If you’ve noticed untimely traffic jams, detours and yellow marker signs across the city that probably means someone’s shooting- a movie that is.
Philadelphia is quickly establishing itself as the newest Hollywood destination. In the past two years thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue have been generated by films such as James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know, M. Night Shyamalans’ The Last Airbender, Limitless starring Robert De Niro and Philadelphia’s own Bradley Cooper and of course let’s not forget the KO champ of all movies Rocky, I through XXVIII, or however many have been made now, continue to bring notoriety to the City of Brotherly Love.
Yet due to recent cuts in the Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit Program by Governor Tom Corbett, major productions are beginning to over look a city who has yet to peak as a film mecca.
While Hollywood’s drying up over a lack of tax credits, local film makers are salivating at the opportunity to put themselves on the map.
Among those salivating is 33-year old writer and director Tom Walton. In an attempt to bring back that fighting spirit Stallone set forth nearly three decades ago, the Upper Darby native is in preproduction for his first full length independent feature.
And it’s creating some buzz.
His film is Dreams, a coming of age drama that follows the lives of four strangers whose lives intertwine as they strive to make it their dreams become reality. It’s not as typical as you may think.
The Indie’s grit, dirt and delusion and a national buzz to back it up, including rumors that some of LA’s biggest macho men and music talent are showing serious interest. But TMZ can break that news at a later date.
Until they do and until the state kicks its film tax break back into gear, projects like Dreams are struggling to get funding for production.
That’s when innovators like Walton decide to go old school like a good old fashion beef and beer fundraiser on March 26. While major production wait for potential investors to write that fat check, local film makers go back to their roots for support in making their own dreams a reality.
For Walton, Dreams is a little more personal. A proceed of the benefit and the film are going to the The American Diabetes Foundation in honor of his father who has suffered with the disease nearly his entire life.
That’s the beauty of local filmmakers. They have a purpose and a real story to convey to the world. Any publicity is just an added bonus, a nice bonus but a bonus.
What would Rocky do? Go support your local filmmakers as they keep the industry and your entertainment afloat. For more information on how you can help visit the official site of the Dreams and Diabetes Fundraiser Beef and Beer or contact Walton directly at 610-227-5930.
In the meantime keep a look out for other local filmmakers who dream big.
Follow Matthew Nadu on Twitter @matthewnadu