‘Quiet on the set’ in Oakley
A cast member from "Saturday Night Live"
was working Monday at the Oakley Polar King. He wasn’t flipping burgers though he was filming scenes for a movie for release next spring.
The film "Wieners" portrays the misadventures of three friends on a road trip west.
"It’s hilarious," said Kenan Thompson during an interview Monday at Polar King, one of the few fast-food restaurants in South Summit.
The building was converted into a restaurant called Pork King for filming Monday.
An "SNL" regular, Thompson’s other film credits include "Fat Albert" and "Barbershop 2: Back in Business."
"Wieners" also features Jenny McCarthy, Darrell Hammond, Zachary Levi and Fran Kranz.
"It’s a road trip, summer movie," "Wieners" producer Susan Johnson said. "It’s very funny."
The movie gets its name from the "homemade wiener wagon" the group travels in.
The crew has shot in Northern Utah for nearly two weeks, in places like Heber, Garland and Lagoon amusement park in Farmington, Johnson said, adding that filming is scheduled to end July 15.
"It should appeal to all ages," she said, hoping "Wieners" garners a PG-13 rating. "So far, people have responded to the script."
Her co-producer, Gregory Smith, worked in Utah on the set of the Everwood television show and returned to the state to hire about 90 percent of that crew for "Wieners."
"It was [Smith’s] idea this is a pretty big crew," Johnson said, adding that the Utah Film Commission has offered financial incentives to shoot in Utah.
State officials jumped at the chance to work with Screen Gems the Sony division distributing the film, Utah Film Commission Director Aaron Syrett said.
Crews are currently filming five feature-length movies in the state, he added.
"It’s a really pretty state," said Thompson, who lives in New York City while filming "Saturday Night Live." "I heard Gary Coleman lives here."
"Wieners" investors could receive back from the Film Commission 10 percent of what they spend making the movie in Utah, Syrett said.
The Utah Legislature recently earmarked $1 million for the state’s Motion Picture Incentive Fund, he said, adding, "it’s proven effective."
Filmmakers interested in receiving incentives must submit scripts in advance, he said, adding that determining if a project qualifies requires a "business decision."
"They look at all the company will bring to Utah," Syrett said, adding that the number of movies filmed in Utah has increased nearly 50 percent since the state began offering the incentives three years ago. "We’re so close to Los Angeles filmmakers want to shoot in Utah."
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Tourism revenue increased month over month this summer, the Park City Chamber/Bureau reported, but lodging numbers are still off 22% for December. Officials reported a recent uptick in bookings, though, pointing to a modicum of certainty after ski resorts announced their COVID-related opening policies.