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The Disney Channel is returning to Utah this fall to film a television series, a state tax incentive of up to $2.4 million helping to kick start production of "Andi Mack."
The Governor's Office of Economic Development board approved the post-performance tax rebate last week for Horizons Production, Inc., which will spend 65 days this fall shooting the first season of the coming-of-age comedy.
Horizons is projected to spend $9.6 million in the state over the next five months of filming and post-production work. Producers Greg Hampson and Jeff Miller said the series will have a cast of 52 with 832 extras and a crew of 200, three-quarters of whom must be local residents or students.
"Disney has been a fantastic partner over the years and we are thrilled to have them back, particularly with a production of this caliber," said Utah Film Commission Director Virginia Pearce. "This television series brings consistent jobs, a use of our great locations and, most importantly, quality content that fits so well in Utah."
She estimated the Disney Channel has spent $129 million in Utah during the last two decades on 32 projects, including the "High School Musical" films, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and "The Lone Ranger."
In "Andi Mack," 12-year-old newcomer Peyton Elizabeth Lee plays the title character, whose life is turned upside down when her older sister moves home. Pearce said the show's creator and executive producer, Terri Minsky, previously oversaw another pre-teen hit, "Lizzie McGuire."
GOED's board also approved a post-performance cash rebate of up to $146,168 to MTT Enterprises Inc. to create a digital science fiction/comedy series called "Snatchers."
Directed by Stephen Cedars and Benji Kleiman, the show began filming this month with a cast of 15, 75 extras and a crew of 57. It is projected to spend $731,000 in Utah.
The board also reaffirmed a decision made in June to offer a post-performance tax credit of up to $454,246 to the independent feature comedy "Deidra and Laney Rob a Train." The movie's production company changed from Marigold Pictures, Inc. to Deidra & Laney Film, Inc.
In addition, GOED's board gave $50,000 grants to two businesses in rural Utah.
Love-Less Ash Co. of Price will use the money to help pay for tooling, molding and equipment needed to produce three new products at its facility that manufactures vacuums for fireplaces and dust-control shrouds for grinders, saws, drills and other trade tools. The company will invest another $80,000 into the equipment and expects to hire two new employees, a GOED release said.
Stander., Inc., a Cache County medical-device manufacturer specializing in mobility products for the elderly, is expecting to hire four new employees through a $2 million expansion of its office and warehouse. The money may be used to purchase a racking system for the building, two fork lifts and pallet jacks.
Company officials said two of the new jobs will pay 125 percent of the average Cache County wage while the other two will pay 110 percent of that mark.