Photographer explores Aiken for S.C. Film Commission

The location in which a movie is filmed is as important to its success as are the actors. The South Carolina Film Commission recently visited Aiken to update its location files to share with those in the film industry what locals already know - Aiken is a community of charm, history and a superior quality of life.

Jeff Monks, a location scout, professional photographer and former South Carolina Film Commissioner, (2004-2008) spent the day exploring Aiken and shooting potential locations with Aiken Chamber Information Services Coordinator, Melissa Viola.

“Aiken’s unique horse culture and the fact that Aiken is so active and full of life make it an interesting location,” Monks said. “The location creates the mood of a film and giving production companies creative options for filming helps the state attract the industry and its investment to an area.”

According to Monks, a minimum of 50 percent of a film’s budget is usually invested in the location. “With the average film budget at $30 million, an investment of $15 million to an area is a clean revenue source and impactful to a community and its small businesses” Monks said.

There is not a film currently looking at the community, but the Commission is making sure its files are up-to-date and ready to showcase the area as one of the treasures of South Carolina if the opportunity arises.

According to the S.C. Film Commission website, the state has been the backdrop for more than 100 feature films, more than 70 TV movies, series and pilots, more than 500 print ad and catalog shoots, and many other mediums going back more than 100 years.

Aiken served as the location for the 2007 film “Who’s Your Caddy?” and “That Darn Cat” in 1997.

“The Aiken Chamber is continually looking for avenues to build and diversify Aiken’s economy,” said Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson. “Allocating the professional staff’s time to projects like this helps us further our mission.”


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