CLEARWATER - During the autumn of 2005 shouts of "Remember the Maine!" could be heard over the seagulls and waves lapping at the shore of one of America's best beaches. Fort De Soto Park became the island nation of Cuba for the filming of The History Channel's program First Intervention debuting May 8 on The History Channel.
Viewers will recognize not only the historic fort but also pristine woodlands, beaches, sand dunes and inlets that make up Mullet Key which is the main island of Fort De Soto Park. Just by coincidence the Pinellas County Parks department was performing a prescribed burn to dry underbrush on Mullet Key during the filming, which the filmmakers used to add to the realism of the program.
"First Intervention looks like a $10-million movie, but the actual budget was much less," said Film Commissioner Jennifer Parramore. "We were able to help NFL Films (the production company) with short-cuts and volunteer interns to successfully create a beautiful and believable story."
Guy Balson now the Pinellas Film Commission Production Manager, at the time was the location manager for First Intervention.
"NFL Films was familiar with our area's diverse locations and experienced crew base available. They were able to shoot Fort De Soto Park as several different locations for the film, including setting up a period military camp that was authentic in every detail from the tents to the soldier's canteens," remarked Balson.
A department of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Film Commission markets the area to producers of film, television, commercial, print and digital media. From its picturesque beaches, variety of unique towns and the top beaches in the United States, the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area has unique and varied locations for film production. Film, elevision and print production have a direct impact of $8.9 million annually to the Pinellas County economy.