohio that is working with movies,” said Leonard Hartman, President of the Ohio Film Group.

The Columbus-based postproduction company edits movies like My Blind Brother and brings these films to screens both big and small.

“Columbus is starting to get more of a base. It is only going to grow,” Hartman said. “I think you are seeing more and more of [sic] Los Angeles is not a place that is economically viable.”

And the Ohio film industry is growing.

“We’ve been able to create a dozen jobs,” Hartman said.

“[There are about]Four or five films a year here. That would keep 200 to 300 people working here year-round, living and paying taxes right here in the city,” Daugherty said.

More movies would create a workforce, and then the workforce could snowball into a permanent industry.

To help, the State of Ohio created a 35% tax break for filmmakers as long as they hire locally. A stronger crew base would entice big-name production companies to have an office here, which could grow into more projects right here in Central Ohio.

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