Filming the Indianapolis movie has had its hiccups…
“We had a couple days that were challenging, the first two weeks with the loss of the PBY, but since then we have been doing great!” says writer and producer Richard Rionda Del Castro.
In all, Rionda Del Castro has shot four films in Mobile. Rage, The Prince, Bus 657 and now Indianapolis. He says he wasn’t too sure what they were jumping into shooting that first movie here, but since then, he’s comfortable calling Mobile a home away from home.
“The film commission is a big part of it, the southern hospitality of all you guys has been great, the police, the newspaper, the news, people on a daily basis. So when a producer feels really, very well, very good in one location, you intend to come back,” says Rionda Del Castro.
In fact, he feels so good about Mobile, he wants to build a studio here. He sees empty warehouses around town that could easily be converted. Plus, the industry is growing here. He says there are more local crews to put to work than there were when he was here two years ago. Running a studio, he says, would be simple.
“It’s pretty easy, it’s not like a studio we were doing before where we build sets and keep that and maintain them, and buy very expensive cameras, right now it’s pretty easy.”
The only thing that would stop that is if the state makes changes to their incentive program. Rionda Del Castro has been told the state may put a cap on incentives after the first million dollars spent—which is usually blown on the lead character’s salary alone.
“So basically the only way to make it up is to ask the talent to reduce his fee, and then good luck!” Ashley: You don’t want to do that. “Well, I don’t mind asking, but usually I know the answer!”
If it could work out, Mobile may be set to become another mini Hollywood.
“And a studio would be perfect for this location, you have attracted Airbus in two years and Airbus is fantastic, there is only one location in America where Airbus came, it’s Mobile. So I’m telling you, if people put their brains together, we could have a fantastic studio in this town.”
Rionda Del Castro says he’ll sit down with state reps and try to work something out, if that is the case. We reached out to the film office who told us they were not aware of changes at the state level, but would look into it.