D.C. snags the stage from Hollywood in ‘Badlands’

Councilmember Vincent Orange says producers consistently say D.C. lacks an adequate sound stage and has too much bureaucracy. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The Crime and Punishment Museum will get some action later this year, and film and television supporters hope it will open up the doors for future productions in the nation’s capital.

The series “Badlands” will shoot in the studio that once housed “America’s Most Wanted.” It is to be the first series filmed this year in the District.

“The ‘Badlands’ project basically is a thriller,” said Charles Long, the executive producer and chief executive officer of Metropolis Studios and Movies.

“It’s a crime-type of a thriller within the city, and that thriller will show parts of the city.”

The series will use a fictional city name.

“It will be obviously filmed here,” Long said.

Long, a native Washingtonian, said other cities and states laid out incentive packages for the production. He turned them down in favor of bringing a production to his hometown.

D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange has been trying to bring more television and film shoots to the city.

At a news conference promoting the upcoming series, he spelled out the hurdles that have kept other productions from considering D.C.

In conversations with Los Angeles and New York, Orange said producers consistently cited four reasons for avoiding the city: No adequate sound stage, no real incentive package, lack of crews and too much bureaucracy.

But he’s hoping to change that.

“No longer do we want the industry just to come in, shoot our monuments and move on to some place else,” he says.

Long remembers his parents taking him by theaters and other entertainment venues in “the old D.C.”

For both sentimental and trend-setting purposes, he’s bringing an $8 million production budget to the District.

“Let’s get the barriers over with and have people to come here all the time and this, too, become another Hollywood, or the Hollywood that it was when it first started,” he said.

“The ‘Badlands’ project is our very first in the city that’s 100 percent done here and completed in this city.”

He would not disclose the network that has picked up the series.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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