Christopher Crane knew exactly what to say at last week’s Business Brief Luncheon.
“My family was one of the first 100 families to live in Maumelle,” Crane said establishing his hometown bona fides as some in the crowd nodded as they remembered.
The luncheon drew around 50 at Maumelle Country Club was for the Maumelle Area Chamber of Commerce.
Crane, who is the state film commissioner, mostly hit two topics in his talk to the Chamber members.
The importance of attracting film and broadcast crews to the state for the purposes of economic development and getting people registered at the commission’s website so location scouts and producers could get a look at what the state has to offer.
“Films are like a big convention,” Crane said “But a convention that goes on for two months.”
Crane explained that the movie “Mud”, the summer hit directed by Little Rock’s Jeff Nichols, spent around $11 million in southeast Arkansas during the filming and post-production.
While some of that was to pay the production crew, it also included the money spent at the local hardware store in Dumas or at the drycleaners or money paid to home and property owners where production took place.
The impact of making a movie could also mean long-term tourism dollars.
“You’re always looking for that ‘Field of Dreams’ movie,” he said. “You know, something like 100,000 go to Iowa every year to see where that field.”
He added another 40,000 go to see where “On Golden Pond” was filmed.
The website for Crane’s commission is www.arkansasproduction.com and “it is very important to get every municipality to sign up.”
Crane noted that in the making of “Mud” people received anywhere from $100 to $10,000 for use of their home or property.
Some people also got significant improvements to their property for the production crew.
In other Chamber business: Executive Director Tara Davidson said two new members are being sought for the Board of Directors.
The board makes all policy decisions for the Chamber.