Movie Expected to Bring Big Business Downtown - 8 News NOW

Movie Expected to Bring Big Business Downtown

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LAS VEGAS -- After investing millions of dollars in downtown Las Vegas, the Downtown Project is getting into the movie business.

The group, which is focused on redeveloping downtown, is now financing its first film. It is an independent film starring Dakota Fanning, and it is one of the first films to benefit from Nevada's new film tax incentive.

Producers say this one small-sized project will put hundreds of people to work, including Whinnie Shao.

Shao has known she wanted to be in the fashion industry since she was 13 years old.

"Once they pick the designs, we go ahead and make the first patterns and first samples," Shao with the Stitch Factory said.

Now, she may also be breaking into the movie business. The employees, sewing machines, and space at Stitch Factory could be used by a feature film's wardrobe department.

"It would mean opportunity for Stitch Factory," Shao said.

The movie is a coming-of-age story set in the 80s. Dakota Fanning plays a roadie on tour with a punk rock band.

Scenes will be shot at Lake Mead, Mount Charleston and Red Rock Canyon to make it appear like the crew traveled all over the country.

It will be the first movie Las Vegas native Chris Ramirez has produced.

"I was here doing this on my own for years, and it was tough. When the Downtown Project saw a local trying to do something and got behind us, it made all the difference in the world," producer Chris Ramirez with Lola Pictures said.

The Downtown Project is backing the film, funding nearly all of the production.

The COO of Downtown Films says about a hundred locals will work on set and the movie will require dozens of vendors.

"It can create over a hundred jobs and a ton of ancillary business, for the shops and stores and retailers already, and it creates jobs, which is a win for everybody," Downtown Films COO Jason Miller said.

For Whinnie, the film could make her a name in her industry.

"It could mean me being discovered as a talent," Shao said.

She hopes to see her work on the silver screen.

The producers of the movie say the film tax incentive helped them make budget.

They will get a tax credit for shooting the majority of the movie in Nevada and an extra few percentages for employing locals.

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