RENO, Nev. — Filming for a major motion picture is scheduled to begin soon in northern Nevada, something the local producer says will become more common in the years ahead as some new tax incentives for the industry kick in.
Lake Tahoe and the Reno area will serve as the backdrop for the movie with the working title “Shark Movie.” It features a carnivorous beast raising havoc in the tranquil waters of the azure alpine lake.
Jeffrey Spilman, a producer with Reno Tahoe Studio, said it’s a thriller being directed by a local director, Jerry Duggan. He said he can’t disclose the names of the stars yet, but they include some familiar Hollywood actors.
“Names you recognize and you see,” Spilman told KOLO-TV.
His Reno Tahoe Studios opened in August at the Reno Sparks Convention Center and expects to see a sharp rise in business thanks to a bill Gov. Brian Sandoval signed earlier this year granting a 19 percent tax break for filmmakers who shoot their movies in Nevada.
“The idea of the incentive is to hire local folks, do business with local companies and have an economic engine here that is really generated by the film industry,” Spilman said. “Being a Reno resident here, I, of course, encourage it because that way I don’t have to travel down to LA or the Bay to make films.”
The tax break doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1.
Brian Perry, a local actor and producer, said the coming “Shark Movie” is the first step in setting up a production framework.
“The next couple months, you’re going to see a lot of people staging to get ready to shoot next year because they are going to want see how that incentive will actually play out,” he said.
Actor Nicholas Cage was among those who traveled to Carson City in the spring to testify before the legislators in support of the tax break.
Spilman helped lawmakers write SB165, dubbed the “film production incentive.” His Reno Tahoe Studios opened inside the convention center owned and operated by the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.
“This would never have happened without the RSCVA’s leadership and hands-on involvement,” Spilman said.
Christopher Baume, president and CEO of the RSCVA, said the tax break will allow the state to compete for billions of dollars of movie and television productions that have been lured to Louisiana, Georgia, Michigan and other states with similar incentives.
“Reno Tahoe has a wide variety of cityscapes and outdoor locations that allow Hollywood to recreate almost any location in the world,” Baum said.
“With Reno Tahoe Studios offering three clear-span stages of 50,000, 60,000 and 70,000 square feet, and numerous production offices and additional spaces, we now have one of the most flexible studios for building interior sets in the country,” he said.