Logan County invited to be part of Southern Kentucky Film Commission
By Jim Turner

Posted on March 2, 2017 2:13 PM

Picture this: A movie on the Hallmark Channel shows you, your family, your friends, you home, your land, your business and/or your community.

Picture this: As a movie plays on cable or satellite, you admire a check you are holding or cash in your billfold that you received for rental on your home, your property, your business, your vehicle, and your livestock or from goods you sell, all used in the production of that movie.

People in Hart, Barren, Edmonson and Warren counties are already experiencing both of those sensations, and the Logan County Tourist & Convention Commission hopes the same will be true for the Land of Logan soon.

Upon the invitation of the local tourism group, representatives of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission came to the Historic Logan County Courthouse Monday evening to explain what their group does and to encourage Logan County to become a part of the effort.

Among those in attendance were Logan County Judge/Executive Logan Chick and Magistrate Barry Wright, Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton and council members Pat Bell and Darlene Gooch, Adairville Mayor Donna Blake and Councilman Danny Finch, Jailer Phil Gregory, Tammy Tinsley of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce and Paula Timberlake of the Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD).

Current sponsors of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission are governmental bodies in Horse Cave, Cave City, Munfordville, Edmonson County, Hart County and Warren County.

This group has already been able to attract producers to film a movie for the Hallmark Channel entitled An Uncommon Grace. It set a record—with 1.29 million viewers—as the most watched February premier in Hallmark Movies & Mysteries history.

And it was filmed in Horse Cave, about 75 miles from Logan County.

The cast and crew of An Uncommon Grace spent 1,650 room nights in area hotels, motels, bed and breakfast establishments, etc. They also spent an estimated $200,000 on food, supplies, gas, and—the list goes on.

The production company brought 55 people in for about 60 days. Among the local people, they employed 15 crew members, 15 days players, 115 extras and a pair of actors.

Sandra Wilson, executive director of the Horse Cave/Hart County Tourism Commission, said the production brought in an estimated half million dollars into Hart County.

She said the production company rented a house to serve as the home of the featured couple (at $1,500 per day), bought buggies from a local firm, rented vans from churches for transportation, bought produce and brown eggs from farmers, leased trailers and trucks, hired local carpenters, and even changed the name of the town in the movie to Horse Cave so they could show signs on businesses and street signs with the name already in place.

Actor Branscombe Richmond, a native Hawaiian who has appeared in countless television shows and was the lead actor in Heart of the City and Renegade, was one of the producers. He is enthusiastic about this area of Kentucky and is helping recruit more filming for Southern Kentucky. Three more productions are already scheduled to be filmed in the Cave Area this year.

Two of the people who created the Hallmark movie have filmed endorsements of the area, which the Southern Kentucky Film Commission is using for recruitment of other films and more production companies.

Director David Mackay talks of stunning locations. hard-working, warm, friendly crew, “probably best I ever had” and wonderful weather. “Did something right started with coming to Kentucky,” he says.

Line Producer Sanford Hampton says, “There’s not enough good things I can say. Great place to shoot a movie. Tax incentive rivals anywhere in the country.”

Kentucky offers some of the largest tax incentives in the nation to film companies. Wilson says the state insists on high quality companies and productions that don’t put the commonwealth in a bad light before okaying the outlay of those incentives.

One of the stars of An Uncommon Grace is Kelly MGillis, who is best known as a star of and Tom Cruise’s love interest in Top Gun. Experienced actors Sean Faris and Jes Macallan play the lead roles.

The group wants Logan County and its cities to be a part of the commission. The annual fee for membership is $5,000. Logan County Tourism is hoping that the counties, cities, Chamber and other organizations will get involved and share the cost.

Chair Janie Gregory has asked those groups to discuss the proposal and let the local commission know by March 17 of their interest and willingness to participate. If the funds are available, the film commission will include information about Logan County when it attends a location conference in Burbank, Calif. In April.

Rhonda Clemmons of Edmonson County Tourism and Coni Shepperd of Munfordville Tourism assured those present that Logan County will get equal representation and promotion as the existing counties in the Southern Kentucky Film Commission.

Dee Dee Brown is office manager of the Logan County Tourism & Convention Commission. Her office is on the first floor of the old courthouse.

In addition to Chair Janie Gregory, board members are Vice Chairman Peter Patel, Treasurer Paula Rainwaters, Dick Dickerson, Pete Lehman, Laurie Belcher and Barry Kennedy.



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