2014 is best year for Mississippi film industry

2014 is best year for Mississippi film industry

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Film Industry leaders are calling 2014 the best year ever in film for the Magnolia State. Tuesday afternoon, a large group of people met in Gulfport to discuss how to keep this momentum going in 2015.

Francisco Gonzalez, director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Film Office, hosted the meeting to remind local business people just how much of an impact the film industry has on the local economy. Some are already well aware.

The director of sales with the Home 2 Suites by Hilton recently hosted the Party Down South production company.

"I had the privilege in August the 1st to host the 495 production crew at my hotel, and they generated... a total of $103,930 in room revenue before tax," said the sales director.

Those types of numbers are the reason State Representative Scott DeLano wants his fellow lawmakers to do whatever it takes to keep the industry thriving.

"In this upcoming session, we're not really sure what bills are going to be introduced, but I think there are some ways we can tweak the efficiency in the effectiveness of the existing programs that we have," said DeLano.

The crowd listened attentively as Ward Emling, Director of the Mississippi Film Office, talked about just how appealing the state is becoming to Hollywood producers.

"We already know we've got five coming in next year, and that's today. We get scripts in every week. We think we can get to 16 in and or get beyond 16 next year. This is not slowing down," said Emling.

He said as more movies and television shows are shot in Mississippi, he wants to make sure local talent and local businesses are being utilized and benefiting from these productions.

"It's always good to explain to this group and other groups like this, that we're working for them. That we fight for them as local crew, and it's very good to hear what they have to say," said Emling.

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