ARTICLE: WFE gives Chattanooga an economic boost

The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel

Amazing Andrew & Kool Kevin, the super producers, are quoted in this article *fangirls*…you guys know I love the WFE producers ;)

From Chattanooga Times Free Press:

The time that movie crews spent in town shooting the new Robert Pattinson film “Water for Elephants” may have rung up as much as $1 million for city cash registers.

In addition to the cool factor that comes with having film stars such as Pattinson and Hal Holbrook in Chattanooga, the out-of-town crew, actors, directors, producers and location and talent scouts stayed in local hotels and ate in local restaurants. They also hired local painters and carpenters.

“I’ve only been here a short time, but we’re using everything — dry cleaners, grocery stores, drugstores, hotel, restaurants,” Kevin Halloran, the film’s executive producer, said on the set during filming recently at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

Missy Crutchfield, administrator of the city’s Department of Education, Arts and Culture, said some members of the film team were here for more than a month.

“When films choose to shoot in Chattanooga, there is a local economic impact,” she said. “With every production dollar budgeted, there is a multiplier effect leveraged at about 2.5 times in the local community as cast and crews stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and buy from local suppliers and contract local workers, to name just a few things.”

The Chattanooga Choo Choo hosted most of the catering crew and logged 345 room nights, according to Annie Still, director of sales. Those ranged from a low of two rooms one night to a high of 35 rooms during the height of filming, she said.

“That would be over $30,000 in guest room revenue,” Still said. “They also ate here and drank here. That is significant at any hotel.”

The Courtyard by Marriott Downtown housed many of the production crew members and several location scouts beginning about two months ago, according to market general manager Andrea Anderson.

As many as 50 rooms were booked and paid for by Fox 2000 Pictures some nights, she said, and the total bill came to more than $50,000.

Crutchfield said that having the “Water for Elephants” crew here could also be paying off in other ways.

“We are being looked at as a possible site for a TV pilot that would be shot here over a two-month period,” she said. “People left here and are talking about the wonderful experience they had here.”

Movie studios are looking not only for a geographic location to serve as a setting, Crutchfield said, they are looking for city, county and state agencies that offer things such as tax incentives or a willingness to close roads for a day or help facilitate finding local specialists.

“You guys have helped us a lot between the crews, the locations, the film incentives, and ultimately the people,” said “Water for Elephants” producer Andrew Tennenbaum.

“The people have been so incredibly welcoming and gracious and open — from the local retailers to some of the restaurateurs,” he said. “We’ve become friendly with some really, really cool people down here.”

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About tinkrbe1l3

Fan and supporter of all things Robert Pattinson. Co-chauffeur on CosmopolisFilm.com, co-blogger on RobsessedPattinson.com, co-kinker on WaterForElephantsFilm.com, as well as upcoming films: theroverfilm.com, holdontomefilm.com, missionblacklist.com, mapstothestarsfilm.com, queenofthedesertfilm.com. Co-blogger on RobertPattinsonFilms.com
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  • http://littledarlingdreamer.blogspot.com Jessica Eubanks

    yay this makes me so happy! i love my city :)

  • http://robertpattinsonindo.wordpress.com RPindo

    it’s a beautiful hotel, me like it!!

  • lynn gipson

    I WAS AT THE FILMING FOR WFE AND I HAD A GREAT TIME. I THOUGHT IT WAS SO GREAT TO HAVE STARS COME TO CHATTANOOGA AND FILM A MOVIE. I TOOK LOTS OF PICTURES AND CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE MOVIE. I LIVE NOT TO FAR FROM THE HOUSE ON COVE ROAD AND HAVE A PICTURE OF IT BEFORE WFE WAS EVEN THOUGHT OF.

  • Lydia

    It’s nice to hear of a positive financial impact for a change. There’s so much doom and gloom reported all the time given the state of our US economy. Kudos to GA and TN for making it a positive experience.

  • Jackalyn

    I think was an all around positive experience. I had a great time “scouting” and met some really great ladies! Who says all women are catty? We stood around sweating, laughing, sharing stories and of course dying to sneak a peak of the whole WFE experience. It was a great time, helped make this heat wave a little more exciting!!

    So happy to hear the cast and crew enjoyed our town,

    Ya’ll come back now, ya hear? lol