I moved back to Indiana recently after years in NYC and LA to take on the role as the first ever Film Commissioner for the city of Indianapolis.
I rented an apartment downtown, carefully choosing my abode to be sure it had somewhat of an LA feel and enough dust to give it that New York edge. The loud construction and train whistles outside my bedroom window often make me forget I’m back in the quiet midwest.
I’ve been pitching this underrated city for about a year now. It takes at least that long to understand what a city stands for, what we are capable of and who is making inspiring stuff.
I could sit and write to you about our obnoxiously affordable film permits, our accessibility and friendliness, our food scene, Sgt. Ron the police officer who will be on speed dial for you if you come to town or the simple fact that it is so easy to shoot here you could complete three company moves in one day. Seriously, 3 locations, one day of shooting.
But if we are being honest, what keeps me up at night is how to bring more opportunity and exposure to the already talented and hungry artists that live here. How do I get people to see the collaborations that are going on here and the content being developed in old run down buildings in an area us locals refer to as Fountain Square? How do I get young, big eyed hoosiers to stick around after graduating from our award winning media and film programs instead of running away to the west and east coasts for opportunity like I did?
It’s not an easy task. This culture needs to be supported, cultivated, championed (and hey, money doesn’t hurt). Listen, not all the cool sh*t happens in Brooklyn, ok?
I tried for the first year to do things the bureaucratic way. “We have cheap permitting” I shouted. “You can get from urban decay to the middle of nowhere farms in 15 minutes”, “Look at all of our sports venues”, I’d say in digital agencies across Manhattan.
It is true. We have all of that. It can be yours at very cheap prices. We will even help you with discounted hotel rooms, but that’s not who Indianapolis is and who Indianapolis is becoming. I got so busy touting carefully calculated talking points and forgot to talk about the heart of who we are, our people, their creations.
Another thing I’m just gonna put right here...
The reality is there is so much you don’t know about us. Our people. Our artists. Our stories. Our capabilities. Our hunger. So I decided while processing permits and lobbying for tax incentives that it’s also my job to show you who we are, one post at a time.
So we are going to start sharing here. New projects, talent, cool locations, creative companies. If you stick around, soon enough you are going to want to come to Indianapolis to see it all for yourself.
To join our Hoosier filmmaking workforce database, visit our website and fill our crew form: http://www.filmindy.com/crew