HBO began filming in Baltimore this week for its 2012 comedy, VEEP, and the production’s presence is bringing more than a few celebrities to town. According to the Maryland Film Office, filming of the show, which stars funny-lady Julia Louis-Dreyfus, could create more than 2,000 jobs in Maryland, with an economic impact of over $25 million. The pilot alone, which filmed in Baltimore in February, reportedly brought in $6 million in revenue.
In a statement regarding VEEP, Gov. Martin O’Malley said, “Maryland is excited to welcome HBO and the VEEP team back to our State. This project will not only bring new jobs to Maryland, but will also benefit local businesses that will serve the cast and crew during production.”
The show itself is a political satire set near the White House and revolving around Senator-turned-Vice President Selina Meyer (Louis-Dreyfus). Louis-Dreyfus said, “I take the role of vice president very seriously, and although everyone says this is a comedy, I don’t think there is anything funny at all about me being a heartbeat away from the presidency.”
Quentin Schaffer, HBO’sexecutive vice president at HBO, noted that though the show is set in D.C., “Baltimore was selected for VEEP for a number of reasons. Baltimore as a whole has less restrictions on shooting than Washington, D.C., and it has a number of interiors and exteriors that can double for D.C. At the same time, it gives us proximity to D.C. should we need to shoot there. There is also a good production base there (i.e. crew, service companies) from past TV shows, including The Wire, and, as is the case in many states today, the film commission has wisely made it financially beneficial offering a generous rebate on spending there.”
No word yet on where the cast is staying during production or where they have shot so far. Have you seen them around town?