Big Stone Gap-The Movie
There is a lot of local hoopla about the possibility of a movie being filmed here in Wise County. Jerry From on High has the scoop. Jerry cites that "State Sen. William Wampler Jr., State Sen. Phillip Puckett(D) and Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, announced Wednesday a $300,000 pledge grant in incentives to help woo a movie production to Big Stone Gap, the setting of a novel on which the film is to be based." (link)
Brian Patton has this on his blog.
"House Caucus Chairman Brian Moran is pledging his support to help keep the movie in Big Stone Gap. Via press release, I see that Chairman Moran has proposed "a budget amendment [that] seeks up to $3 million in additional state funding for the Virginia Film Office to provide incentives that ensure the movie is filmed in the Commonwealth." (Bold print by me)
My board of supervisors are also playing the spend game. The deal is that only one week of filming will be in Wise County. They want the whole film produced here, taking an estimated 38 weeks.
"Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority Executive Director Geneva O'Quinn, in a recent interview, stated that the estimated total production time for the movie, if shot locally, would be about 38 weeks. As things stand now, only one week of filming is set to take place in Big Stone Gap."
Tax dollars being spent to ensure this movie is filmed here? What a gamble. I remember when the hit movie Coal Miners Daughter shot a few scenes in Wise. The economic highlight was actor Tommy Lee Jones getting drunk as a skunk and visiting the Wise County Jail. Let us not forget that movie was a huge hit. I really doubt this one will be. Get this from a Wise County Board member:
Bob Adkins, who represents District Two, said he is very excited about the "Big Stone Gap movie" , and added, "Anything that calls positive attention to our area is a very positive thing."
Well, the book and movie are called Big Stone Gap Bob.....what benefits has that provided so far? None. Another member says:
"Putting money into the film incentive package is a wise investment, added vice-chairman Steve Bates, who represents District Two. Plenty of money would flow back into the local economy with a film crew set up in Big Stone Gap, he noted."
You giving odds on that bet Mr Bates? This best selling book has been out a while. Can you show me local revenue generated from that?
I see this as a burden on the locals. Traffic problems, film crews consisting of non bathing smelly hippies, smoking pot with intentions of impregnating our women folk. Lets not forget the trash and burden on our struggling land fill. We also have our local water supply to conserve. No sir, I don't like it. The benefits will not outweigh the cost. 3 million is serious money guys. I would like to see my tax money better spent. Here is my plan. Offer a group rate at the luxurious Trail Motel, one dollar off coupons at the Dairy Queen, and a 9pm curfew. If they want to make the movie here so be it. But paying them to do so is crazy. Of course if they offer me a starring role, that could change my mind.