Viewpoint: Movie would provide 'shot' to Cape economy

Monday, September 19, 2005

California, home to Hollywood's gigantic movie industry, loses more than $10 million in tax revenue when a larger-budget movie costing about $70 million is made elsewhere, according to a recently released report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Even when a mid-sized film, costing about $32 million, is shot outside of the Sunshine State, it means about $4 million in lost taxes. That doesn't even take into consideration where the money goes before taxes are paid on it.

That money goes into the community's coffers on items like hotel stays, rental cars, food, contractors to build sets, etc.

Well, there is one new movie that won't be filmed in California.

As most already know, it's called "Killshot," and in late December or early January, there will be three days of filming in Cape Girardeau.

The movie will star Diane Lane ("Under the Tuscan Sun") as Carmen, Thomas Jane ("The Punisher") as her husband Wayne and Mickey Rourke ("Sin City") as Armand.

"Killshot" is about an innocent couple (Lane and Jane) who happen upon a real estate scheme run by a hit man (O'Rourke) and his young sociopathic accomplice (Justin Timberlake). Cape Girardeau is where the couple go to hide out.

The movie will be directed by John Madden, whose film "Shakespeare in Love" won a Best Picture Academy Award. Madden also is director of the new release "Proof."

Within the next few weeks, producers are expected to set up shop somewhere in Cape Girardeau, possibly a hotel where they will be staying. The film begins filming in October in Toronto and the film's last shots will be here in Cape Girardeau.

The Missouri Film Commission estimates that there will be a 100-member crew and the short stay will pump about $100,000 into the local economy for each day of filming.

That's a substantial and sudden economic boon, considering that the book was published in 1989 and only a few weeks of the novel actually take place in Cape Girardeau.

Jerry Jones, the film commission's executive director, said that the film-makers will likely use local food vendors, contractors, rental vehicles and spend money here in other ways.

Jones said they were looking at shooting in the downtown area and along the Mississippi River. The novel's lead male character holds a job at Missouri Dry Dock, though its owners have yet to be contacted about shooting there.

It will be good for the economy. And it could have longer term impacts.

There are residual effects of having a movie shot here. People will travel here from outside the area to watch the filming. It's likely that locals will be used as extras. Then, after the movie comes out, it will generate interest in the area again.

"You can't buy this kind of publicity," Jones said. "Even if you could afford it."

Beyond the publicity, it's an exciting time for Cape Girardeau.

While "Killshot" obviously isn't going to become the new movie-making capital, it will be a fun, and profitable, venture.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: