Each quarter the staff of Washington Filmworks (WF) visits with film liaisons across the state to do location scouting and meet with area elected officials about the important impact motion picture production has on the statewide economy. This June, WF Executive Director, Amy Lillard, and Production Services Coordinator, Krys Karns spent a day visiting Renton, Washington.
WF was treated to a tour of the city by area film liaison, Jennifer Davis Hayes. Hayes is the Community Development Project Manager for the City of Renton‘s Department of Community & Economic Development. With a focus on economic development, the arts, planning, and permitting, Hayes is well positioned to help filmmakers find the resources they need for production to run smoothly and efficiently within Renton city limits. The City has hosted a number of incentive productions, including One Square Mile and Fat Kid Rules the World; “We are a big city with a small town feel where everyone is willing to pitch in and make things happen,” said Hayes.
Lillard and Karns began their day at City Hall with Renton Mayor, Denis Law, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, Preeti Shridhar, and Community Services Department Administrator, Terry Higashiyama. Lillard presented highlights from WF’s 2013 Annual Report of the Washington State Film Industry and discussed the economic impact production has on a community. Randy Matheson, Executive Director of the Renton School District, was also in attendance to discuss opportunities to use area schools for filming.
The day continued with stops to scout locations and obtain photos for WF’s ReelScout location database, which houses photos from across the state showcasing a diversity of locations for filmmakers and production companies. Highlights of the scout included the Renton’s Community Center, Memorial Stadium, Renton Municipal Airport, the Chamber of Commerce Building (the former Dinner Train Depot) and Old City Hall.
The visit also included a meeting with the Renton Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO, Lynn Wallace, and representatives of local hotels. The group completed their tour at the Whistle Stop Ale House, where they met with regional filmmakers and creative entrepreneurs, Ben Andrews and Mitch Shepherd (Renton Municipal Arts Commission) and filmmaker, Indiana Cho.
Washington Filmworks would like to thank the City of Renton for their hospitality.