Dave Feldman of Bethesda Green sent me an interesting article this morning, and I thought I’d talk about it with you. Ryan Marshall of the Gazette explains that the past year has been very good to the Maryland Film Office and the state of Maryland as a whole. Robin Wright, whose show “House of Cards” films in Maryland, won a Golden Globe on January 12th. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, whose show “Veep” is shot in Baltimore, won Best Actress at the SAG Awards on Sunday. Dame Judi Dench’s film “Philomena” has received 4 Academy Award nominations, and was shot partially in Montgomery County. And Susan Sarandon’s movie “Ping Pong Summer” was shot in Ocean City and is premiering at Sundance this week.
That’s a lot of action for one small state! And it’s not all that unusual either. Baltimore and Annapolis serve as regular stand-ins for Washington, DC. With the multiple jurisdictions and federal agencies the DC Film Office has to coordinate between, many producers choose to shoot in Maryland, and only travel into the District for shots they cannot replicate outside of it. (The monuments, for example!) This is great for the state of Maryland – in 2013 the film industry generated $197 million through a combination of large and small films, television shows, and commercials. Not all of that goes right to the government, either – Marylanders are hired as actors, crew members, and extras, and productions generally utilize Maryland businesses and vendors.
Not convinced yet that Maryland is a player in the film industry? I’ve scrounged up a few more examples for you. Morgan Freeman’s thriller, “Along Came a Spider” was shot in Baltimore and Owings Mills. “The Pelican Brief” (with Julia Roberts) was partially filmed in Bethesda. (Fun fact – they set up trailers at my elementary school!) “He’s Just Not That Into You” was filmed in Baltimore, as was “The Social Network” and pretty much every John Waters film ever made. Not to mention the beloved classic “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” – what a film!
The point is, Maryland has a lot going for it when it comes to the film industry. Our landscape includes mountains and the ocean, rivers and ponds (though no natural lakes), cities and farmland. Plus, we have four full seasons – unlike, say, California. Mark Leisher Productions is proud to be part of Maryland’s film industry. In fact, we have a few major projects in the works for 2014… So stay tuned!
Image Credit: Grant Crabtree