Frankfort, Ky. (July 27, 2004) Thoroughbreds, bourbon and the sound of bluegrass music are often what comes to mind when one thinks of Kentucky. The Department of Tourism hopes to add the television and film industry to that list.
Since the filming of the blockbuster movie Seabiscuit, other production companies have brought their ideas to Kentucky. The Learning Channel (TLC) centered three of its series episodes in the state and Paramount Pictures is currently filming in the Commonwealth.
TLC’s While You Were Out filmed three episodes in Kentucky in June. They featured a family home in Nicholasville, Shriners Hospitals for Children in Lexington and the Church of the Living God in Winchester. The first episode, The Southern Suite, aired July 23. The episode featuring the Shriners Hospitals for Children will air August 27 and the Church the Living God episode will air September 3.
TLC first visited Kentucky to film a show for the series Trading Spaces. The show originally aired August 24, 2003 and was filmed in Louisville. They (TLC) then returned to Kentucky to film for its series A Wedding Story. Several excerpts were filmed at a horse farm in Lexington and the wedding ceremony took place at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville.
A Paramount Pictures movie, directed by Cameron Crowe, Elizabethtown has already filmed in several locations throughout the state that have included, Versailles, Louisville, Oldham County and Elizabethtown. Cast members include Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst and Susan Sarandon. The movie is scheduled to be released sometime in 2005.
Todd Cassidy, Director of the Kentucky Film Office said the film industry has a positive economic impact on the state.
“When the filming crew comes to town, they put money into local communities by spending it on such things as supplies, hotels, restaurants and local retail shops,” said Cassidy. “They spend just like a family would on vacation.”
The Kentucky Film Office is a part of the Kentucky Department of Tourism and markets the state to film, television and advertising agencies. The Office assists film crews in finding hotel rooms, permits, and road closings and serves as a liaison between property owners and production companies.
“A positive picture of Kentucky projected by the film and television industry has a direct effect on our image as a state. This in turn, factors into decision-making such as whether to move to or visit us,” said Kentucky Department of Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash.
“Once Kentucky’s branding message is unveiled it will be a topic of conversation throughout the country,” Fiveash added. “The exposure to a national audience through television and film is an added bonus for the Commonwealth. The branding message and positive publicity will go hand in hand in improving our image and creating jobs, resulting in increased economic development through travel and new business activity.”
For more information contact the Kentucky Department of Tourism at (502) 564-4930 or visit their website at www.kentuckytourism.com.