Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' gives economic boost to Nebraska - Omaha.com
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From left: Will Forte is David Grant, Bruce Dern is Woody Grant and Stacy Keach is Ed Pegram in "Nebraska."(MERIE WALLACE / PARAMOUNT VANTAGE)


Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' gives economic boost to Nebraska
By Martha Stoddard / World-Herald Bureau


LINCOLN — Alexander Payne's latest movie, “Nebraska,” is not just drawing critical acclaim.

It's also giving a major economic boost to its namesake, according to Laurie Richards, film officer with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

The monetary benefits from having large parts of the movie filmed in Nebraska are clear.

The typical budget for a film of this type could range from $40,000 to $60,000 for each day of filming on location, Richards said. Payne and his cast and crew spent 30 days filming strictly in Nebraska, meaning the film added about $1.5 million to the state's economy.

The majority of the film was shot on location in or around Plainview, Stanton, Elgin, Tilden, Osmond, Hooper, Lyons and Lincoln.

Additional financial benefit came from crew members and locally hired people who spent time preparing for filming. The movie involved 204 days on location. The film featured 21 local residents cast in various roles, and 227 people were hired as extras.

The film's budget was $13.5 million. Richards said the full economic impact includes such factors as local purchases, employment and indirect business taxes.

Having a movie made in the state is yielding other, less tangible but still very real benefits, Richards said.

In this case, “Nebraska” is generating thousands of dollars worth of marketing, branding and publicity for the state. It also has created extensive interest among the arts and entertainment industry, she said.

“We may not have Hollywood knocking on our door, but we definitely have piqued the interest of independent filmmakers and companies.”

Shot in black and white, the film centers around a father (Bruce Dern) who believes he's won a sweepstakes ticket and must travel from his Billings, Mont., home to Lincoln to collect his winnings.

His son (Will Forte) joins him on this journey that detours through mythical Hawthorne, Neb., the father's hometown.

The 2013 Cannes Film Festival in May honored Dern with a best actor award. Recently, the Independent Spirit Awards nominated the film in the categories of best director, best actor, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, best picture and best original screenplay.

Contact the writer: Martha Stoddard

martha.stoddard@owh.com    |   402-473-9583    |  

Martha covers the Nebraska Legislature, the governor, state agencies, and health, education and budget issues out of our Lincoln bureau.


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