Economic Development

City Approves $1.25M Float Loan for Film Production

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Shooting is expected to begin in October on “Them That Follow,” a film by G-Base Entertainment that the city is backing with a low-interest, short-term loan.

The Youngstown Board of Control Thursday approved a float loan of up to $1.25 million for Them That Follow LLC, referred to in loan documents as 12300 Productions LLC, Los Angeles.

The production company will borrow the money at a rate of 0.25% annual interest for an 18-month term. The loan will be backed by an irrevocable letter of credit, to be provided before any loan funds are released, said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s director of community planning and economic development.

In April, City Council approved lending up to $2 million to the production company, whose principals include actor Gerald Butler.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the film, starring Olivia Colman, Alice Englert and Thomas Mann, is “a dramatic thriller set deep in the wilds of Appalachia.”

Colman, an English actress, is a three-time BAFTA Award winner. She has also won a Golden Globe Award and has been nominated for two Emmy awards. She is perhaps best known to American audiences as co-star of the ITV drama “Broadchurch.”

The film’s producers envision the low-budget film as their “Moonlight,” referring to the 2016 drama that won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Michael McGiffin, coordinator of downtown events and special projects, said.

Earlier this year, a representative said they plan to shoot in October and November, and hopefully show the completed film at the Cannes Film Festival next spring.

Representatives of the production company were in town for more than a week recently to scout locations for the film, Woodberry and McGiffin reported.

They are working with Fred D’Amico, director of the Youngstown Regional Film Commission, McGiffin said. “Fred has been really good and integral in this process,” he said.

When the producers return to the city in the near future, they will set up location agreements for places where they want to film, McGiffin said. Contractual agreements already are in place for support companies, from caterers to local production companies that will film B-roll material, he added.

Local services they also will need include hotels, electricians, makeup and carpentry. “There are a lot of services that are going to be getting temporary work out of this,” he said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.