Amy Lillard, WF Executive Director, Rich Cowan, NxNW Founder, Greg Smith, WF Board Member, and Harry Sladich, WF Board Member.

Amy Lillard (WF Executive Director) Rich Cowan (NxNW Founder) Greg Smith and Harry Sladich (WF Board Members) at yesterday’s Spokane announcement.

Post Apocalyptic Drama to Film in Spokane this Summer

Z Nation is headed for Washington State! This month the WF Board of Directors approved funding assistance for Z Nation, a 13-episode dramatic series for the Syfy channel. Yesterday board members and staff of Washington Filmworks (WF) participated in a press conference at North by Northwest Productions in Spokane where the news was announced. Project partners The Asylum and Go2Digital Media will work with North by Northwest to produce Z Nation and Karl Schaefer will serve as the show runner.

This project is a game changer for Washington State. The series will film in Spokane from May through September 2014 and represents over 12,000 worker days for Washington crew. In addition the series will employ close to 200 Washington actors, and 1,300 Washington extras, predominantly featured as zombies. “The City of Spokane is thrilled to be chosen for Z Nation. We are excited to partner with the film industry to ensure success,” says Ben Stuckert, Spokane City Council President. “North by Northwest and Washington Filmworks have shown we can bring good jobs to Spokane by working collaboratively.”

Securing a series has been a high priority for WF and represents sustainable, family wage jobs for workers. “Washington Filmworks is so pleased to be a part of this project. Episodic television creates well paying, ongoing jobs for a lot of people,” said Don Jensen, WF Board Chair. “We have always felt that incentivizing episodic production is the highest and best use of our funds. We hope to be able to do more of it in the future.”

In attendance at the press conference were:

  • David Condon, Spokane Mayor
  • Ben Stuckert, Spokane City Council President
  • Theresa Sanders, City Administrator, City of Spokane
  • Harry Sladich, Executive VP Hotel Operations & Sales Red Lion Hotels Coorporation and WF Board Member
  • Greg Smith, IATSE Local 488 President and WF Board Member
  • Amy Lillard, WF Executive Director
  • Mary Nellenbach and Steve Utt, Banking Partners and WF Contributors from Washington Trust Bank
  • Rich Cowan, North by Northwest founder

Series Synopsis – Z Nation is set three years after a zombie virus has gutted the country, and a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America.

Z Nation debuts this fall on Syfy.