Why Washington DC Stories Are Seldom Filmed On Location

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There are glaring mistakes in films and TV program stories set in Washington DC. For instance, in the movie named ‘No Way Out’, Kevin Costner’s character evades chasers by boarding an underground train from Georgetown. The fact is that Georgetown has no metro station. Another example is the TV series ‘Jack Ryan’, whose title sequence shows the main character going to work through a path that does not make geographical sense.

These discrepancies from facts occur because not many TV programs or films are shot in the country’s capital. DC’s authorities have expressed their wish to change this by turning the city into a movie hub. They succeeded in this endeavor once when Marvel Studios’ ‘Wonder Woman 2’ was filmed on location a few years ago.

Even so, there are difficulties to overcome for the authorities. Other city governments provide generous tax discounts. Filmmakers find DC to be a tough location to film for more reasons than one. For one, unmanned aerial vehicles and choppers are not allowed to fly in the capital city zones. Besides, people who seek filming permits have to occasionally deal with many overlapping law enforcement forces.

Therefore, crews of shows such as ‘Veep’ and ‘House of Cards’ take Washington DC tours just to film some of the city’s monuments. They film the main portions of their programs in other places. For instance, the ‘NCIS’ series’ sixteen seasons’ stories are set in Washington DC, but it recreated the cap city in California.

This happens to not just DC-based stories, though. So many film production units have recreated a particular place in the story elsewhere. For instance, the Bangalore and Mumbai portions of the Tom Cruise starred ‘Mission Impossible 4’ was shot in Vancouver and Dubai instead.

However, according to the Director of the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment, namely Angela Gates, the ‘Wonder Woman 2’ success might continue.

“That says a lot about how far we’ve come,” she stated referring to the movie’s shooting in DC. “When you do a project well, word of mouth starts to get around.”

She considered 2016 a time at which an important change in the situation occurred. Then, the Mayor of Washington DC namely Muriel Bowser reintroduced the city’s rebate program. If your DC filming expenditure crosses $250,000, you would be eligible for as much as 35% of the taxable spending, and more incentives for recruiting locals.

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