Park City and Summit County open up to ‘Blood & Oil’ |

Park City and Summit County open up to ‘Blood & Oil’

Earlier this week, No Name Saloon patrons were redirected from their Main Street watering hole to the Boneyard Saloon on Kearns Blvd., and an prop oil derrick appeared in Brown’s Canyon, along with an oil tanker and other heavy machinery.

No. Oil hasn’t been discovered in Summit County, but the ABC Entertainment Group hopes its TV series "Blood & Oil" will strike it rich and is using Park City to get there.

The series, which will premiere its pilot, "Boom" on Sunday, Sept. 27, is utilizing the newly built, 374,000-square-foot mixed-use Park City Film Studios and shooting on location throughout the county, according to Marshall Moore, vice president of marketing, public relations and government relations for the Park City Film Studios.

The show features veteran actor Don Johnson and newcomers Chace Crawford and Rebecca Rittenhouse.

Although the series’ setting is supposed to be North Dakota, crews are filming in Park City, Summit County and other areas in the Wasatch Back.

"Blood & Oil" is the first TV series in 10 years to film in Utah, and also the first production to break the seal of the Park City Film Studios, Moore said.

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"They are using all three of our stages, wall to wall," Moore told The Park Record. "They are using every bit of available office space and all the shop space, including the breezeway. So, the studio is already bursting at the seams."

The studios had to work closely with Park City because timing was of the essence, he said.

"It was a delicate balance between when crews needed to be in the building and when the building’s construction needed to be finished," Moore explained. "So, ABC moved in a little at a time, and occupied the stages first, on June 6, so they could start construction on their sets. However, they weren’t able to move into the offices until about three weeks ago."

ABC is currently under contract with the studio until the end of December.

"That time will be used to film a partial first season," Moore said. "A successful television series is based on viewership, so hopefully, they will be approved for a full season, which will extend their stay into June."

Moore said the studio is the perfect place for "Blood & Oil."

"People have asked why we built the studio so big," he said. "Well, ABC is the type of client the studio was built for. We built the studio to accommodate large-scale television series and feature-film production."

Although Moore couldn’t disclose the financial amount of the studio’s deal with ABC, he did say it allowed the studio to stay viable and will also benefit the community.

"While the studio serves as a platform for this, the wealth is spread throughout the area," he said. "The cast and crew are staying in Park City long term. They shoot on location on Main Street in Park City, but also go out to the surrounding areas filming as well.

"We’re grateful to open our doors to a client that needs the space we have," Moore said. "We’re grateful the timing worked out for them so they have a home and for us so we can continue to offer our services in the future."

The "Blood & Oil" ball started rolling during the Sundance Film Festival, according to Ricardo Flores, marketing and creative executive for the Utah Film Commission.

"Sundance in general is a good launching pad for the commission," Flores said. "It creates a lot of buzz about the state and people start calling in."

Getting ‘Blood & Oil’ to film in Utah was the result of collaboration between the Film Commission, the Park City Film Studios and other private entities, he said.

"We brought in the crew to get familiar with Utah and when they were here, they told us about a project they had in mind," Flores remembered. "That’s when we really started to court them and show them areas around the state that we felt would work for them."

ABC also took advantage of the Utah Film Commission’s Motion Picture Incentive Program, which entails a post-performance, fully refundable tax credit of production dollars spent in Utah, according to Flores.

"’Blood & Oil’ was approved for a maximum tax credit for $8.3 million," he said. "That’s based on the projected amount of dollars the production will spend in the state. And that amount is $33.4 million."

The Utah Film Commission has a great working relationship with ABC Entertainment and its parent company, Disney.

"They have always come to Utah to film various programs for the Disney Channel and Disney Family," Flores said. "They were also here for feature films such as ‘High School Musical’ and ‘The Lone Ranger.’

Working on a TV series is slightly different than working on a motion picture, Flores explained.

"A motion picture, including time for preparation and principal photography, will be here from 15 to 45 days," he said. "A series, on the other hand, creates a longer time frame, which creates opportunities for the local economy."

That means the production uses more local resources. ABC is reported to be hiring 300 local cast and crew members.

"This has more of an impact in our overall economy," Flores said.

"Blood & Oil," produced by ABC Signature, is written by Josh Pate and Rodes Fishburne. Executive producers are Tony Krantz, Josh Pate, Rodes Fishburne, Drew Comins and Don Johnson.

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