A drone captures an athletic-wear model and the view during a shoot by Boulder cinematographer Brook Aitken; Photo by Joe Movick

Bruce Borowsky has big plans to lure more shoots to the county and unite the local film community.

By Robyn Griggs Lawrence

 

For decades, Boulder County’s stunning natural backdrops and well-heeled group of support professionals have made it so easy to attract film crews that the Boulder County Film Commission (BCFC) hasn’t even had to try.

It’s about to find out what happens when it does.

For the first time, BCFC has hired a filmmaker—Bruce Borowsky, who has worked as a producer, director and cameraman on hundreds of projects in Boulder and beyond—to head the commission, a division of the Boulder County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). With 37 years of film industry experience and deep roots in Boulder County, Borowsky plans to make big things happen.

Film Commissioner Bruce Borowsky shooting on the south coast of Iceland; Photo by Jenny Doyle

“I have a vested interest in bringing more stuff here,” laughs Borowsky, who co-founded digital training company Boulder Digital Arts in 2004 and boutique video production company Pixel Mill Studios in 2012. “My friends need the work.”

All kidding aside, Borowsky says, “I’m very fortunate to have contacts in the industry, and that’s the beauty of bringing in a filmmaker to lead this—we have those connections. These are our people. This is our industry.”

Blackwing ASL’s off-road pursuit vehicle photographs Redmond Ramos for the TV pilot “Raven & Blackjack,” created by BoCo filmmaker Meryem Ersoz, at the Yellow Barn Farm in Longmont; Photo by Devon Wycoff.

Borowsky intends to make BCFC much more proactive about turning Boulder into a first-choice destination for filmmakers to shoot documentaries, commercials, music videos and feature-length films. He’s developing a digital marketing and social media strategy—something the commission has never done before—and revamping BCFC’s website to include a directory of local services and talent to support film crews. Vendors will be able to list their services for free or pay a small fee to be on a first-tier directory of vetted businesses.

He’s also nurturing community within the local industry. Starting this fall, the commission will sponsor quarterly “industry nights” where everyone from sound engineers to makeup artists can gather to talk shop.

Director Mike Scalisi preps Gary Neptune for a series of videos about Neptune Mountaineering. Photo courtesy of Pixel Mill Studios.

“Not a lot of people realize we have a huge film and video production industry in Boulder County,” Borowsky says. “There’s so much going on, but people just don’t see it every day, and so many of the filmmakers here are siloed. You have the rock-climbing film people, the skiing film people, the natural foods and the bicycling film people. These events will bring everybody into the same room to talk about what we could do better as an industry.”

Even without marketing, Borowsky says he gets two or three calls and emails a week from filmmakers seeking permits to shoot in Boulder County. That’s a boon for local businesses, he adds, because the film crews stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants, hire local caterers and stylists, and rent lights, cameras, cars and trucks from local vendors.

Pixel Mill Studios sets up to film an interview with Boulder Chamber President John Tayer and Frasca owner Bobby Stuckey; Photo courtesy of Pixel Mill Studios.

Charlene Hoffman, CEO of the Boulder CVB, says Borowsky has everything the bureau was looking for in a film commissioner. “He has such a deep understanding of our region and Colorado’s history in filmmaking, and he personally knows many of the county’s talented resources,” she says. “His longstanding experience in the film production industry, including his experience in working with industry partners, location scouting, directors, filmmakers and much more will help champion the advancement and expansion of Boulder’s film sector and contribute to raising Boulder County’s profile as a prime location.”

 


Movies Made in BoCo

“Dear Eleanor” (2016)
“Heaven Sent” (2016)
“Mind’s Eye” (2015)
“Catch & Release” (2006)
“About Schmidt” (2002)
“American Flyers” (1985)
“Sleeper” (1973)
“Downhill Racer” (1969)
“The Glenn Miller Story” (1954)

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