Tuesday, October 17, 2006

OMG: Hannah Montana! ... HERE...

Series of made-for-DVD movies to be shot in Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Business Times: ... will star Emily Osment, co-star of the hit Disney Channel television series 'Hannah Montana.'
Do we still close roads, reserve street parking, and alter the bouncers on East Carson Street for film crews and movie stars if they are only working on flicks that are slated for a DVD release?

Let's not roll out the red carpet today, as it is raining. But we are in for something as it took a year of negotiatins for the one crew. It is bad when film crew talks with a city take longer than the creative work to author, direct, shoot and produce.

The broad range of financial support for Dept of Community and Economic Development means what, exactly?

Next months movie title, "Smart People" has its first casting call slated, TBA, in City Council Chambers. Keep watching this blog for details.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

full article:

Series of made-for-DVD movies to be shot in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Business Times by Tim Schooley

The Hatchery, a film production company, has finalized plans to shoot the first in a series of made-for-DVD movies in Pittsburgh under the banner "R.L. Stine Presents."

The first production, starting next week, will be called "Don't Think About It" and will star Emily Osment, co-star of the hit Disney Channel television series "Hannah Montana."

With Universal Studios the partner to market and distribute the series, the Hatchery's first production here represents the first major production recruitment for the Steeltown Entertainment Project, a nonprofit initiative established to draw on the influence of Pittsburgh natives working in the entertainment industry to bring projects to the region.

"Don't Think About It" is expected to generate an estimated $4.2 million to $4.9 million in economic benefits in the Pittsburgh region, said Ellen Weiss Kander, Steeltown's executive director. "This project also provides an opportunity to build on Fred Rogers' legacy and once again make Pittsburgh a center for quality family entertainment production," she said.

It's also expected to be the first of many movies based on the works of popular children's author R.L. Stine and his "The Haunting Hour" series.

Stine has sold more than 300 million books worldwide, many as part of the wildly popular "Goosebumps" series.

According to Kander, executives from Los Angeles-based The Hatchery were introduced to Steeltown Co-founder Carl Kurlander, a Hollywood scriptwriter originally from Squirrel Hill, by Pittsburgh native Greg Nicotero, a special effects artist.

After more than a year of negotiations, the Hatchery chose to shoot in Pittsburgh with a broad range of financial support from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, Allegheny County, the office of late Mayor Bob O'Connor and $200,000 from the local ColCom Foundation, among other support.

The new project from the Hatchery comes during a time of both surging production activity in the region as well as conflict within the local film community.

Currently, MTV is shooting a short-form soap opera in Pittsburgh. At the same time, Beverly Hills-based Groundswell Productions continues its shooting of an adaptation of the popular coming-of-age novel, "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh," written by University of Pittsburgh graduate Michael Chabon.

Groundswell will also begin shooting a second production called "Smart People" next month.

Kander is hopeful the Hatchery project will bring more production work here, as funding from the production is paid into a revolving fund intended to spur a continuing slate of projects.

"That, to me, is what's so exciting about this," she said.

tschooley@bizjournals.com | (412) 481-6397 x244