State posts $103 million in film revenue despite strike

The silver screen gave the Silver State an economic boost in 2007, though statewide revenue from film production fell slightly year over year.

Nevada posted $103.3 million in revenue from film production, a 2.6 percent drop when compared with the $106 million the state gained from filming in 2006, according to numbers the Nevada Film Office released Thursday.

Despite the decline, Nevada officials said they were pleased with the results. That’s because 2007 marked the eighth consecutive year in which film-production revenue surpassed $100 million in the state. Plus, Nevada almost matched 2007’s production total even with a Writers Guild of America strike that took most television and movie production offline in November and December.

“This continues our record-breaking trend for production revenue generated by film, television, multimedia and print production,” said Brian Krolicki, lieutenant governor of Nevada and chairman of the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, in a statement. “This is a great accomplishment and particularly gratifying for our state because it occurred in spite of a writers’ strike that delayed numerous productions.”

The writers’ strike, which ended in February, cost the production-heavy Los Angeles economy $2.5 billion, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Economic development officials in Nevada stepped up efforts to attract film production in the late 1990s, pitching the Silver State to producers and directors seeking a less-expensive alternative to Southern California. Nevada’s take from television and film production has doubled in the last decade.

More than half of production revenue came from television, including series, reality programs and specials. That’s similar to the share of TV production in 2006, when 50 percent of revenue came from television. The portion of revenue from feature films was up, from $14.3 million in 2006 to about $25 million in 2007.

The rest of the state’s production income came from commercials, music videos, documentaries and other film activity.

Officials at the Nevada Film Office didn’t return a call before press time seeking comment on the results, or additional details on the biggest productions Nevada hosted in 2007.

Several TV shows set in Las Vegas, including “CSI” and the recently canceled “Las Vegas,” are filmed mostly on soundstages in Southern California, but their actors and directors make periodic visits to Southern Nevada to shoot on-location scenes.

And the heavily promoted “21,” a fictionalized movie account of a book about a group of card-counting Massachusetts Institute of Technology students, was also filmed in Las Vegas in 2007. The movie, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth, recorded scenes inside Planet Hollywood Resort, Red Rock Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel and the Palms. It’s scheduled to open in theaters March 28.

Representatives of the film office said they’re already working to recruit fresh productions for 2008.

“We continue to strongly market and promote the state of Nevada as a production destination,” said Charles Geocaris, director of the Nevada Film Office, in a statement. “We proactively court productions, writers, producers and directors that may not be aware of all this state has to offer.”

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or (702) 380-4512.

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