Hollywood casting agents looking for Eastern Panhandle actors

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EASTERN PANHANDLE, W.Va. — Officials with the West Virginia Film Office (WVFO) said Hollywood is starting to catch on to all the things the Eastern Panhandle has to offer.

“The Eastern Panhandle is really booming, as far as the film industry goes,” said Jamie Cope, the location services coordinators for WVFO. “Whenever production comes into town, they’re basically looking for three things. They’re looking at the locations, they’re looking at the workforce and they’re looking at the incentives.”

West Virginia’s diverse locations range from revolutionary war-era towns to big cities, mountains and streams – and it’s scenery that won’t break a Hollywood budget.

“Places like New York or Los Angeles, they get what’s called ‘shot out’,” said Cope, “where so many productions take place that the people start raising their prices.

“It’s not really the glamour of Hollywood that we have here,” he laughed. “It’s not a nuisance. People actually welcome the productions.”

Officials with the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau said restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, even laundry services are economically boosted when production companies come to town.

“One of the hoteliers told us that his revenue from the laundry service at the hotel increased by $1,000,” said Laura Gassler, executive director of the visitors bureau. “So, there are things you don’t even think of.”

Officials with WVFO are projecting that studios will spend $15 million making movies in their state through their tax credit program.

Thanks to West Virginia‘s film industry tax incentive, they encourage movie crews to source everything locally.

“The crews use the local people, the local venues; they pay rent for the buildings they use. They buy all their lumber, all their supplies locally. They like to source as much as they can in West Virginia, because all of those purchases are eligible for the tax credits,” Gassler said.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to walk and talk on a Hollywood set, casting directors are looking for all types of people for an upcoming TV series that’s set to be filmed in the Eastern Panhandle.

The following information is provided courtesy of Jäderlund Casting Director:

Project Name: “UWP”

Film Dates: August 3 -20 2015

Film Location: West Virginia

Casting Team: Henry Jäderlund, David Brantley

SEEKING: Males (Open Ethnicity) 5-75; Female (Open Ethnicity) 5-75

Supporting Role/ Day Player Breakdowns will be forthcoming.

All Positions are PAID.

Location: Martinsburg, West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle of WV)

About the Project: Before the West was won, it was bloodied by gangs, infighting and a turf war on a scale never seen again in the United States. This program is a docudrama miniseries about the remarkable real-life stories behind the infamous Wild West legends: men like Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Butch Cassidy, and Buffalo Bill. It catapults us into the violent world of Cowboys, Outlaws, and Gunslingers.

Officials with the visitors bureau say open casting auditions will also be held Saturday, July 25 at the Quality Inn in Harper’s Ferry.

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