Saturday, July 18, 2009

Amid Saltywood slump, Utah looks forward to the filming of John Carter of Mars

The Associated Press reports that Utah's film industry has been hit hard by the economic downturn and, in response, the state film commission is scrambling to attract more productions. Marshall Moore, director of the Utah Film Commission, told film industry leaders at a recent luncheon that 13 feature films were produced in the state in the past year, creating 520 jobs with an economic impact of $12.3 million. Those figures compare with the creation of 1,200 jobs and a $56 million economic impact for the previous year. Moore said the filming of the Disney/Pixar movie John Carter of Mars, which is scheduled to begin in November 2009, is expected to have a $27 million economic impact on the state.

Meanwhile, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert, who spoke at the aforementioned film industry luncheon, “wistfully admitted he may be one of the few people in the banquet hall old enough to have read Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel A Princess of Mars, on which the movie will be based. [...] that when he was a kid, he would sometimes look up at the stars and imagine that he could wish himself to Mars -- as John Carter does in the Burroughs book series.” Herbert will become Utah’s next governor when the United States Senate confirms current Gov. Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China.

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