Crew films promotional documentary in Rock Falls
|Cathy Brunner, executive director of Rock Falls Tourism, is interviewed by videographer Zach Neff and producer Deanna McConnell along the Hennepin Canal Monday afternoon. The crew from ZNeff Productions in Peoria was in Rock Falls Monday filming a $20,000 documentary that will be used to promote the city. (Philip Marruffoemail@example.com )|
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ROCK FALLS – Rock Falls was ready for its close-up Monday, when a camera crew roamed the city, conducting interviews and taping footage for a commercial.
City Council members agreed this year to pay $20,000 for the rights to a segment of “Today in America with Terry Bradshaw” that will focus on education, recreation, tourism and other quality-of-life aspects of Rock Falls.
City officials will approve the editing, then the 30-minute commercial and 5-second spots will air on 19 networks and the History Channel. After that, officials will use the material for economic development, making it part of a presentation for businesses interested in coming to Rock Falls, for example.
Filming began early Monday at City Hall, where council meetings usually are held at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of every month.
Monday, though, Mayor David Blanton and Rock Falls’ aldermen conducted a “mock” council meeting for the two-member crew – producer Deanna McConnell and videographer Zach Neff of ZNeff Productions of Peoria.
Sitting in the chair from which he leads council meetings, Blanton was asked what Rock Falls offers its residents.
“It’s just that hometown atmosphere ... we’re not big city,” he said. “What I love about this community is, when I had my surgery, neighbors came, did the sidewalks ... people were there.”
Blanton consulted with Cathy Brunner, executive director of Rock Falls Tourism, and with the Rock Falls Community Development Corp. to determine how to best highlight the city.
During the course of the day, the crew visited downtown Rock Falls, local businesses, the riverfront and the Hennepin Canal. At the Sinnissippi Dam pedestrian walkway, three canoes planted by the city were floating in the river, while three young people who just happened by biked across the bridge.
Brunner also was featured in the documentary. Her agency paid $5,000 of the cost of the documentary, which she said will present Rock Falls in its best light, and bring visitors to the community.
“It’s a three-point presentation,” Brunner said. “Traditional economic development; tourism as another arm of economic development; quality of life. It’s all part of tourism as well.”
City Administrator Robbin Blackert said she hopes people watching the Rock Falls film realize that “it’s a good place to work, it’s a good place to live, and it’s a good place to play,” she said.
The documentary’s producer was impressed with the community.
“I like it,” McConnell said, while standing on the walkway. “I think it’s actually beautiful, and I think it’s got a lot of potential. I’m really excited to see how it turns out, with all the infrastructure they are working on.
“I think it’s going to be fabulous on the riverfront.”
They called it a wrap a little after 2 p.m. The commercial likely will air in the next 2 months, Blanton said.
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