CINCINNATI – For seven weeks, modern day Cincinnati will be transformed into 1950s New York City as Hollywood rolls into town for primary filming of “Carol, ” starring Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett.
“We are going to play New York and parts of New Jersey," said Kristen Erwin Schlotman, Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Film Commission.
The film commission announced Monday that Blanchett will be roaming the Queen City's streets in 2014 as title character Carol Aird -- the love interest of “a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life (and) falls for an older, married woman," according to the IMDB.com .
Rooney Mara, best known for her lead role in the 2011 American adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” will play the young clerk, Therese Belivet.
“We are ecstatic to host such an extraordinary project,” Schlotman said. “This is the largest motion picture to shoot in our area...and will be one of Hollywood’s highest profile films produced next year.”
It will also be the first film shot entirely in the region under Ohio's Film Production Incentive that passed in 2012 to lure more Hollywood films to the state by offering various tax breaks.
“By comparison, ‘The Ides of March’ was shot here for three weeks,” Schlotman said.
“Carol” is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, whose other works, “Strangers on a Train” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” were also made into major motion pictures.
Primary filming is set for mid-March, with a film office to open for scouting and pre-production in January.
Todd Haynes, known for “Far from Heaven” and “I’m Not Here,” is set to direct the movie. Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley are named as executive producers on the project.
“The caliber of people involving in the film is amazing,” Schlotman added.
Karlsen and Woolley were equally impressed by Cincinnati’s architecture and style for the period piece.
"We are delighted to have chosen Cincinnati as our location. Stephen and I made a film here 20 years ago and found the city and its people incredibly welcoming and helpful, “ said Karlsen. “The local crew and talent were first rate. Our experience so far on "Carol" has been similarly positive. The city offers excellent creative choices for us and the tax incentive has been instrumental in enabling us to get the green light on the film. We are really looking forward to the start of production in the New Year and enjoying all that Cincinnati has to offer while we are here."
Schlotman began discussions about bringing "Carol" to the area in August.
Part of the 2012 incentives includes tax rebates for the producers based on the number of Ohioans hired to participate in movies. That includes crew, extras and day players with speaking roles.
Applications are being accepted for employment involving 'Carol' now. Headshots and applications can be emailed to email@example.com for extras and day parts.
After filming is complete, producers of “Carol” will turn over their financial records to the state of Ohio, and a report will be generated to show how much money the film brought to the region.
According to the film commission, the movie tax incentive returns $1.20 into the Ohio economy for every $1 invested by the incentive.
“I was a little bit nervous,” about going through the location selection process, Schlotman said. “They (the producers) were obsessed with Cincinnati.