Our moment in the spotlight

DanOctober 3 will go down as a significant date in our state’s film history. On that day, two major movies set in Missouri will open nationwide.

Gone Girl takes place in the fictional Missouri river town of North Carthage. Starring Ben Affleck, the movie tells the story of a man searching for his missing wife and then becoming a suspect in her disappearance. It’s an adaptation of a book by Missouri native Gillian Flynn.

The Good Lie is based on a true story about Sudanese refugees who settle in Kansas City. It focuses on their interactions with an American woman, played by Reese Witherspoon, who is assigned to help them.

It’s certainly a rare day at the box office when two Missouri stories are simultaneously in the spotlight.

However, there is a significant difference between these two movies: Gone Girl was filmed in Missouri, with Cape Girardeau playing the part of North Carthage, and The Good Lie was filmed in Georgia, using Atlanta as a stand-in for Kansas City.

gonegirlposterGone Girl brought millions of dollars into our economy, with much of that coming into Cape Girardeau. Business leaders in Cape have a lot to say about what the movie contributed to the local economy. Read their comments in our story.

The Good Lie was a missed opportunity. By the time Kansas City film industry leaders and state officials learned about the project, the $12-million production was already committed to Atlanta. Read about how the loss of this movie helped spur Kansas City to increase the city’s efforts to attract film investment.

In some ways, the film industry is an ever present force in our lives. Major films like Gone Girl and The Good Lie will be in the media. They will start conversations and influence society.

But despite the cultural presence of movies, the film industry can also be somewhat invisible compared to other members of our business community. When you look around St. Louis, those tall buildings don’t belong to production companies. As you travel down I-70, you’d be hard pressed to find many billboards for talent agencies, costume rentals, lighting companies, or videography businesses. Yet, they’re all here.

These Missouri creative professionals and equipment technicians are ready to be called into action when films come to Missouri. They also do an incredible amount of work on national advertising projects.

The companies that make up Missouri’s network of film and commercial talent include businesses like Deep—the Springfield agency profiled this issue that created a viral internet ad this year. We also profiled Play-Mor Trailers. This Westphalia company builds durable, custom trailers that are used on film and television locations across the country and beyond.

There are a lot of great things happening in Missouri’s film community, and I hope you enjoy reading about this interesting industry.

As always, we at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry appreciate the support of our members around the state. If you haven’t yet joined us, we would love to talk with you about how we can help grow your business.

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