FORT MYERS, Fla.- The city of Fort Myers is considering, creating a film commission to attract commercial shoots, TV shows, and feature films. The commission would be part of city government, and would get leads from the state film commission.
"We are missing out on opportunities. We need this for the economic boost of the production crews, actors and spectators that go along with a film project," says Natalie Dunham of the community redevelopment agency.
She says the commission might be part of the redevelopment office at first, but acknowledges, in time, it would have to have its own office, staff and likely a travel budget. No figures are firm, although operating even a two or three person staff could cost up to $100,000 a year.
"I think it's a great idea. We have so many beautiful locations here to shoot, and the extra money for hotels and restaurants would be good," says city resident Ted Steele.
William Devenney disagrees.
"We have enough layers of government now. This just means more cost, more taxes, for us to pay, as the property owners. Totally against it," he tells WINK News.
The idea will go to an advisory board of the redevelopment agency on February 7. If it progesses, the film commission item could go to the city council in March.
Lee County used to have a film commission, but abolished it because commissioners felt the investment was not paying off.
Fort Myers has hosted film shoots over the years, including "Just Cause" in 1995.