Producer Mike Farrell hopes to rejuvenate filmmaking in state

October 10, 1991|By Eric Siegel

If Maryland were to become a "serious post-production site" for film and sound-editing, it would increase the state's attractiveness to filmmakers, says actor and producer Mike Farrell.

Combine that with investors willing to finance film projects and the state could be the site of "God knows how many films," he added.

Mr. Farrell -- who played Capt. B. J. Hunnicutt in television's "M*A*S*H" and has produced a number of feature films since the long-running series ended eight years ago -- met yesterday with state officials and private attorneys and investors to explore ways to reinvigorate filmmaking in Maryland.

Film producers "are always looking for places to shoot" movies outside Hollywood and New York for artistic and economic reasons, he said in an interview after the meeting at the offices of the state Department of Economic and Employment Development downtown.

For many years, Maryland had been a hub of filmmaking, with some three dozen feature films shot on location here since 1978. This year, however, just one major Hollywood picture, "That Night," has been shot here. David Mamet's "Homicide," which wrapped up shooting last November, opens next week.

Mr. Farrell said he had no projects to bring here now. But he added that he owned the rights to two stories yet to be "fleshed out" that required an urban setting and could conceivably be shot in Baltimore.

Mr. Farrell's appearance was set up by Towson attorney Richard L. Schaeffer, a friend who has worked with the actor/producer on social issues.

Mr. Schaeffer lamented the "discontinuation of the steady flow of films" here and said he wanted to go beyond the efforts of the film commission to develop a "coalition" of interested parties to provide a steady source of funding and services to filmmakers.

Among those attending the meeting, Mr. Schaeffer said, were film commission director Jay Schlossberg-Cohen; DEED assistant secretary R. Dean Kenderdine; and investment banker Marty Domres, the former Baltimore Colt quarterback.

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