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Moviemakers give Captain America host a good review

9:57 AM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Whether you love it or hate it, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is about to pack his bags.

Filming is wrapping up in Northeast Ohio, just a few more scenes are left to shoot. 

When they leave, will other movies be likely to follow?

After the West Shoreway shutdown caused traffic nightmares, and the security teams have shut out the cameras, what will the movie makers think of our city?

"When you talk to our clients, everybody has had a great experience here," said Ivan Schwartz, executive director for the Cleveland Film Commission.

Some online reports, like this one on Deadline Hollywood, make our city sound like an inhospitable host.

One commenter said nosy behavior "seems dumb for Cleveland, unless they don't want movies filmed in their town."

But Schwartz says taking photos and showing social media interest in the movie is part of the process, just about anywhere.

"I think they half expected it, and I have not heard any negative comments or any complaints from production whatsoever about that occurring," said Schwartz. "I think people are making a big deal out of that. A bigger deal than Marvel is."

One crew member told us all is well.

"Everybody's really happy. Cleveland's really opened up and they put up with us closing down the Shoreway for two weeks. That did not make us very popular. But nobody kicked us out."

Have we complained too much?

"You know you're never going to please everybody," said Schwartz.

He said while it's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, he believes most of the grumbling comes from people who don't understand the process.

Ivan Schwartz says while we're dealing with film industry growing pains, and we haven't scared future films off yet.

"There are things that we could have done better, and we will certainly do those things better, and there are also things that we really did right," he said.

The state's tax credit can't be ignored as an incentive for filmmakers, but neither can word of mouth.

"I want our clients, to walk away from Cleveland having a really good taste in their mouths, and I think that we've accomplished that," he said.

"People are going to walk away, and the best thing is they are going to come back and bring more production and it helps us build our industry here."

Even if you're glad to see them go, you might appreciate the economic benefits. Both Captain America 2 and Draft Day spent about $75 million in cash in the community, said Schwartz.

They also employed many local workers, about 200 people for Captain America, and about 60 percent of Draft Day's entire crew is local.

Schwartz says, in the future, the film commission would like to train more workers and vendors to be ready for the next production.

He says plans for a permanent soundstage and other infrastructure that would support a full-time film industry are in the works.

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