Indiana Film Commission, Jane Rulon

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Indiana Film Commission, Jane Rulon

“To see the process of how someone can take an idea and get it up there for anyone in the world to see — what a powerful notion.” — Jane Rulon

“This is how younger people are communicating now,” says Jane Rulon about the power of film. “We don’t want to see Indiana left off the global screen.”

Rulon has headed the Indiana Film Commission for 12 years. During that time, she, along with the Film Commission’s project manager, Chris Pohl, has helped to make film and video production a significant part of the state’s economy, with a total economic impact of $647 million.

Although Rulon grew up in Indianapolis, she went to college in Iowa and then moved on to work in public relations and marketing in Washington, D.C. Family matters prompted her to return to Indianapolis in 1991. “This was my hometown, but I felt like a newcomer,” she recalls. One of the first things she did was to get involved with the Film Society. “The arts were my entry point to get to know people locally.” When the lead position at the state’s Film Commission opened up, Rulon applied. “All my experience came full circle,” she says. “There’s no one path to a job like this … it seemed like a good fit.”

No sooner was Rulon hired then she found herself in the midst of a major production. Rudy, a film about Notre Dame football, was about to shoot in South Bend. “There’s a certain protocol” about film production, Rulon says, “a hierarchy. Who calls the shots, who makes the decisions. You have to learn who to be in contact with and develop relationships. I had to dive right in and act like I knew what I was doing.”

Now Rulon finds her office serving as the state’s chief authority on questions ranging from where the best historical locations are to how a filmstruck fan can get into the business. “People recognize that film and video production is not only about economic development in terms of dollars coming in, it enhances the image of your location. The more we can get Indiana on the screen, the better.”

Rulon believes that supporting all forms of arts and cultural activity is the best way to grow Indiana as a film and video production center. “Film is based on all the other arts. We can benefit from having a welcoming, thriving cultural climate.”

Around seven feature films a year are shot, to some extent, in Indiana. Then there is a wealth of television commercials, music videos and corporate films being produced here, not to mention a burgeoning creative independent scene that works primarily in digital video. “There are so many obstacles to getting a movie on the screen,” Rulon says. “To see the process of how someone can take an idea and get it up there for anyone in the world to see — what a powerful notion. I love that process.”

— David Hoppe

seniors all ages family friendly 21 and over contributed sponsored

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