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CLEVELAND -- A large portion of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" was filmed in Cleveland, thanks in part to the directors.

However, Cleveland ended up missing out on tens of millions of dollars.

Joe and Anthony Russo, known as the Russo Brothers, are a directing team and Cleveland natives.

They lobbied to bring the production to their hometown.

Related story:Russo brothers: Natives who love their hometown

"Thing about Cleveland, it has so many looks to it," said Joe Russo.

The director sat down for an exclusive interview with WKYC the day filming wrapped in Cleveland.

"It's a beautiful city. It shoots beautifully," says the director.

In "Captain America, The Winter Soldier," Cleveland will be seen as Washington D.C.

Cleveland can double for just about any city because of its landscape and architecture. Within a close distance, you have the lake, forests, fields and a mixture of historic and modern buildings.

"You can have Cleveland stand in for anything, from Chicago to New York to D.C. to a multitude of cities. Cleveland has period buildings so you can do a period piece," says Joe.

Ohio is just one of several states offering tax incentives to lure production away from Los Angeles. Joe says it is what cities offer beyond the statetax incentive that can be the deciding factor on where a studio shoots its film.

Another major factor in luring production to Cleveland is Ivan Schwarz, the head of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. Schwarz is praised for his honesty in letting studios know what they can and cannot do in Cleveland.

"A lot of times you get sold a lot of false promises. You get a city and can't do things you anticipated. That never happens with Ivan," says Joe.

In 6 weeks, the filming of Captain America pumped $40 million into the local economy.

Potentially, we could have more than doubled that and kept production here for several more weeks but a key component of Cleveland's film industry doesn't exist.

Production on Captain America returned to Los Angeles because Cleveland doesn't have sound stages.

Ivan Schwarz is working to change that but he envisions building Cleveland film industry to make it a global destination for filmmakers.

He wants soundstages with state-of-the-art technology, equipment and cameras so filmmakers don't have to bring their own equipment to Cleveland.

He also want to attract supporting business includinganimation, gaming and visual effects. On top of that, he sees afilm school to teach the skills and staff the needs of a constantly developing industry.

"We have to look at where this industry is going 20 years from now, where will it be 20 years from now, and build this industry so we're relevant 20 years from now," says Schwarz.

Having worked in the industry, Schwarz is trusted by filmmakers around the world and has brought more than 40 films to Cleveland in the last couple of years.

He's currently working with private investors to take Cleveland's film industry to the next level and hopes to break ground on a soundstage in the next couple of years.

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