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Movie money Featured

9:37am EDT July 22, 2002

Most Ohioans probably don't know that the film industry has brought the state $161 million since 1976.

That year saw the inception of the Ohio Film Commission, whose purpose it is to bring filmmakers to Ohio and aid crews in production.

Steve Cover, the film commissioner, says that film productions typically spend $500,000 per week. When crews stick around for four or five weeks, the dollars add up.

"The production hires local crew, carpenters, gaffers and location managers, putting Ohioans to work," he says.

The recent Michael Douglas movie "Traffic," filmed in Columbus and Cincinnati in May and June, will bring $3 million to $5 million to the Ohio economy, Cover says. That's not chump change when you consider that the dollars not only go toward salaries, but to other businesses as well. Actors and crew members spend money to eat, dry-clean their clothing, rent cars and buy gas, as well on other discretionary goods and services during their stay. "Bringing films to Ohio puts us on the map," Cover says. "It adds prestige and lets people know that Ohio is a great place to do business."

Courie Weston (cweston@sbnnet.com) is a reporter for SBN.