SARASOTA COUNTY EDC APPOINTS JEANNE CORCORAN, DIRECTOR OF FILM & ENTERTAINMENT OFFICE
A new era in economic development was launched today as Jeanne Corcoran was named director of the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office. “This takes us to a whole new level,” said Kathy Baylis, President of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which houses the new office. “Jeanne's previous experience in the film industry, coupled with her untiring energy, will be just what we need to help put Sarasota County on the map as a location for film, video and new media production activities.”
The role of promoting Sarasota County’s film-related business was previously housed with the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Tourist Development Council’s task force recommended moving the office to the EDC because of its focus on expanding the local creative services sector and its larger mission of a more diverse and sustainable economy. The Board of County Commissioners agreed and, after completing a study on how leading film commission offices are set up, a search began for a new director.
“The EDC's involvement in the new Film and Entertainment Office is an exciting opportunity for both our organization and the community as a whole,” Baylis said. “We are excited about the prospects of fostering growth among Sarasota County’s own film-related companies, as well as encouraging production companies to select our community as a location for motion picture and other film or video production.”
Corcoran has served as Film Commissioner for the Nevada Film Office since 1998, although she is a native of Sarasota and started her career here. “It’s good to be back,” she said. Her priorities will include reaching out to the community and film-related businesses in Sarasota; working with municipalities to ensure an efficient permitting process; scouting for locations unique to Sarasota County; establishing relationships with film makers around the country; and recruiting productions to Sarasota County.
“We already have all the amenities necessary here to dramatically increase this economic resource,” Corcoran said. “In addition to the sunshine, beaches and palm trees, we have farms, ranches, rivers, quaint downtowns and suburban enclaves. We also have a culture of art and an abundance of creative people. We really have chameleon -like qualities. That will be attractive to the film industry seeking a place to shoot a variety of scenes.”
Corcoran explained that the film and entertainment industry brings two levels of spending. First, when they shoot a film or TV production, they bring immediate spending on everything from hotels and restaurants to dry cleaners and service stations. On the second level, the end product of a TV show or film produced here brings incredible exposure to the area that can’t be purchased with advertising.
“It has a multi-level, multi-tiered effect on the local economy,” she said. “Once we become known as a ‘film-friendly’ community, we can draw more of this industry to our area. We want Sarasota County to get a bigger slice of that pie.”
Funding sources for the new office include tourism taxes, the county’s occupational license tax and a one-time, startup investment from Sarasota County. Corcoran says her first task is to build an inventory of resources already here. The list will include businesses already in the industry, like video-production and web design studios, plus artists, historians, musicians, actors, set designers and volunteers. She plans to tap into local schools, such as the Ringling School of Art and Design or Booker High School’s Visual and Performing Arts magnet school. “Once we know what we have, we will cultivate, incubate and showcase them.”
The EDC of Sarasota County is the private, not-for-profit corporation leading the community’s economic development strategy to add high-wage jobs and diversify the local economy. The EDC provides business assistance to companies in Sarasota County and helps forge solutions to community challenges that affect quality of life. The EDC works in partnership with chambers of commerce, local governments and other organizations throughout the county and the region. For more information, visit the web site at www.edcsarasotacounty.com.
<< back to news listing
back to top