Film production in Cincinnati picks up speed
After shining as a stand-in location for retro New York in box office hit Carol and the Don Cheadle starrer Miles Ahead and with an attractive new tax incentive, Cincinnati seems to have proven to producers that it can handle their needs.
Last week shooting started in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the feature film The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which reunites Colin Farrell with director Yorgos Lanthimos after their successful collaboration on The Lobster, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2015.
Another production, a biopic of mob boss John Gotti, is already in town and uses the city as a stand-in for New York. The film, which is set for release next year, focuses on the gangster’s relationship with his son.
John Travolta, who recently starred in the popular series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, is playing the part of Gotti Sr. with real-life wife Kelly Preston performing the part of his wife Victoria Gotti.
In May the state’s annual film fund doubled to $40m and the base tax credit rate increased to 30%, while a previously limiting $5m per-production payment cap was removed. Kristen Erwin Schlotman, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission, expects more productions to come to the area now that Ohio has boosted its filming incentive.
Speaking about the Gotti biopic she said recently: “This is just one of many productions we expect to take advantage of the state’s revised Motion Picture Tax Credit, giving producers more incentive to use our area’s unique architecture and pool of talented actors and crew.”
Director Steven C. Miller’s action flick Marauders, starring Bruce Willis and Christopher Meloni (Law & Order Special Victims Unit), filmed in the city last autumn and Willis and Miller have now returned for the production of another feature-length project called First Kill.
In Lanthimos’ film the preferred backdrop for the storyline is still unclear but Farrell stars as Steven, a charismatic surgeon forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart due to the actions of a teenage boy he tries to help. Nicole Kidman stars in the film as the surgeon’s wife.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is produced by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe's Element Pictures, who were among the producers of The Lobster and Oscar-winner Room.
Last year was a particularly good year for film in Cincinnati. The area hosted no less than six major productions. Aside from the Oscar-, BAFTA- and Golden Globe-nominated hit Carol and Cheadle’s directing debut Miles Ahead, Cincinnati also welcomed The Long Home, featuring James Franco; upcoming feature Goat, starring Nick Jonas; and Tiger with Mickey Rourke.