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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Film Commission on Thursday announced the state greenlit three more movie and TV/streaming projects backed by some familiar names and faces for Utah audiences.
In all, the three projects are expected to create about 175 local jobs and generate $1.9 million in economic impact.
Two projects are TV/streaming series. One of those is the second season of JK Studio's "Freelancers," which is a comedy that stars many members of the original cast of BYUtv's successful "Studio C."
The first season of "Freelancers" premiered on YouTube in 2019. It consisted of eight episodes that, combined, garnered over 6.5 million total views since premiering.
The cast announced a crowdfunding campaign for a second season in December. In a video announcing the venture, cast member Matt Meese said the first season of the show was made "with a tiny production budget and no marketing money."
Nearly 3,000 people donated to help reach the studio's goal of $1.07 million to film the second season of the show. The studio held a brief open audition for its second season that ended last month.
In a video update posted on Feb. 27, cast member Stacey Harkey said the team was hard at work writing the second season.
"We want to make sure that everything is pristine and we want to make sure it is popping and is as funny as possible," he said.
Production of the second season of the show will begin later this month around Utah County, according to the Utah Film Commission.
A new series called "Wilderness Therapy" was the other series project approved by the state. The series is set to be directed and co-produced by Mitch Davis, the director of "The Other Side of Heaven." While no details about the project were released, production of the series is set to begin later this spring in Kane and Utah counties.
"My home and my heart are in Utah, so are the unparalleled scenery and talented filmmakers," Davis said in a statement. "I am so glad the film incentive made it possible for me to film here, where this story belongs."
'The Thing With Feathers'
The third project announced is a feature film called "The Thing With Feathers" directed by Amy Redford, the daughter of movie legend and Sundance Film Festival co-founder Robert Redford. Filming is slated to begin this month in Davis, Salt Lake and Summit counties, according to the commission.
"Putting my deep history with the state aside, what I have come to know about the film ecosystem in Utah made this the perfect place to shoot a contained thriller that evokes everywhere USA," Redford said in a statement. "There is a hard-working, unflappable and unfussy nature of the crew here that adds to efficiency, creativity and overall good times. So much to choose from in this state, you can be anywhere or only here."
Filming in Utah
The Utah Film Commission announced last month five other new productions approved for Utah this year. Those productions were expected to create 300 local jobs and generate close to $7 million.
The Utah film industry received an economic boost from the Utah Legislature earlier this year, as well. Lawmakers approved SB167, which increased the tax incentives cap for filmmakers in the state. The cap will move from its current rate of close to $6.8 million to nearly $8.4 million in July as a result of the bill.