The stars keep coming to Cleveland. Tom Hanks is the latest Hollywood A-Lister among them. He will be part of a key event for the group that keeps bringing these movies and that money pumping into Northeast Ohio.
Fast 8, The Avengers and Captain America are just a few of the major hit films shot right here in Cleveland, and we are weeks away from knowing if cameras will be rolling for two new major productions, a movie and a TV series.
"Literally will be a game changer,” said Greater Cleveland Film Commission President and CEO Ivan Schwarz.
Schwarz says it would mean year-round employment, movie stars and money for Northeast Ohio.
Schwarz added, "It would be our turn to shine.”
No hints yet on what the movie or the TV show might be. All he would say is the show is set in Ohio with the potential to be filmed here.
Oh, and it is attached to a major network.
"We have really put ourselves on the map as a center of excellence in this industry,” said Schwarz. "This is not just about having famous people walk our streets. What is important is that we create jobs, and we work together. And we work for this new industry, and I think we have made a good case for that."
Over the last seven years, Ohio has already seen an economic impact of more than $400 million and the creation of about 1,700 full-time equivalent jobs.
Schwarz says to stay competitive in the industry, they really need to raise the cap on the incentive again. He wants to double it in fact and take it from $40 million to $80 million.
"We need to take it to the next level,” said Schwarz.
The Greater Cleveland Film Commission needs the community's help to take it to the next level. The commission is a not-for-profit. So it organizes fundraisers just like any other non-profit would.
Coming up on Friday December 2, the Commission invited our Russ Mitchell to lead the conversation with Tom Hanks. They are expecting about 600 people. Tickets are almost all sold out.