Film production in D.C. grows

There's no shortage of political drama in Washington, but lately Hollywood drama is taking place around town as well.

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(Photo by Eugenijusr via Flickr)

A small slice of Hollywood came to the Hill Wednesday, when the legal drama “The Firm,” scheduled to debut next year, was shot.

Mayor Vincent Gray wants to see more of the film production industry in Washington, along with its dollars.

“There's only one Washington, D.C., one Capitol, one White House, one Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln memorial, and we think that those present opportunities to us that make us unique,” Gray said.

The office of motion picture and television says production companies have spent $20 million in D.C. this year, up from $12.5 million last year.

"It's not just the actual films coming here but they use our hotels, our restaurants and many more of our resources so we need to make sure we have a lot more films coming here,” said the office’s Leslie Green.

“It gets people coming into the city and frankly I think it's a psychological uplift to the city to see people filming here,” Gray said.

The effect is not just psychological: TV and movie projects this year created nearly 4,000 jobs.

Bridget Shaw from Maryland has created a California-style career as a freelance production assistant.

"Once you get one job, you get a network of people and you keep meeting people and then on to another job and it just leads to more work,” Shaw said.

Filming in D.C. has its challenges: security is often tighter for production companies, and other cities are cheaper to shoot in. Still, nearly a dozen TV shows and movies are set to film in Washington in the coming months.

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