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Luring filmmakers to Barstow
BARSTOW • Actress Uma Thurman, who plays “Bride” in the feature film “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” escapes buried alive in a coffin for the “graveyard scene” — which used Barstow as a backdrop.
The city plans to roll out a new film website before the end of this month to attract more filmmakers to the area to help promote the city and boost the local economy.
“We needed to make it aesthetically appealing, user-friendly and as interactive as possible in order to aggressively promote the city of Barstow,” said city spokesman Anthony Riley, who previously worked in the film industry during the 1990s.
The current website features a collage of photos of the area, and a description of the Barstow Film Office.
The new website will highlight various feature films shot in the area, including “Erin Brokovich,” “Broken Arrow,” “Courage Under Fire,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Time Travelers.”
It includes a history of Barstow, social media links and a Google locations map pointing to Barstow’s historic sites, such as Harvey House and Route 66 on Main Street.
“We want to be able to assist the entertainment industry by looking at Barstow utilizing the website and recognizing the unique, historical and geographic aspects of the city,” Riley said.
Barstow and its outlying areas were featured in 12 projects, according to the Inland Empire Film Commission. Of those 12 projects, commercials made up 17 percent, television made up roughly 8 percent and feature films made up roughly 8 percent.
The city plans to work with local businesses to provide discounted rates to film crews. Local businesses benefit when film crews stay in hotels, pump gas and purchase food, Riley said.
“It could mean potential job opportunities for some of our residents from background to production,” he said. “It is going to mean additional sales tax revenues to the city as money is being spent in this local area.”
Crews for the independent film “Junction” stayed past midnight filming at the Harvey House in December 2011. Quigley’s Restaurant catered food to crews, while the Ramada Inn hosted them, said Joseph Hisquierdo, director of public relations for Barstow Chamber of Commerce.
“Filming does help the local economy. ... They will go to Walmart and buy duct tape and paint supplies,” he said. “We’ve seen them need to feed their crews. They can have 60 to 70 people working at the set, so they would buy fruits, vegetables, snacks, peanut butter and soda pop.”
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