Films can mean green for Summit County shooting locations
October 23, 2015
No one is likely to confuse it for Hollywood East, but Park City has been abnormally abuzz in recent weeks with film and TV crews scattered across the county, shooting scenes for a network drama and an upcoming HBO movie from one of Hollywood’s most esteemed directors.
The productions might elicit a bit of civic pride in residents when they recognize their favorite Main Street bar or boutique shop on the small screen. But for the owners of the establishments or properties chosen to serve as locations for filming, it can mean quite a bit more. For some, the productions have represented a bit of a windfall.
Tom Clyde owns a ranch east of Woodland and leased it out to the crew of the drama series "Blood & Oil," which is currently airing its first season on ABC. The crew has used his property five times, beginning in early September, for filming several outdoor shots and for a staging area for scenes on one of Clyde’s neighbors’ property.
Clyde uses his farmland to raise hay and lease grazing land. And in a down year for his crops, he said the money he’s received for allowing the "Blood & Oil" crew to use his farm has been a "godsend."
"It more than doubled my gross production on the farm," he said. "My hay crop was worth not quite what they paid for the location fees. So it’s great money, it’s been a great opportunity.
"I don’t know that I’d be willing to open my house and do that, where they come in and move all your stuff out and redecorate for a day then move you back in — that seems kind of disruptive," he added. "But for the outdoor use and use of our barns, it’s been wonderful."
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Jesse Shetler, owner of the No Name Saloon on Main Street, also said working with the "Blood & Oil" production has been a great experience. The crew shot scenes in the bar for parts of two days in September. Shetler had to close the bar for about half of the day for one shoot and about three-quarters of the day for the other.
Shetler declined to divulge financial specifics of the deal he struck with the crew, but said it was worth closing up shop for parts of two days.
"Our financial arrangement was agreeable to both sides," he said. "It definitely made up for any lost business I may have seen. I didn’t give the place away, but at the same time I didn’t gouge them either. It was a reasonable agreement."
The No Name Saloon may be featured in the show for as long as it runs. But rather than repeatedly shooting on location on Main Street, the crew built an exact replica of the bar in the newly opened Park City Film Studios. Shetler, however, didn’t seek any payment for that and is instead simply pleased to know his establishment will continue to star on the screen.
"I didn’t even discuss anything like that with them," he said. "That didn’t matter to me. So there’s no compensation for that, but I wasn’t looking for any."
But locations like Shetler’s and Clyde’s aren’t the only ones benefitting from the productions in town. Park City Film Studios is serving as the base of operations for "Blood & Oil," and about 60 to 70 percent of the show is being filmed there, said Marshall Moore, vice president of marketing and public relations for the studios.
"The studio itself was built for this purpose, to host a network-type television series or a studio-type feature film," Moore said. "So having them here kind of fulfills the measure of the studio’s creation."
And while luring large productions is crucial to the success of Park City Film Studios, Moore said they will also be a boon for the rest of the town. Film crews rent out a lot of hotel rooms, and buy food and other goods — even lumber for production sets — from local businesses.
"(A lot of) areas benefit when the production lands in those areas," Moore said. "They spend money and they spend it quickly."
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