Hey, Glenwood: You ought to be in movies! | PostIndependent.com
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Hey, Glenwood: You ought to be in movies!

If Marianne Virgili’s newest marketing strategy is successful, Glenwood could go Hollywood. Virgili, the director of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, is hoping the scenic beauty that draws people to live and recreate here will also attract moviemakers.It is for that hope that the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association is heading up the formation of a valleywide film board. The regional organization, called the Roaring Fork Film Board, is being formed so local entities can join their resources in luring the big movie companies to the area, Virgili said. The board hopes to get leads from the Colorado Film Commission and then they could contact the interested filmmakers directly. The state commission has a website that receives frequent hits from movie scouts looking for locations, Virgili said. “We’re really going to plug into that with pictures of the area,” she said. Part of the current impetus for the new film board is the current major upgrade of the Colorado Film Commission’s website at http://www.coloradofilm.org. It includes a searchable photo database for possible filming locations across the state, Virgili said. In conjunction, the Glenwood Springs chamber will be adding a new section on its website under the address http://www.glenwoodfilmcommission.com.The Roaring Fork Valley already has a plug in the state commission’s website: a beautiful picture of the Maroon Bells adorns the home page. In addition to photos of the area, the chamber also will offer a list of local organizations and support services that a film crew would need. “What this will do is consolidate all the facilities people will need to film here,” Virgili said. Another step in snaring filmmakers involves sending a representative to a once-yearly film convention in Los Angeles. The Roaring Fork film commission would set up a booth so scouts could talk to someone about what this area has to offer. “That’s a big step in what we’re doing. The film commission people want to know they have help if they were going to film here,” Virgili said. Being a regional organization, Virgili said, the board could help steer filmmakers to numerous good filming spots.”If they needed a castle, we could tell them about the Redstone Castle, or about the Hotel Colorado, that could be made to look like a castle,” she said. The filming of movies is by no means new to the area. The first, called “Runaway Stage Coach,” was filmed a century ago in Glenwood Canyon. Since then, there have been a slew of films, commercials and other programs filmed in the area. “We’re really excited about the prospect of more filming here,” Virgili said. “It really helps the economy and it gives us exposure.”Some of the other movies filmed at least partly in the area include “The Great K & A Train Robbery,” made in 1926; 1970’s “Vanishing Point,” shot in Glenwood Canyon; and “A Change of Seasons,” filmed in 1980 and starring Shirley MacLaine, Anthony Hopkins and Bo Derek. All of its ski scenes were filmed at what was then called Ski Sunlight.”Flashback,” a 1989 movie starring Dennis Hopper and Kiefer Sutherland, was filmed in downtown Glenwood Springs, at the Amtrak depot and at a ranch in Cattle Creek and featured many locals as extras; and “Tall Tale,” a 1995 Walt Disney movie, was shot near the Mid-Continent mine, at the Maroon Bells and outside Carbondale. Virgili said a similar board was formed in Durango and it’s been very successful.”Durango has been doing it for a while; now we’re going to be a little more aggressive,” Virgili said.The initial goals for the valleywide film board are to form a network of contacts and a volunteer board of directors to support the area film efforts from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to Rifle.An organizational and planning meeting for the film board will be held at the Glenwood Springs Community Center’s Red Mountain Room at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Guest speakers will be Stephanie B. Two Eagles, director of the Colorado Film Commission, and Greg Babcock, the state film commission’s location specialist. They will answer questions, provide suggestions and introduce the updated state film website.Virgili is urging local film and video professionals, local elected leaders, chamber of commerce contacts and others who could participate in the filming of a movie to attend the meeting.A list of local resources and permitting authorities will be added to the local website as the site expands, she said.


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