New Jobs to be Created for Alaskans by Universal Pictures and Working Title Films’ Production, “Everybody Loves Whales,” starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski.
June 14, 2010 (Anchorage, AK) A multi-million dollar film will begin production in Alaska this summer creating new jobs and economic opportunity across the state. The film Everybody Loves Whales is based on the true story of the 1988 international rescue of gray whales trapped by the sea ice in the Alaskan Arctic near Barrow.
“This is the first major dollar film production drawn to Alaska, in part, by the new Alaska Film Production Incentive Program,” said Bob Crockett, president of the Alaska Film Group. “The production will utilize dozens of Alaska businesses creating many jobs and economic opportunities. When this film wraps, Alaska will have a deeper and more experienced crew base and an infrastructure that will help attract additional major feature film productions to the state,” Crockett said.
Everybody Loves Whales is to be directed by Ken Kwapis (He’s Just not That Into You), starring Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels, 50 First Dates, Grey Gardens) and John Krasinski (The Office). The film is currently in pre-production in Anchorage. Set construction is slated to begin in July and filming is expected to continue into winter. Alaskans will be working on every facet of the production from location scouting and construction to catering, transportation and acting.
“I’m sure that once Hollywood finds out what we have to offer they will be back again and again,” said Sen. Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage), who successfully sponsored legislation in 2008 creating the Alaska Film Production Incentive Program and transferable film production credits and re-establishing the Alaska Film Office.
“While I am excited to see this truly Alaskan story come to life on the big screen, the real reason that I sponsored the Film Incentive Program is the substantial investment it represents for our small businesses—the laborers and electricians, the shop and restaurant owners—the everyday Alaskans who will be working thanks to this production,” Ellis said.
The legislation, which became law in June of 2008, was supported by hundreds of Alaskans, locally owned businesses and communities throughout the state who were hoping to attract the film industry to Alaska.
“Everybody Loves Whales is the perfect production for Alaska,” said Alaska Film Group board member Carolyn K. Robinson. “Not only is this a wonderful family script which highlights the Alaskan Arctic, this project is good news for Alaska’s economy.”
“In the past, if you wanted to work on a major motion picture you were forced to go Outside,” Robinson explained. “Everybody Loves Whales makes it possible for industry professionals and their families to actually live here and work on a big feature film.”
British Columbia, often used as a filming location to portray Alaska settings, recently released figures showing $1.3 billion in spending by film and television productions in 2009. As Alaska’s film incentive law becomes more widely known, the state could see similar economic activity.
“Other US states with innovative and aggressive incentives have been diversifying their economies and creating new high-paying private sector jobs; Alaska is poised to do the same,” Robinson added. “In addition to benefiting from the infusion of investment dollars, the residual effect of these big feature films will bring millions of dollars worth of marketing and promotion for Alaska businesses, products, and tourism, for years to come” she said.
For information on the Alaska Film Group, visit: www.alaskafilmgroup.org
For information about Alaska’s Film Incentive Law, visit: www.commerce.state.ak.us/oed/film
For information on casting positions, contact: alaskafilmservices [at] gmail [dot] com
For information on crew positions, contact: Karen [at] sprocketheads [dot] com
The Alaska Film Group is a non-profit, industry-based trade association with a statewide membership of production companies, film crew and support services such as hotels, car and equipment rental companies, aerial and ground transport businesses, caterers, recreational guides, and studio teachers.