Independent film maker considering area

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By Stan Welch

A company involved in the independent film making business has expressed an interest in locating a production facility in Williamston. Mayor Mack Durham emphasized that the discussions of such a possibility, which began just recently, are very preliminary.

Both the principals in the company are from the Anderson area currently, although one of them reportedly worked in live comedy in the Detroit area for some time.

Durham said that while his knowledge of the independent film industry is limited at best, the partners seem well qualified to pursue their goals. “They have talent and expertise; that much is obvious. But at this stage I think they are simply exploring possibilities, such as locations where they could locate their studio.”

Burriss Nelson, Director of Economic Development for Anderson County, told The Journal that he had signed a confidentiality agreement with the principals just this week, and couldn’t discuss any details. He did confirm that any considerations are in the very early stages.

He also explained that while the County stands ready to help in any way they can, the state is actually more involved in trying to attract elements of the film industry to South Carolina. “The state film office has an incentive fund in the amount of fifteen million dollars, but the availability of such funding is contingent on the filmmaker being able to assure that certain performance levels will be met.”

“ For example, a certain number of state residents would have to be employed on projects, whether they are feature films, or television series. On a feature length film, that figure to be spent on wages and such for in state residents might reach as high as a million dollars.”

Mayor Durham said that additional exploratory meetings are planned between the parties.