Bureaucracies Get Glamorous with Motion Picture Industry

By Holabird, Robin | Public Management, October 1993 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Bureaucracies Get Glamorous with Motion Picture Industry


Holabird, Robin, Public Management


Bureaucracy can gain some glamour--and revenue--when it hitches up with the movie industry.

While cities, counties, and states can not expect "Jurassic Park" profits, there is no question that entities can benefit by hosting a project, and the summer's dinosaur blockbuster is a case in point.

Kauai Film Commissioner Judy Drosd was happy enough just to have a high-profile, big-name project like Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park" come to her island last fall. Drosd's job description has her encouraging and facilitating location filming--a function that is becoming common in city, county, and state governments. Drosd's encouragement program did not have Hurricane Iniki on the agenda, but she now says, "If you are going to have a disaster, you should have a film crew around because they are a self-contained unit." Generators, food, and other resources proved a boon to crew and residents alike during the storm.

After the hurricane, producer Kathleen Kennedy jogged to the local airport, rode a military plane to neighboring Oahu, and arranged with Universal Studios to provide a planeload of relief and medical supplies. The company also took the island to heart and arranged for several follow-up fundraisers.

While this unexpected help was more than appreciated, Commissioner Drosd knew all along that "Jurassic Park" would prove a tourism boom. "In just the opening weekend of the film," she says, "a record-breaking audience saw how spectacular our island is, and they'll come just to see places--not dinosaurs--they recognize from the movie."

Films and Tourism

Attracting tourists always has been a prime reason for communities to seek motion picture projects, regardless of script content.

Classic stories circulating in film commissions include Australia's "Crocodile Dundee" paragon, in which a movie plot that made the outback seem like a dangerous, rugged place full of hungry reptiles ended up serving as a promotional program to lure visitors to the continent.

Commissioner Norm Bielowicz of the Georgia Film and Videotape Office traces a similar tradition back to 1972 and "Deliverance." Despite some unpleasantries in the story along the river, "one year later, tourism was up 30 percent," he says. The film started what has become a major raft and expedition business that brings some 20,000 tourists a year to Rayburn County.

And when the publicity is good, whole industries can be developed around a project. For instance, the real "Massachusetts Miracle" may well have been the series "Cheers," which uses a drawing of the Bull and Finch pub as credits roll. Although the long-running series was filmed in Los Angeles, tourists started seeking out the bar exterior along Boston Common and wandering in for a drink or snack. Still, the tourism benefit is a roll of the dice, dependent upon the success of a film or television project.

Revenue Boosteirs

Whether or not a project goes on to be a hit, however, communities can count on a production company's bringing revenue to the area by hiring locals and using services. This alone is enough to encourage governments to create film offices as part of economic development programs.

Entities can expect to receive some direct benefits, including permit fees, location fees, labor salaries, taxes, in-kind work, and donations.

Permit fees.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Bureaucracies Get Glamorous with Motion Picture Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?