August 2019

The Right Stuff.png

Leonardo DiCaprio’s ‘The Right Stuff’ spent $500,000 in Tampa in two days

When National Geographic’s The Right Stuff premieres in 2020, keen-eyed Tampa residents might notice downtown’s Floridan Palace Hotel as a location.

They might also spot someone they know in the background. The television series hired 65 Hillsborough County residents as extras.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions is producing the series. In all, the production paid local extras $16,000 and spent an estimated total of $527,869 while at the Floridan over two days of shooting.

For the full article, click HERE.

A message from the Commissioner

With August rains in the rearview mirror, we look ahead not only to cooler weather but also an uptick in productions as we move into our commercial season.

Tampa Bay has always been the home of a strong, thriving commercial market, but over the last fiscal year, we have seen an unprecedented increase in not only the number of productions but also in their size and scope. While anecdotal, I've heard from many top bay area production companies that this has been a record year for their business. That is certainly backed up by the number of productions we've had this year, but that isn't always felt by those just starting out. Many hear about projects after the fact or are left wondering why they haven't been hired on more jobs.

The answers to those questions are legion, but I often find there are some commonalities when I talk with young filmmakers. Introductory questions, that are too often not able to be answered.

  • Can you name the local equipment rental and service companies in the area?

If you are interested in G&E, equipment houses are a great resource. They always have the pulse of the community, know what's filming, and if they are hiring, it is often the best way to learn the ins and outs of a truck. Get to know your local equipment rental companies.

  • Who are the top production companies in town? Have you reached out to any of them?

Expand your circle of contacts, learn not only who the top production companies in town are, but find a way to meet people within those companies. Filmmaking is a networking game, if they don't know you, the likelihood of you getting a call to work on a job is infinitesimally small. Everyone starts somewhere, and most production companies are owned by folks who created opportunities for themselves. They remember what it's like to start out, and most will take the time to have a cup of coffee and answer your questions. Don't be a pest, but be persistent, and always find a way to work with THEIR schedule. I often recommend googling the nearest coffee shop to a production companies office and offer to meet that person one morning on their way into work. Its not about being hired on the spot, its about building a relationships.

  • Do you know local department heads within your chosen field who are finding consistent work?

The hiring practice on film sets is often formulaic. An agency hires a production company, that company then assigns or hires a producer/production manager, which in turn hires department heads, who often fill out the rest of their crew. Production Companies are great places to start, but learn who those popular department heads are in town, get to know those who work consistently.

  • Are you on Staff Me Up?

Industry-specific websites are also great places to find work. Websites like is a wonderful resource. Again, be persistent and check the boards every day. Staff Me Up is often the first place outside productions post when coming to a new market. Especially for production assistant work.

These recommendations certainly won't guarantee you a job, but they are great places to start. Experience tells me many starting out miss the easy opportunities to network.

Local Production Spotlight Continued…


"Don't fight over the pie, bake more"

This month's spotlight is a production company and collaborative space out of Tampa, Bake More Pies.

Known for their creativity, transparency and collaboration, we will take a tour of their studio space located right next to Tampa International Airport, and chat with their president, Cordes Owen, about how the company got started, the work that they've done in the Bay Area, and where they go from here.

Stay tuned for more about Bake More Pies.

Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Celebrates 30 Years! 

The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is the longest running gay and lesbian film festival in the United States, and we are lucky they call Tampa home. Join them this year to celebrate the big 3-0!

The launch party is Sep 12, and the festival kicks off Oct 4. For more info about their events, visit their website HERE.

25606 2019 TIGLFF 30th Anniversary On Screen Powerpoint_8x6.jpg

Coming Soon 
Second Screen Cult Cinema
The Wickerman (1973)
Wed, Sep 11
6 pm cocktails | 7 pm showtime
Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection
12017 S Howard Ave Tampa, FL 33606

Film Review Tampa
Thu, Sep 26
More Info Here

iHorror Film Festival
Sat, Oct 5
RSVP on Facebook
Tickets Here

Film Bar Mondays
Mondays 6pm - 9pm
Tampa Bay Locations Vary
Stay up to date by
joining them on Facebook

WIFT Wednesdays
Women in Film & TV
Stay tuned for time and location
on their Facebook page

Recent Productions 
21 productions filmed within
Hillsborough County - August 2019

Notable TV Show
Secrets of the Zoo - NatGeo
90 Day Dream Home

Notable Commercial
Tampa Bay Lightning

Jesse Brock