Kristen Erwin is just 37 years old working as the executive director of the burgeoning Cincinnati Film Commission. But this fresh-faced blonde bombshell is responsible for making Cincinnati a hot bed of big box films and reality TV shows.
Over the years, Cincinnati has been no stranger to unforgettable movies such as "Rain Man," "Traffic" and "Seabiscuit." The Tri-State has also been home to a host of reality television shows, such as MTV’s "Taking the Stage" and TLC’s "Police Women of Cincinnati." And if Erwin and the Cincinnati Film Commission have anything to do with it, you’ll see many more films and shows just like these set up production here in the Queen City.
Many directors look to Cincinnati to film because downtown looks a lot like New York City. Plus, right over the river in Kentucky is like being in a small town out in the country. There’s a wide variety of churches, bridges and architecture across the region simulating a variety of places across the globe. Cincinnati also has one of the highest amounts of reality TV show viewers, so it only seems natural to bring the reality shows to our town. In order to have these films featured here, it is Kristen’s job to scout out the perfect areas for a particular script.
"Seven Below" (starring Val Kilmer, Ving Rhames and Luke Goss) began filming at the beginning of August in Goshen thanks to Erwin. Just a few months ago, you could see the Silver Fox himself, George Clooney, roaming the streets of Cincinnati for his upcoming film "Ides of March" releasing this October. This was made possible by Kristen Erwin who brought George Clooney, who wrote, directed and starred in the movie. She was especially proud to bring a portion of the filming to her alma mater, Miami University.
It was her extensive studying of the script and an eye for the perfect location that brought the film here. She showed George Clooney multiple locations he could use to film his movie here in Cincinnati and he ended up giving her three or four weeks in our area compared to the original three to four days he spends with production of a film.
"It’s exciting to see movies come back to Cincinnati," Erwin says. "To have 25,000 emails about George Clooney coming to town, it shows the community is excited about it too."
Currently, Erwin is working on increasing the film incentives – especially Ohio’s lucrative Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit – to increase the demand and marketability of the Greater Cincinnati region. Erwin says she has three or four scripts currently pending for the end of the year. So, keep your eyes peeled for your favorite celeb. This pint-sized powerhouse could be bringing them to a Tri-State street near you!