Move Over Hollywood, it's Pittsburgh's Turn

Pittsburgh has been compared to a lot of cities: Portand, OR, for its lush green landscape; Venice, Italy for its bridges; and Hollywood? That's right. Pittsburgh is making a name for itself on the big screen with its booming film-production scene.

CNN Money reports: "In the last three years alone, 24 movies have filmed in Western Pennsylvania, including 'The Dark Knight Rises' and 'Promised Land,' which stars Matt Damon and will be released next year. These films have infused the region's economy with $300 million since 2009 and helped small businesses to thrive, according to Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer."

The article attributes the success of Pittsburgh's film draw on its alluring tax credit; a 25-percent credit goes to films that spend at least 60-percent of their total production budget in Pennsylvania.

Hollywood film crews are also drawn to Pittsburgh for its architectural variety, endless neighborhoods, and the skilled and inexpensive local unions. More than 50 major movies and films have been shot on location in the Pittsburgh area during the past decade, and Pittsburgh boasts film credits that include "The Dark Knight Rises," "Silence of The Lambs" and "Hoffa." Pittsburgh has come a long way from the days of boasting about being home to the filming of "Striking Distance" (starring Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker, 1993) and "Sudden Death" (starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1995).

The impact on the economy is phenomenal. Existing business are cashing in on catering to the large production staffs and opportunities for local studios to join in the act are flourishing. With the credibility of filmmaking in the region on the rise, maybe it's time articles start comparing other cities to Pittsburgh.