Utah Film Commission Selects Six New Projects for Incentives

Utah Film CommissionThe Utah Film Commission announced that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development board has approved six new projects for state film incentives.  These projects will begin filming around Utah immediately and are the last round of projects to be supported in this fiscal year.

These six new projects alone will spend an estimated combined total of $10,181,951 in the state of Utah along with employing 113 cast, 365 crew and 1,111 extras with a large percentage of these jobs going to Utah locals. Over the last 12 months more than 19 projects have filmed across Utah from a variety of sectors, networks and genres and had an estimated economic impact of $72 million in Utah.

“This has been an incredible year for film in Utah, and we are glad to support these artists through a number of creative and financial angles that will continue to bring large returns and job opportunities to the state,” said Utah Film Commission Director Virginia Pearce. “Utah’s beauty and local expertise continues to attract a wide variety of projects and artists to create work here.”

“Utah provides a beautiful landscape and wealth of resources and friendly people—starting with the wonderful Film Commission and cascading down through qualified crew—who are eager to assist our film projects,” said filmmaker Autumn McAlpin, who will make her directorial debut with one of the six new projects, A Few Minor Distractions. “John (Kelly) has brought several films here for this reason, and we are excited to bring a second film here to build another creative film family.”

In fiscal year 2017 Utah Film Commission will continue its efforts to connect with filmmakers year-round to showcase Utah as a world-class destination for film, production and content creation.  Efforts are targeted on a range of projects including television series, studio features and independent films through location scouts, resource sharing and site visits.  Recent activities include connecting with emerging independent artists at Sundance Institute’s Director’s Lab, the AFCI Locations Show in Los Angeles, as well as hosted scouts with various studios and independent producers. 

The six new projects approved for incentives through the state’s Motion Picture Incentive Program (MPIP) are listed below:

BRIGSBY BEAR / Independent Feature, Comedy
Director: Dave McCary (From New York)
Producers: Lord Miller Productions: Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Will Allegra; The Lonely Island’s Kablamo!: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Billy Rosenberg; 3311: Mark Roberts, Ross Jacobson and Jen Dana; YL Pictures: Al Di, Phillip Hoelting, Lian Hua; and Matthew Medlin
Principal photography phase: July 19, 2016 to August 23, 2016
General filming location: Greater Salt Lake City area

Director Dave McCary currently works as a writer and director at Saturday Night Live, and is a founding member of the sketch comedy group Good Neighbor alongside Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett and Nick Rutherford.  Brigsby Bear is a comedy feature written by Kyle Mooney (who also stars as the lead character, James) and Kevin Costello.  Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one, James.  When the show abruptly ends, James realizes that everything about his life is a lie, and he must learn to cope with the realities of a new world that he knows nothing about.

DEIDRA & LANEY ROB A TRAIN / Independent Feature, Comedy
Director: Sydney Freeland (Navajo from Gallup, NM)
Producers: Nick Moceri, Susan Cartsonis
Principal photography phase: July 5, 2016 through August 6, 2016
General filming location: Salt Lake City, Ogden and Heber City

This will be Sydney Freeland’s second feature film following the wide release ofDrunktown’s Finest which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Deidra & Laney Rob a Train is a comedy about two teenage girls that start robbing trains to make ends meet after their mom goes to jail.

DROP OFF / Independent Feature, Family
Director: Lyman Dayton
Producers: Lyman Dayton, Shelley Monson
Principal photography phase: July 5, 2016 through July 9, 2016

Director and producer Lyman Dalton’s previous projects include Where the Red Fern Grows, Last Resort and Dream Machine among many more. In Drop Off, three underprivileged boys have a million dollars dropped in their laps by criminals on the run. They are faced with learning the hard way that money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of grief and danger.

A FEW MINOR DISTRACTIONS / Independent Feature, Family
Director: Autumn McAlpin (From Los Angeles, CA)
Producers: John J. Kelly, Autumn McAlpin
Principal photography phase: Begins August 2016
General filming location: Daybreak, Bountiful and Valley City

This will be McAlpin’s directorial debut and second feature film that she wrote and produced to be filmed in Utah following her successful release of Waffle Street, which John J. Kelly also produced. A Few Minor Distractions is a family friendly film about Megan Lang, who left a promising career in music to raise kids. Her brother Joey left his kid to pursue music. When their paths intersect for a week, Megan and Joey challenge each other’s choices, and what it takes to blend art and obligation… when life gives you a few minor distractions.

VALLEY OF THE GODS / Independent Feature, Drama
Director: Lech Majewski (Katowice, Slaskie, Poland)
Producers: Filip Jan Rymsza, Lech Majewski
Principal photography phase: June 11, 2016 through July 2, 2016
General filming location: Salt Lake City and the Monument Valley area

Lech Majewski is a celebrated international director, writer, cinematographer and composer.  Valley of the Gods is an imaginative tale rooted in the Navajo creation story. The film follows three different narratives, those of John, Wes and Grey Horse, a feisty young Navajo. The three narratives intersect, creating a fascinating, mysterious and idiosyncratic vision of America.

ZB Pioneer Film / Independent Feature, Western
Director: David Zellner (From Greeley, CO)
Producers: Nathan Zellner, Chris Ohlson
Principal photography phase: July 11, 2016 through September 2, 2016
General filming location: Wasatch Mountains, Summit County

Writer, director and actor David Zellner is an award winning independent artist who regularly collaborates with his brother Nathan.  Their previous films include Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, Kid-Thing and Goliath. Set in the “American West” their next film will be shot in Utah and is their take on the classic genre.