DECEMBER 27, 2018


Christina Martin
Utah Film Commission


Utah Film Commission: 2018 in Review

SALT LAKE CITY (December 27, 2018) – As the year-end nears, the Utah Film Commission has shared some industry highlights from 2018. With major networks returning to shoot in state, the launch of a new grant program to support local talent, and 550 film permits approved across the state, 2018 has been a busy and successful year in film.

16 productions received state film incentives to shoot in Utah this year, including an impressive range of features, four series, two documentaries and a television pilot. An estimated $63 million was spent in state, with over 1,300 local jobs created. In addition, the Utah Film Commission supported and advised on many more productions, including six holiday-genre films for the likes of Hallmark and Lifetime, as well as commercials for Google, Wrangler, Ford and Armani.

Content created in Utah in 2017 made anticipated debuts throughout the year, including Paramount Network’s Yellowstone, starring Kevin Costner, YouTube Red’s Youth and Consequences, and second seasons of HBO’s Westworld and Disney Channel’s Andi Mack. Features such as Little Women, Trek and Jane and Emma were also theatrically released in 2018.

This year saw major networks, Paramount and Disney, return to shoot second and third seasons, respectively. A prime example of Utah’s beautifully diverse and uniquely accessible landscape, the former returned to capture “wild west” ranch life, while the latter continues to shoot “every town” suburbia. Sci-fi-comedy series, Snatchers, also returned to film a third season. Having shot its first season in Utah, the show went on to film season two in New Mexico, before returning to Utah this year.

The 2018 Sundance Film Festival had an impressive in-state presence, with four Utah-made productions premiering at the Festival for a second year in a row. Of these, feature film Hereditary received rave reviews, many calling it the most terrifying horror movie in years, and documentary Quiet Heroes went on to play at 10 other festivals.

Utah Film Commission Director, Virginia Pearce, said: “We are of course always delighted to see big networks returning to film in state, but it’s equally a major win for us to support smaller scale, local productions in creating standout content. We strongly believe in developing opportunities for Utah filmmakers here at home, which is why we launched the Next Level Program this year, to provide funding and training for local directors and producers. We are very proud to have worked with so many talented, hard-working people on both sides of the lens and look forward to a busy and eventful New Year.”

Looking ahead to 2019, Disney Channel will return to film the latest in its High School Musical saga, a series entitled High School Musical: The Musical. In addition, a feature film by Jim Cummings (Thunder Road, 2018), an animated feature with voiceovers from Emma Roberts and Dennis Quaid, and a documentary about the most remote high school in Utah, are all expected to begin production in the New Year.


About the Utah Film Commission

As a part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah Film Commission markets the entire state as a destination for film, television and commercial production by promoting the use of professional local crew & talent, support services, Utah locations and the Motion Picture Incentive Program. The office also serves as liaison to the film industry, facilitating production needs across the state.

Over 1,300 motion pictures have been filmed in Utah, including Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Thelma and Louise, and 127 Hours, to list a few. Many episodic series have also filmed in Utah, such as Touched by an Angel, Andi Mack and Westworld.

For more information, visit film.utah.gov.