Target 8: Films and TV shows set in Missouri, rarely filmed in Missouri

6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Sunday, March 04 2018 Mar 4, 2018 Sunday, March 04, 2018 8:56:00 PM CST March 04, 2018 in Target 8
By: Dallas Parker, KOMU 8 Reporter
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LAKE OZARK-  'Ozark,' a Netflix series, named after a real town in Missouri appears to be filmed at the Lake of the Ozarks.

But some residents of the lake say the show did not portray the people there very well.

“It could have depicted the people here a little better. It kind of showed us as back hood, Kentucky moonshiners. Which is, if you know the lake area, it’s not true. Most people took it very seriously, but you've got to think it’s just a story. You know it’s not a true story, just a story,” said Lake Ozark resident, Pat Collins

Others wanted more accurate landmarks.

“The school, that wasn't our school, we did have a Piggly Wiggly here years ago, but their grocery store was Piggly Wiggly, that’s not accurate,” said Suzanne Brownell, an extra in 'Ozark' who was born and raised at the lake.

Since the show was released, one business owner at the lake actually opened a bar and grill called 'Marty Byrde's' after the series' main character.

But the fact remains that the majority of the series was actually shot at a lake just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. There were only a few establishing shots actually filmed at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, also appears to be shot in Missouri, but Ebbing, Missouri is a fictional town. The entire film was shot in North Carolina.

It picked up two Oscars Sunday night, for best actress and best supporting actor.

Over the year, many films and television shows have been set in Missouri, and in the beginning most of them were actually shot in Missouri as well.

But that’s no longer the case.

In looking into why this is no longer reality, we found that money is the root of reasoning.

Many states offer tax credit incentives when filmmakers scout locations for shooting.

Missouri no longer does.

The program incentivized large productions by offering up to 35 percent of production costs back to filmmakers as tax credit.

Missouri filmmaker, Brian Maurer, said the state of Missouri is missing out on economic boosts by not offering credit to productions, and sometimes in show business it's cheaper to just film establishing shots.

“It a process where they come in and evaluate the cost, and unfortunately in recent cases, they've come here," said Maurer. "They've evaluated the cost of three or four days of filming exterior shots of the beautiful landscape, and then its just cheaper, to just do that and go somewhere else to film the rest of the project."

According to Maurer, the last production to benefit from the tax credit program in Missouri, released in 2014.

"The last film to kind of squeak through was Gone Girl and it was produced in 2014, it had filed for the tax incentive...got it,  and they filmed it along the Mississippi river hills area, which was great," said Brian Maurer. "It was a great benefit to the state and it was great exposure to the industry and what we are able to provide. But that was the last one."

The state's film tax credit program ended in November 2013. Some lawmakers pushed to have the program restored in 2017. As of now, it still remains expired.

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