Economic Boost Example: Production of Fences Pumps Over $9 Million into Pennsylvania’s Economy

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The production of Paramount Pictures’ Fences led to a major boost to Pennsylvania’s local economy, according to new figures from the studio. The film generated more than $9.4 million in local economic activity – hiring over 900 local workers, who took home more than $5.6 million in wages.

The film spent 146 days on location, including 54 days of shooting, primarily in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, with a significant portion of the production’s spending going toward a wide array of in-state businesses and industries, including:

  • Over $5.6 million spent on hiring over 900 Pennsylvanians for the production (including extras, security, local production office personnel, and more).
  • Over $900,000 on local rentals and purchases for set decoration, production, and other supplies.
  • Nearly $700,000 on transportation, including truck and car rentals.
  • Over $380,000 on local catering and other food items for the cast and crew.
  • Over $360,000 on lodging.
  • Over $100,000 on hardware and lumber supplies.

“Pennsylvania’s commitment to maintaining a competitive production environment continues to benefit their local businesses, individuals, and families,” said MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd. “Paramount’s film Fences not only highlights local spots in Pittsburgh on the big screen, it has brought significant economic gain to the area – thanks, in part, to the play’s original writer and Pittsburgh native, August Wilson. I am proud to see Pennsylvania leaders and Paramount join forces to boost the economy, support jobs, and create this moving film for audiences everywhere.”

Michael Matesic, the President of IATSE Local 489, which represents over 400 members, commended the production, saying, “Pennsylvania’s successful Film Tax Credit program has had a tremendous impact on our membership. The past two years, we have added around 70 new members annually. We have grown our ranks by over 350 percent in the past 10 years. The continued growth in our industry has allowed our members to support their families and buy homes. We added an average of thirty new members to our growing ranks each year since its inception in 2007, which created a steady and stable income over the past nine years. Highly successful program for our members, 98% Pennsylvania residents.”

Directed by, and starring Denzel Washington, Fences follows the story of a former baseball star now working as a garbage collector in 1950s Pittsburgh. The former star creates tension in his family when he squashes his son’s dream of playing college football.

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