Pocahontas County Asks for Your Help
Recently the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau invited representatives of the West Virginia Film Office to come and conduct a workshop to educate local residents and businesses about what they can do to help attract the film industry to choose our County as a filming location.
Why is this important? Cara Rose, the Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau explains some of the economic benefits film production companies bring to both individuals and businesses when they choose your community as a location for their film, TV show, commercial or even music video.
“It’s a direct benefit to individuals” Cara says. “They pay location fees, so if you have a home they would like to shoot in, there are cases in West Virginia where house rentals to do filming can get as much as $1,500 a day. So just on a small scale it can be quite impactful. And of course, they bring a crew with them. Those people stay overnight, buy services, whether it be catering, they eat out at night, they stay in lodging establishments, they buy gasoline, all the typical things that somebody would need when they are spending time in the County.”
Cara explains about some indirect economic benefit film makers may also bring to a community.
“Secondary benefits economically would be once a film has been made in our location, people who watch the film want to visit where that film was made” Cara points out. “And there are numerous examples of that kind of benefit coming to an area; (We Are) Marshall- the film- still brings tourists to Huntington; Weirton – (a) very popular location for tourists because of the movie “Super 8”, so there are lots of examples of that.”
There have been some films made in Pocahontas County as well.
“We have had a couple of films filmed in Pocahontas County over the last couple of years” Cara says. “You might recall ‘Angel’s Perch’ and more recently the same production company filmed ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at Snowshoe. And there are other examples of productions. There have been a few commercials filmed in the area. Some TV shows that we weren’t contacted about have been featured on some of the reality shows like ‘Mountain Monsters’ and the ‘Hunt for Bigfoot’ are examples of where people do come and they do film in this county and they spend dollars in this community.”
How can you help? Cara explains how you can register your location or the services you could provide to filmmakers.
“If you didn’t attend one of the workshops, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get on the listings” said Cara. “It’s a very simple process. You go to the West Virginia Film Office web site and go to the ‘Location Library’ or the ‘Services and Vender’ listing. You can submit your listings on line. You can also fill out the paperwork – we have that information here at the office.”
Why is doing that important? Well, when a filmmaker is considering a location for their production they will go to the West Virginia Film Office web site to see if there are any locations listed which will work for their film and if so, are there are enough support services in the area for the production crew.
Cara talks about some possible locations you might have to offer.
“You never know what someone’s looking for” Cara explains. “A lot of times they might call the Film Office and they may want a very specific type of building, say a white church with stained glass windows with lots of pine trees around it. Or they might just be looking for a turn of the century styles street scape. The Film Office staff will help direct these inquiries to the right location options that they are aware of and listed on their website.”
Businesses or individuals can also list the services they can provide locally for a film crew on the West Virginia Film Office’s web site’s “Services and Vender Listing”. These of course would include lodging, food, and laundry but also skills such as carpentry, hairdressing or make up.
So here is an opportunity to make some money from an unusual source and at the same time help your community to prosper if you have a really neat location or have a business which can serve film crews or if you have a skill they can use.