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SALT LAKE CITY – Beautiful is probably the most common adjective used to describe the state of Utah.
When a Utah resident tells a stranger they’re from Beehive State, said stranger usually replies, “Oh, I heard it’s beautiful there.” When someone asks that same Utah resident about his homeland, the local autopilot’s response is usually something like “Well, that’s beautiful.”
These kinds of conversations happen all the time because, at the end of the day, Utah is beautiful. But Utah is actually more than that. Utah is weird – in a good way.
From the swells of San Rafael to the salt flats of Bonneville to Fantasy Canyon, Pando the trembling giant and the splendor of Monument Valley, Utah is, as Ulysses Everett McGill puts it in “O brother, where are you? “A geographical oddity”.
That’s why filmmakers around the world send scouts to Utah when they’re looking for something different. When Gore Verbinski needs a place that looks like Davy Jones’ Locker, or Robert Zemeckis sends Marty McFly back to the Wild West, storytellers know those dark places they see in their minds might just be lurking somewhere in the Utah landscape.
So that made us wonder – what stories are being told here now?
Thank you to the always great people at Utah Film Commission, it was a question that we knew she could find an answer to quickly. We’ll talk more about the great things the Utah Film Commission is doing in an upcoming article. For now, here’s what the film commission’s Debra Vago had to say about five film and TV projects currently filming in the state of Utah.
The following text was taken verbatim, with permission, from a statement sent by the Utah Film Commission.
The anticipated television series, “Yellowstone,” is currently filming in Utah, having been approved for a state film incentive this summer. Oscar nominated filmmaker Taylor Sheridanfamous for “Against all odds“, “Sicarius” and the recent made in Utah”wind river“, returns to Utah to lead the show. The series follows the Dutton family, controllers of the largest contiguous ranch in the country, which finds its borders threatened. Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser will star alongside the lead actor Kevin Costner.
Sheridan, winner of this year’s Cannes Film Festival “Best Director” award for “Wind River”, cited the breathtaking scenery, accessibility and reliability of the Utah team as some of the reasons he chose to return to Utah. The show is expected to generate an economic impact of over $28 million and employ over 300 local actors and crew.
Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” is currently filming its second season in Salt Lake City. The hit series follows the life of Andi (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and her family and friends as she navigates the tricky terrain of early adolescence. The show’s popularity to date is clear, with the first season approaching 40 million views across seven digital platforms. All principal photography will take place this fall, with the production employing more than 200 Utah cast and crew and spending approximately $15 million in the state.
Michelle Manningexecutive producer of Disney Channel’s ‘Andi Mack’, said, “I’ve toured all over the world, but Utah is now my favorite place to film. This show has a special place in my heart and in the premiere. season, the bond between the cast and crew was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s been a case of home away from home, and we can’t wait to start filming the second season in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas.
After a successful first season (including 22 Emmy nominations), HBO’s hit sci-fi western series, “Westworld“, returns to Utah this fall to shoot its second season, which will air in 2018. With an all-star cast and a jaw-dropping backdrop in southern Utah, “Westworld” has averaged 12 million viewership across all platforms and now ranks as the most-watched network in season one.
HBO’s hit series Westworld will also receive a state incentive to film part of the second season in Utah. The show’s jaw-dropping backdrop has received much praise, and Jonathan Nolan, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, spoke to Scott Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune to be “retired” in southern Utah because of its “scenery unlike anywhere else on the face of the planet”
Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved sisterhood story is being reimagined, with production taking place right here in Utah. The independent feature is set to be released in 2018 to mark the 150th anniversary of the book’s publication.
Claire Niederpruemwho starred in the movie made in Utah, “Once I was a beehive,” makes her directorial debut with this modern take on “Little Women.” Niederpruem also co-wrote the screenplay with Kristi Shimek, who was an editor on “Once I Was a Beehive”, among other films. the friendly Leah Thompson plays the family matriarch, Marmie, while “High School Musical’s” Lucas Grabeel returned to Utah to play Laurie. It’s the latest cinematic take on the classic story, which means a whole new set of March sisters to fall in love with.
The horror film “Behind You” is currently filming in Utah County. The local production received a state film incentive through the Community Film Incentive Program, a fund created to encourage emerging talent based in Utah to keep their film projects in the state.
Co-written and co-directed by André Mechamproducer of “Mythica: The Necromancer,” and YouTube Red Original,”A Trip to Unicorn Island“, as well as Matthew Whedonbrother of the famous screenwriter/director Joss Whedon. The feature film tells the story of two sisters who find themselves in their estranged aunt’s house and soon discover a dark presence who plans to use the girls to further his evil purpose.
“We are strong believers in supporting and maintaining film jobs in Utah. The majority of our team is local, including 100% of our crew. Although this film falls into the horror genre, it should be PG-13, with a positive and uplifting message that love is more powerful than fear,” Mecham said.