Area businesses and residents who have been energized by the boost in Hollywood profiles in southwest Ohio may not have to wait long to see another movie shot in the area.
Though filming wrapped this past Saturday for “The Long Home,” produced by Hollywood actor James Franco and his production company Rabbit Bandini, co-producer and Hamilton native Vince Jolivette said that thanks to the great reception and help they received back in his hometown, the company plans to return to Hamilton to shoot another film by the end of the summer.
“I think James (Franco) summed it up the best; this was his best movie-making experience in the 20 years he’s been working in film,” Jolivette said. “And for (co-producer and fellow Hamilton native) Jay Davis and I, just to be able to bring a movie back here and have the amazing cooperation we had with the city and all of the local residents, it made it so easy.”
Jolivette, who first met Franco back in 1996 in acting classes in Los Angeles and co-founded Rabbit Bandini Productions, said that the out-of-town cast and crew “really loved staying in Hamilton” during the nearly three weeks they were shooting.
“They couldn’t rave about it more,” he said. “They all went to all of the local restaurants and bars, and really supported them while they were in town.”
They even threw a birthday party for cast member Wilmer Calderon on May 8 at Ryan’s Tavern in downtown Hamilton, and the star-studded cast — which includes Josh Hutcherson, Garret Dillahunt, Zoë Levin, Courtney Love, and more — have been tagging their way around town on their social media accounts.
“And the local crew that we had was top-notch,” Jolivette said. “I haven’t worked with a harder and more passionate crew in a long time.”
Working with the extras and location owners was a breeze as well.
“Our casting director also grew up in Hamilton, and when she was gathering her extras, people were so excited to be a part of this,” he said. The majority of shooting took place on private property in Shandon, Morgan Twp., with additional shooting taking place in Hamilton’s German Village and old Municipal Building on High Street, in Warren County and in Eaton in Preble County.
Jolivette said that he and Davis have been trying to shoot films in their home area for “a long time now,” and that now that the Ohio Film Tax Credit has created such a financial incentive to come back home, “it’s a no-brainer.” They are currently wrapping up filming on “Goat,” a Rabbit Bandini/Killer Films-produced movie being shot in Cincinnati. The state has offered “The Long Home” up to $288,355 in refundable tax credits and “Goat” another $570,573. The amount of those awards has yet to be finalized.
“I just got a call asking me how it was shooting out here, so I think the positive energy emanating from this area will attract more projects,” Jolivette said.
Now that shooting for “The Long Home” is done, editing the movie will take the next four to five months; once a rough cut is complete, Rabbit Bandini will determine which major film festival they’d like to attend to premier the film.
“A lot of times with low-budget movies, you have to premier the movie at a major film festival… to make it into a major film,” Jolivette said. He’d love to premiere “The Long Home” at the Sundance Film Festival or at South By Southwest Film Festival in 2016.
Jolivette would not give any clues about the film to shoot in Hamilton in the summer.
“Stay tuned,” he said.
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