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State Film Commissions Guide: West Virginia

State Film Commissions Guide: West Virginia

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

How many productions shot in your state last year? 40

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.

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

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