Celebrating Film & Digital Entertainment in Utah

By Elizabeth Latenser

On February 1st we gathered with film and digital industry members for Film Day on the Hill in Salt Lake City to showcase the incredibly diverse entertainment industry brewing locally. The industry is comprised of 450 companies that employs at least 4,300 workers and pays more than $100 million in wages and salaries. Not to mention, it keeps the world endlessly entertained! From traditional production companies to game designers and virtual reality creators, Utah truly is a hotbed for creativity across many sectors.

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert & Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox at Film Day on the Hill.

Check out this video featuring Utah Film Commissioner Virginia Pearce from Film Day on the Hill. I would encourage you to watch it twice. First, listen to what she is sharing about the industry in Utah which is uniquely positioned to compete with other states for film production due to our iconic landscapes, experienced crew and established infrastructure.
Then take a look at all the activity in the background, including intricate set designs, groundbreaking technology, fantastic costumes and innovative companies. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what these groups can do!


I learned a few things from Film Day on the Hill:

The Utah Film Commission’s Motion Picture Incentive program has been making an incredible economic impact on the state and employs a variety of recruitment strategies to bring projects here. Those efforts have resulted in 146 films in the state, 13,830 jobs created and $239 million in direct Utah spending since 2005.
The future is bright! In 2016, more than 3,000 students were enrolled in a film or digital media program at 13 of Utah’s higher education institutions. I can’t wait to see what these students cook up.
The industry is going digital. More than 80% of film production is done digitally so it’s crucial for artists to stay on top of new technologies.
Legislators are proud of the strong film and digital entertainment industry we have in Utah and see it as an incredible asset to our cultural landscape and bustling economy.

Thank you to all the creative companies who joined us and to those who couldn’t come but continue to pour their heart into creating the best work possible in Utah. Here is a list of a few who made it. Make sure to check out what they are up to:

Contributing writer Elizabeth Latenser is a film fan, mountain momma, dog lover and tree hugger.

How to get an Internship with “The Tonight Show”

How do you get an internship with the “The Tonight Show”? Well Nick Garrett a  communications student at Weber State University had a creative idea.  Film, edit and score a shot for shot intro to the show’s original, starring himself of course as the “potential intern.” The voice over let’s you know that Nick would be a great intern because he’s hard working, a multi-tasker and can deal with a fast paced environment.

Nick spent a month creating the piece, filming various Salt Lake City locations (and Park City) to double for New York.

All we can say is, he better get that internship. Check out his video.

The Block Film & Art Festival

Logan’s The Block Film & Art Festival 

Do you like film, music, and art? We do! Which is why we’re sponsoring The Block film & art festival. Spend the weekend in Logan watching incredible films and immersing yourself in Utah’s artistic culture. Technically this is the fifth annual film festival, but this year it’s not just film. It’s grown to include music, art, and education. Logan has the benefit of having four theaters on one block, so they’re utilizing the space to create a weekend for everyone to enjoy. With nearly 50 films, music, food, educational speakers, and art, it’s the perfect way to tap into Utah’s creative culture.

The festival runs October 7th-8th and passes are only $5 for students and $20 for locals. If you only have time to watch one film, you can do that too for only $8. Or you can just walk around and enjoy the music, art, and food carts. Check out the schedule and snag your tickets here!

What do Katy Perry and Southern Utah have in common?

Answer: A big parachute.

Katy Perry’s new video for her hit song Rise takes place nearly entirely in scenic Southern Utah. The video was filmed in Sand Hollow and Snow Canyon and has more than 20 million views since its debut on YouTube. The production crew wanted to film at Lake Powell, but were blown away when Kelly Stowell, the Utah Film Commissions’s Kanab and Kane County film commissioner, showed them Sand Hollow and Snow Canyon. Just goes to show that Utah has many hidden gems for filmmakers to discover as they dive deeper than the more well known areas of Zion and Moab. Now enough chit chat, we’ll let the video speak for itself.