"VEEP," the HBO political satire starring Julia-Louis-Dreyfus, started production Monday on location in the Baltimore area, Gov. Martin O'Malley and the cable channel said.
The Maryland Film Office estimates that the first season of the series will result in 2,000 jobs for crew members and actors and $25 million in economic impact for the state. The estimate is based on HBO doing five weeks of prep and eight weeks of filming here on the seven episodes yet to be made for season one. The producers will also be purchasing and renting goods or services from hundreds of Maryland businesses, according to the film office.
"We are very pleased that HBO and the VEEP team had such a positive experience while shooting the pilot episode that they have returned to film the series." O'Malley said Monday. "Maryland and HBO has had a long, successful partnership, and we look forward to having another of their quality productions in our state."
Two thousand jobs in this economy is something O'Malley has a right to feel good about.
Last summer, HBO also completed production on the film, "Game Change," based on a non-fiction book about the 2008 presidential campaign.
"Game Change" and the pilot for "VEEP" were the first major signs of life in local production since "The Wire" ended its run. The state offered new incentives in April to bring "VEEP" to town once the pilot was picked up as a series. A cable series with the kind of talent "VEEP" has in front of and behind the camera has the potential to run for years -- providing steady, top-dollar work for local production crews.
Louis-Dreyfus, whose credits include "Seinfeld" and "New Adventures of Old Christine," is also one of the producers on the series. Armando Iannucci, who created the comedy, is an executive producer along with Chris Godsick and Frank Rich, of New York Magazine.
Iannucci is best known for "In the Loop," a savvy and wickedly funny satire of British politics and U.S.-U.K. relations. The 2009 film stars Gina McKee, Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi andJames Gandolfini.
As reported here in February and March, the pilot for "VEEP" was filmed in and around Baltimore. It took six days to shoot, four here and two in Washington, with Baltimore standing in onscreen for the nation's capital in this political satire about a senator (Louis-Dreyfus) who suddenly becomes vice president of the United States.
Locations included the Maryland Institute College of Art and DLA Piper, an international law firm with offices in Mount Washington. Offices at Piper were converted to resemble Senate offices on Capitol Hill.
Otherwise, filming for "VEEP" took place on a soundstage in Columbia.
"You know, there are two kinds of sets — there's good ones and there's bad ones," Pat Moran, the Emmy Award-winning casting director who has worked with many Baltimore filmmakers, told the Sun as the pilot finished filming.
"And this one was absolutely terrific — the kind where the star says good night to everybody. I'm serious, Julia Louis is just so terrific. … I have to tell you, I have such a good feeling about this series."
"It's always a pleasure to work with the HBO team," Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office, said Monday. "They are true professionals who produce the highest quality programs on television."
Gerbes also cited the Baltimore City Film Office and Baltimore City and Howard County officials for helping bring the series to Maryland.