Question: What exactly is the purpose of a film commission office?


Answer: The AFCI, Association of Film Commissioners Internal, defines it as, “promoting the region through the development of film, video, and multimedia production; acting as liaison between local governments and communities with production entities by educating, setting standards of professionalism; serving as a clearinghouse for production information; and proportionally increasing the economic impact of the industry throughout the region.


Question: Why is this important?


Answer: The Association of Film Commissioners Internal responds, “Because the film and video business generates large amounts of clean, and in many cases sustainable, economic growth through the hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually for “on-location” production. A studio-based feature film can spend upwards of $250,000 per day in a local economy and a large national or international television commercial can generate local spending of up to $1 million in less than two weeks. The economic impact generated by productions can positively impact local hotels, car and truck rental, catering, barricade rentals, local cast and crew, and a host of other local businesses. Finally, film production can help generate sustained growth in tourism when a region or community is featured in a successful film.  Further, production companies in the film, television, and multimedia industry consider film commissions a valuable partner and resource. Often the presence and level of development and resources offered by a film commission determines whether production companies will consider bringing production to a particular region. This highly competitive environment makes a film commission an economic necessity as well as an integral ingredient in attracting this “clean industry” and its ensuing revenue to a region.”


Question: Can I send the Johnstown Film Commission office my screenplay?


Answer: Nope.  We don’t read screenplays.


Question: Does a film commission office fund movies?


Answer:  No.


Question:  Are you hiring?  Can I work for this office?


Answer:  Right now we don’t have any budget.  But one day, down the road, we will need a larger staff…


Question:  How do you pay for everything?


Answer: It has been all volunteer so far.  Because we know it is a worthy cause.


Question:  Have you gotten anything made since you started this office?


Answer:  Yes.  The first thing we did was to create a feature film to show off as many locations as possible.  Zombie Dream (2015).  Its set in Windber, but also dips into Johnstown, Somerset, Bedford, and more.  Check it out in the films made here column. We’ve also been directly responsible for the award-winning documentary SCARED coming here, the feature documentary House of Oddities: Story of the Atrocity Exhibition, and several national cable TV show episodes, including The Haunted Collector.  We are currently in production of a second feature shot locally.


Question: How do I submit photographs of properties?


Answer:  We need help capturing our area in great photographs!  Time to show it off!  We are building a catalogue of locations that show off the flavor and unique look that we all enjoy.  Some of these photographs can be seen in the “Locations” column in the menu of this web page.  We need a few great wide shots of lots of our features.  Got a unique property you’d like to include?  Send it to us via email with a contact information and we will absolutely add you to our archives.  For now these can be sent to Empyre@earthlink.net