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New series called 'Kansas City' won't be filmed here

Posted: 5:38 PM, Jun 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-08 00:14:19Z

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Imagine a dystopian future where a wall separates liberals and conservatives.

According to a casting call on backstage.com,  that's the premise for a new Hulu series called "Kansas City."

Just as confusing: The pilot of the series, called "Kansas City," is being filmed this month in Atlanta.

"Every time, a little tear goes down my face," KC Film Office Director Stephanie Scupham said in reaction to the news.

Scupham first learned of the project while visiting Los Angeles in the spring.

"That just underscores our need for an incentive program here, a state-level incentive program just like Georgia has or something similar where we can be competitive," she said. 

Neither Missouri nor Kansas offer incentives for movies or series filmed in-state. Missouri's tax rebate program expired in 2013.

 

 

"The bottom line to any producer is 'How can I save money? How can I spend less and what states are going to allow me to have some sort of rebate or tax advantage?'" explained UMKC Associate Teaching Professor Mitch Brian.

Brian is also a screenwriter, who saw a huge decrease in production when Missouri's program ended. 

"Gone Girl" was the last big movie to take advantage of the state perks.

Then, in 2015, Kansas City passed incentives of its own, with up to a 10 percent cash rebate offered. It's much smaller than Georgia's program , which goes all the way up to 30 percent, but Scupham said it's still helping.

NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" has already visited twice, and Netflix hit "Queer Eye" is currently casting in Kansas City.

Local production companies like Wide Awake Films say Hulu's new series is missing out.

"We have so many resources here to film anything you could want in the actual city that the show is named after," Julia Barnett, a producer with Wide Awake, said.

Barnett pointed to the large pool of producers, photographers and even actors in Kansas City. On top of all that, the metro is also easier for crews to navigate than other major cities because of its light traffic.

Still, she agreed with Scupham that change needs to come on the state level.

"We can capture some of that work, but we need to get in the game," Scupham said.

The KC Film Office isn't giving up on "Kansas City" yet. Scupham already invited the makers of the new series to visit the actual city.