Turlock has a filming industry? It may happen, as co-owner of The Creation Lab, Michael Everett, launched the Turlock Film Commission just a few weeks ago.
The Turlock Film Commission has been in the works for a year and a half. Everett has been working in collaboration with Turlock Chamber of Commerce CEO Sharon Silva, Mayor John Lazar, and City Manager Roy Wasden, as he wants the Commission to be a community effort.
The Commission’s aim is to bring film producers to the Turlock area and make each production an effortless process for the producer.
The Commission’s anticipated launch for fall 2011 was bumped up a couple of months, as an opportunity arose that could not have been passed up.
“The Turlock Film Commission officially got its foot off the ground with the PreZcotts music video,” said Everett.
The uprising tween pop girl group, The PreZcotts, was to film two music videos in the local area. Along with the girls, Turlock was to welcome LA director, writer, and producer Rich Correll and his production team. Correll is the creator of Disney’s “Hannah Montana,” “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” “That’s So Raven,” and “Family Matters.”
The two music videos will include local extras and are being filmed in various locations around Turlock this week.
In addition to creating a filming-friendly environment, the Commission hopes to be an economic stimulator for businesses and services in the Turlock area.
Along with productions come crew and vendor services, opening the door to local business involvement.
The music video production currently be done in Turlock could generate around $30,000 for the local economy.
Everett explained his plan to have a list of vendors, comprised of local businesses and services available for productions. Anything from electricians for on-set needs, to hotels and restaurants to accommodate production crews, to places that would allow filming on location; the Film Commission would have a list of ready businesses and services.
The Commission would also assist with location scouting, 24 hour production assistance, location services, understanding tax incentives, and local city government accommodations.
A gallery of pictures of potential filming locations is also in Everett’s vision to bring a real life look at various areas of Turlock to potential producers.
Frank Schroeder, Everett’s old friend, is a movie director who helped get the film business started in Shreveport, Louisiana – a town not much larger than Turlock.
The film business is relatively new there, almost ten years old. According to Arlena Acree, City of Shreveport Film Liaison, Shreveport is already reaping the benefits with over $1 billion in total production budgets since 2005. In 2010 alone, the City reported that there were 15 movie/TV productions with total budgets of $182,097,000.00, 30,677 hotel/motel room nights, 473 production days, 1,280 crew positions created, and 733 round trip air tickets from LAX to SHV or DFW.
Shreveport/Bossier ranked # 3 out of the top 10 cities to live, work, and make movies by Movie Maker Magazine (Jan 2010). Business Facilities magazine named Shreveport/Bossier #4 in motion picture industry growth nationally (Jul 2010).
“We are modeling what we are doing here to what was done in Louisiana, because it’s a proven model that’s worked,” said Everett.
Shreveport has become a prime location for filming, and Schroeder believes Turlock is set-up even better than Shreveport, as it is much closer to Hollywood.
Everett advocates Turlock’s centrally located access to the beach, mountains, big cities, small towns, and affordability over other potential production sites.
Everett would like to see a state of the art sound stage come to fruition as part of their Commission in the future.
“It would really set us apart, because they (producers) can come here and finish something – complete audio, post production, video, etc,” he said. “The bottom line is to make the producer happy and come back. We want them to leave here and say they were treated well.”
Check back to see production feedback from the first film projects facilitated by the Turlock Film Commission.
In 2008, Michael Everett and Dustin Veneman filmed and produced “Turlock – A Historical Documentary” for the 2008 Turlock Centennial Celebration. The Creation Lab was where the documentary was edited and mixed in its entirety. The documentary has won awards at the Las Vegas International Film Festival, the Mammoth International Film Festival, the Sacramento International Film Festival and the Accolade International Film Festival.