From nearly the beginning of the cinematic movement in the 1920s, Utah has played a key role in shaping moviegoers’ imaginations. From the rugged, snow-capped Wasatch Mountains in the north, near Salt Lake City, to the deserts and monuments in the south, the Utah landscape is so diverse that it can provide the setting for a terrified skier caught in an avalanche or a lonely cowboy chasing a wayward steer, all on the same day.
Movie fans, young and old alike, are captivated by great scenery, and filmmakers certainly know that, which is why they have chosen Utah as the backdrop for nearly 1,000 movies and television shows. Westerns such as The Outlaw Josey Wales and Rio Grande, adventure films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Arabian Nights, and dramatic films like Gravity and 127 Hours all bear the “filmed in Utah” stamp. More recent television shows like Westworld call Utah home to it’s epic Western World.
In 1974, the process of filming movie and television shows in Utah became a little more attractive with the development of the Utah Film Commission (UFC), a division of the state government’s Office of Economic Development. The UFC serves as a liaison to the film and television industry with services such as scouting locations or providing direct access to the state’s abundant on- and off-camera talent. It can help a director find the right shot for a climactic scene (can anyone say Thelma & Louise?) or help the staff feed the stars and extras with a good local caterer. Apart from the UFC HQ in Salt Lake City, there are nearly 10 UFC branch locations throughout the state, so one is always within easy access of the production crew.
While the UFC does not grant permits to filmmakers, they do provide assistance obtaining them. The area within the state’s borders is broken down into specific jurisdictions, and each jurisdiction has its own method of granting permits. UFC can help the crew find the right permitting office(s) for the job at hand. The incentive for movie-makers or TV producers goes beyond great cinematography and skilled extras. The Utah government provides significant tax incentives in the form of credits or rebates, depending on the size of the production and the estimated amount of expenses to be incurred in the state.
Movie and television production have always occurred in Utah, long before 1974. It’s just that the UFC actively recruits film crews with incentives and assists them onsite, making the process easier and more cost-effective, which in turn makes Utah a more attractive destination for capturing the perfect movie and television scenes.
While the Utah film commission is a great way to secure a location for filming, Savvy Productions is your Utah Video production experts. We have worked on every type of project from color correcting, motion graphics, video editing, and more. Contact us today to learn more about the video production services we offer.