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Columbia Missourian

Mo. film office moving to MU

August 23, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT

The state Department of Economic Development announced Monday that the Missouri Film Office will transfer to MU.

Under the agreement, the state will pay MU $150,000 a year to manage the office, which works to promote the film industry in Missouri. The move, from Jefferson City to McReynolds Hall on campus, will save the state $50,000 this year, according to the department.

“We will be able to harness the valuable resources at Missouri,” said Steve Wyatt, business and industry program leader at MU. “These resources include a great student body and opportunities to intern. Several degree programs, including the College of Engineering, journalism, and arts and sciences, will benefit.”

The agreement will expire in three years, at which time state payments will end and the office will become MU’s responsibility alone. Created in 1983, the film office is advised by the nine-member Missouri Film Commission, which provides scouting, pre-production and liaison services to filmmakers. The commission will stay in Jefferson City.

The announcement is good news to Stephens College, which is working to develop its links to the film industry. It has a new School for the Performing Arts, led by Hollywood director Ken LaZebnik, and a bachelor’s degree in digital filmmaking. It houses Columbia Access Television, used by independent producers and filmmakers; and an Apple Training Center based there teaches film editing through workshops.

“Two of our students have interned with the commission. The facilities, the faculty who work in the film department and the students combined can help get independent film recognition in Columbia and Missouri,” said Amy Gipson, director of marketing and public relations at Stephens College.

Greg Steinhoff, director of the Department of Economic Development, in the release called the agreement “a positive step that will provide the Missouri Film Office with more extensive university resources as it strives to carry out its statewide mission of attracting film production to Missouri, along with the great economic benefits our communities reap as a result.”