Why We Could See More and More Movies Filmed in Kentucky
If there's one thing about which I've beating my drum over the years is the desirability of Kentucky as a filming location.
With so many picturesque rural locations and beautiful small towns, the Commonwealth is rife with possibilities. Somebody should write a great fictional piece and set it within our borders. But absent that, we have any number of real-life stories that would make for wonderful big-screen treatments.
WE WANT KENTUCKY TO BECOME JUST LIKE GEORGIA, IN A VERY SPECIFIC WAY
Of course, it's not Kentucky has NEVER been used as a filming location, but it hasn't happened a lot. It's certainly not what Georgia has become. The smash Netflix hit Ozark, set in southern Missouri, filmed primarily in the Peach State. It's where the iconic AMC horror/action series The Walking Dead has always filmed--even when it was no longer SET there. And then there are the massive Marvel hits Black Panther and Spider-man: No Way Home.
The reason Georgia has become a major film production hub is because it is one of 31 states with a production incentive program--a piece of terminology new to me, but here's what it is, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures:
Film tax incentives typically come in the form of tax credits equal to a percentage of a film or television production’s qualified in-state spending and/or exemptions from sales tax on qualified transactions. The credits are often refundable or transferable; if the value of a company's credits is higher than its tax liability, it can sell the excess credits to another taxpayer who owes the state taxes.
WHAT IS THE KENTUCKY ENTERTAINMENT INCENTIVE?
And thanks to the Kentucky Entertainment Incentive, a tax credit which became refundable on January 1st, 2022, the Commonwealth could ALSO become a major attraction for Hollywood filmmakers looking to shoot on location and save money. Actually, it appears that has already begun; according to FOX56-Lexington, 19 movies are currently in production in the Bluegrass State, and it makes sense to think there could be more. MUCH more.
According to the KEI, more than 40 projects--both films and series--have been approved for production already in 2022.
FILMED IN KENTUCKY IN 2022
On the top part of that list, you'll notice Red Right Hand, a thriller starring Orlando Bloom and Andie MacDowell that filmed this spring in Henry County. As of May 19th, the film had no release date.
As I mentioned earlier, there have been movies filmed here, but they were fewer and farther between than they likely will be with the new incentive.
PREVIOUS KENTUCKY FILMING LOCATIONS
In Letcher County, they're mighty proud of Maggard's Cash Store, where the hilarious and possibly notorious "baloney scene" (depending on how you view it) was shot in the Oscar-winning Coal Miner's Daughter.
1988's Oscar-winning Best Picture Rain Man was also partially filmed in the Bluegrass State.
I could go on and on, and in fact, I do in the gallery below. But the main thing is, the production incentive has now made Kentucky an attractive location for shooting movies, and I am here for it.