Schaefer tells Hollywood filmmakers it's lights, camera, action in Maryland

October 22, 1992|By Stephanie J. Gaines | Stephanie J. Gaines,Special to The Sun

LOS ANGELES -- Gov. William Donald Schaefer met here yesterday with 20 leaders in the entertainment industry to encourage them to use Maryland for their future film productions.

The meeting represented the last leg of Mr. Schaefer's four-day trip to Southern California, where he promoted Maryland's business climate to representatives of the auto and commercial aircraft industries. The governor also received an award from the American Public Transit Association for work leading to the development of Baltimore's subway and light-rail systems.

Yesterday's breakfast meeting, however, was strictly aimed at luring Hollywood to the Free State.

"We want you," Mr. Schaefer told the gathering, which was arranged by Barry Levinson, the Baltimore-born movie director.

"I'm not a red-tape person," Mr. Schaefer said. "We try to cut through it because the bottom line is that you've got to make a profit, and I've got to see that you make that profit. If you're successful, we're successful."

Since Mr. Schaefer took office in 1987, more than 30 movies and television shows have been filmed in Maryland. They brought an estimat

ed $200 million to the state's economy, according to Mr. Schaefer's acting press secretary, Page Boinest.

"If just two movies are made in Maryland a year, we pump $7 [million] to $10 million into the economy," said Jim G. Robinson, a Maryland native and chairman of Morgan Creek Productions, which is based here but has offices in Baltimore.

But Mr. Robinson and other executives said demands by local unions made filming in Baltimore less financially attractive than some other cities, including Pittsburgh.

"Maybe after this trip we can find the way to change that," replied Jay Schlossberg-Cohen, director of the Maryland Film Commission.

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