Colorado Film Commission

by Jett Middleton on February 4, 2010

In 2006 the Colorado state legislature set up incentives for filmmakers who were interested in shooting in Colorado. This non-profit organization works with in-state and out-of-state filmmakers to have easy access to resources that they need during filming in Colorado.

Colorado Film CommissionThe first movie ever filmed in Colorado dates all the way back to 1897. Since that time there have been literally hundreds of movies, television shows and documentaries filmed in the state. Seeing the economic value of being a desirable location for the film industry, the state of Colorado established the first ever state film commission in 1969.

This commission’s goal was to help those wishing to film in the state of Colorado find locations and other resources that would help make their projects a success. The commission obviously succeeded at it’s task as there were many great films made in the state, such as “The Women of San Quentin, ”Thelma and Louise”; and “Die Hard 2” to name just a few. With the help of the commission, Colorado became a choice spot for filming on location.

However, in 2003 during a series of budget cuts, much to the dismay of many in the state, the Colorado film commission office was terminated. While this action did not completely eliminate all film making within the state it did seem to have reduced the number of big name and big budget films being made in the state to a trickle. As you can imagine this lost Colorado a good deal of business and not only hurt the city of Denver where the commission was located, but the entire state as well, as films had been made throughout the state in various locations.

In the meantime, more and more states were setting up their own film commissions, offering the film industry resources, and other incentives based on the very commission that Colorado established and then abandoned.

In 2005 the Colorado film commission was reborn as a non- profit organization that was dedicated to helping filmmakers find the resources needed to have a successful shoot in Colorado. The film commission established a database of possible locations across the state. The beautiful scenery and other features might be just what a movie producer is looking for and these sites can be scanned by computer.

They also offered an incentive program for qualifying film companies. Based on a certain amount of money filming in the state, they would receive a 10% rebate on their filming cost after the completion of their projects. While the commission worked diligently to bring in more films and more film revenue to the state they felt that they could be more successful in their endeavor were they “officially “connected to the state government once more.

In 2009, the state lawmakers and the voters agreed and passed a bill making the commission a government office once more. The commission is now known as the “The Office of Film, Television and Media” and is a division of the office of Economic Development and International Trade. With the support of the state government now back behind the commission, perhaps film making in Colorado will once again lead to some thrilling movies with beautiful backgrounds and a growing economy for the people of the state.

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