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State Film Commissions Guide: West Virginia

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire July 15, 2013 at 12:59PM

State Film Commissions Guide: West Virginia
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West Virginia State Film Commission The Greenbrier
What are some of the greatest financial perks of filming in your state? Up to 31% tax credit based on in-state spend; non-resident labor is qualified. Exemption from state sales tax (6%) on purchases/rentals directly related to a production. After 30 consecutive days, exemption from state & local taxes on lodging per person/room.


What tax credits are available for productions in your state? Transferable tax credit. No shooting percentage requirement. Currently limited to $10 million per fiscal year. No per project cap. Low minimum spend threshold of $25,000.

What are some of the locations in your state that filmmakers should know about? River On Demand - control the flow of the Gauley River during November - FOR FREE! Former WV Penitentiary in Moundsville - gothic and historic and vacant (operates as a tourism destination). The Palace of Gold, a temple in New Vrindavan. The Greenbrier resort complex, including private upscale casino as well as a "bunker" built for Congress during the Cold War. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a former psychiatric state hospital constructed between 1858-81. Based on a Kirkbride plan, it's the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America and is vacant (operates as a tourism destination). Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is well-preserved from its heyday as a company town, complete with steam-driven locomotives and company houses and much more.



Are there studios and soundstages that the state hosts that filmmakers should know about? 5,000 sq ft soundstage in Huntington. Dozens of empty industrial-sized warehouses throughout the state that could easily work for temporary soundstage quarters.



What can you tell us about talented labor in your state? Do you have robust union representation? The film/TV workforce numbers around 200 ranging from camera operators and grip/electric to hair/makeup artists. Nearly all of the film/TV workforce are not affiliated with a union. The state does not have a Studio Mechanics local but does have 4-5 IATSE stagehand locals; many of the members of these locals have film/TV set experience.

Are there deals that you have with equipment, craft service or other suppliers to make these services more affordable? Not in an official capacity, but when a production selects a particular region for filming, the film office works with all property and business owners to encourage reduced fees and costs of services.



What are some of the recent productions that produced films in your state? "Super 8" (Paramount Pictures), "Out of the Furnace" (Lionsgate), "Unstoppable" (20th Century Fox), "The Road" (2929 Ent), "Inside Man" (CNN series with Morgan Spurlock), "The Men Who Built America" (History mini-series), "Hollow Creek" (indie feature), "Angel's Perch" (indie feature), "Moving Mountains" (indie feature), "Coal" (SpikeTV series), "Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies" (indie feature), "A Breath Away" (indie feature), "Doughboy" (Flyover Films, indie feature), "Random Acts" (Flyover Films, indie feature), "Diggers" (NatGeoTV episode), and numerous other cable network programs.



What cities have their own film commissions in your state? Huntington

Wes Virginia State Film Commission The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum



How many productions shot in your state last year? 40

What should filmmakers do if they're interested in shooting a film in your state? Who should they contact if they have more questions? The best first stop is the state's film office to make sure all t's are crossed and i's dotted. Doing business in the state, tax incentives, and general questions should be directed to Pam Haynes (Director) at 304-957-9382. Locations and logistics should be directed to Jamie Cope (Location Services Coordinator) at 304-957-9324. And workforce and business support questions should be directed to Lisa Wells (Industry Relations Coordinator) at 304-957-9366.



Interested in the incentives offered by other state film commissions? Check out Indiewire's full guide to state film commissions HERE.

This article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit, State Film Commissions Guide