Produce Quad Cities offers a fresh start for filmmaking

Local leaders are taking a fresh look at film production around the Quad Cities. That’s as Iowa rebounds from scandal to start from scratch.

Doug Miller has an eye for the big screen.

“It depends on the script or the movie,” he said.

The longtime media executive is scouting film locations in the Village of East Davenport. This historic setting offers plenty of potential.

“If they’re looking for old buildings of a certain period, this location’s been used,” he said.

Nearly 20 feature films were shot in Iowa from 2007-09. The East Village doubled as Vail, Colorado, in TV’s “Megafault.” The compelling baseball movie, “Sugar,” showcased Davenport locations, too.

But after fraudulent scandal brought down the Iowa Film Office four years ago, production nearly went dark in the Hawkeye state along with any tax incentives.

“The unfortunate experience of the last five years really hurt what was a booming business,” Miller said.

Iowa wants to recapture film production these days. The state is getting a fresh start with Produce Iowa. The office is trying to attract film and media projects.

That’s why Miller is a man on the move these days. He’s helping to launch Produce Quad Cities and create a photo database to attract production.

“The more film projects we can get coming in our direction, the more positive economic impact that we have in our community,” said Joe Taylor, president and CEO of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Iowa discovered with films like “Field of Dreams” that the movie industry brings in big bucks.

“$25 million in hard cash into the community over the years just doing feature films,” Miller concluded.

One location at a time, they’re planning a production revival.

To learn more about participating in the photo database, check out http://www.produceiowa.com

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