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Regional film commission needs established in area

News that the Huntington Regional Film Commission's work is paying dividends should give other communities in West Virginia the necessary motivation to pursue such a course to woo filmmakers.

The fact that recent movies about West Virginia have been shot in other locations is something that should be discouraged -- if at all possible.

One such film is "October Sky," which used locales in Tennessee. Other examples are "The Mothman Prophecies" and "Silence of the Lambs," both of which used Pittsburgh-area locations instead of the actual settings.

West Virginia's state-level film commission is working to promote the Mountain State to Hollywood movie moguls, but regional film commissions might do a better job of pitching their cities, towns and rural settings as suitable sites for movies. Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg, as well as other cities in the North Central region, would do well to create an entity for this purpose. This area is rich in history and its wonderful scenery would translate well onto the silver screen.

If Huntington can lure Hollywood to Cabell and surrounding counties, then we can too.

For example, Stormcatcher Productions has set up shop in Kenova to film an upcoming horror flick title "Dark Harvest." Directed by Paul Moore, this horror movie is set in a fictional West Virginia county.

Marshall University alum and Los Angeles-based director Van Flesher brought his production company to Huntington in February to film a comedy called "Burning Annie."

If North Central West Virginia wants a piece of Hollywood's profits, it should follow Huntington's lead and become proactive in promoting itself.

Patrick Martin

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