Seattle Film Commission

Meet the Film Commission Nominees

  • Position 1: Lowell Deo (On-screen talent or their representatives)
  • Position 2: Melissa Purcell (Film industry labor unions)
  • Position 3: Michael Huang (Advertising and creative agencies)
  • Position 4: Tom Florino (Commercial producers or production companies)
  • Position 5: Laura Cronin (Film schools, film programs, or film educators)
  • Position 6: Champ Ensminger (Post-production companies and personnel, such as editors, composers, and post-supervisors)
  • Position 7: Kat Ogden (Film production crew, including but not limited to props, sets, wardrobe, make-up, hair, camera, grip, and electric)
  • Position 8: Beth Barrett (Film festivals or film content distribution companies )
  • Position 9: Mark Freid (Film location managers )
  • Position 10: Anthony Tackett (Film organizations belonging to and advocating for communities underrepresented in the film industry)

Why a Film Commission?

Through the 1990s, many classic movies set in Seattle were shot in Seattle. That includes Sleepless in Seattle, Singles, 10 Things I Hate About You, and many more films that brought millions of dollars into the local economy and provided well-paying jobs in the arts and entertainment industries.  

However, over the past 20 years, we've been out-competed. Films and TV shows set in Seattle are more often shot in Vancouver, BC than in our city. That includes recent high-budget productions like 50 Shade of Grey, The Killing, Where’d You Go Bernadette, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Even the upcoming blockbuster The Boys in the Boat being directed by George Clooney, which tells the story of a University of Washington men’s rowing team, is being filmed in the UK, not Seattle. 

Here is a list of productions that are set in Seattle but shot elsewhere:

Film productions set in Seattle but shot elsewhere

The film commission be tasked with addressing that problem and making Seattle a more attractive option for all sorts of film/TV projects.  

Benefits of the Seattle Film Commission

  • Economic development
  • Increased equity in the film industry
  • Jobs in our community. See the diagram below for all the jobs created by a film production:

jobs created by a film production

Councilmember Sara Nelson said it best: “Seattle’s film industry has been asking for this commission for years, and I have made it a priority since day one. Every movie or TV show set in Seattle but filmed elsewhere represents hundreds of jobs lost for our creative workers, millions of dollars not being spent in our local economy, and a lost opportunity to showcase our amazing city to the world. With this commission we’re sending a message to the film industry – Seattle is back,” 

About the Seattle Film Commission

The Film Commission was championed by Councilmember Sara Nelson. She created the legislation which established the commission, Council Bill 126678 (more details here.) The bill passed the Council unanimously on September 20, 2022, and became law shortly afterward.

Councilmember Sara Nelson premiering the Seattle Film Commission with Tom Skerritt

Building on momentum from Washington State’s recent increase in film incentives and recommendations from the City’s Film Task Force, the Seattle Film Commission will serve as a conduit between the City and the film community to help bring filmmaking back to Seattle and ensure creatives already in Seattle have more professional opportunities in their city with equity at the center of these efforts.

  Councilmember Sara Nelson and supporters - including Tom Skerritt - advocating for the Seattle Film Commission

The commission will consist of 11 members well-qualified to represent all segments of Seattle’s film industry. Five members will be appointed by the Council, five by the Mayor, and one by the Commission itself. 


Macklemore, photo by © / CC-BY-SA-3.0

“Seattle is my home and I love making art here. I’ve filmed so many of my music videos with exceptional crew and beautiful locations. I’m excited to support Councilmember Sara Nelson’s bill creating a Seattle Film Commission.” Macklemore concluded: “This legislation will help pave the way for new and emerging artists to film their own music videos, documentaries, films, and tv shows. It’s time to give more support to creatives and highlight the many scenic areas that make this city great.”

Tom Skerritt, photo by Gage Skidmore
Tom Skerritt
Mayor Bruce Harrell
Mayor Bruce Harrell

“Seattle is a film town through and through. By embracing a collaborative One Seattle approach we can reinvigorate our film industry – creating art and jobs at the same time. This effort will put the right leaders in the room to help storyboard our path forward and drive needed action. I look forward to continuing to work on this issue with Councilmember Nelson, our Office of Economic Development, and a wide array of film stakeholders and community leaders."

Press Releases about the Seattle Film Commission

The Film Commission in the Media