Hollywood Alaska

The formerly "Everybody Loves Whales," - now called "Big Miracle," the first major, modern movie filmed entirely in Alaska is about to hit theaters. The tale of serial killer Robert Hansen, starring John Cusack and Nicolas Cage, filmed in Anchorage this fall. Other major-studio films are considering an Alaska shoot, even as an army of reality TV camera crews continues to prowl the state. Producers credit the state’s fledgling tax incentive program – one of the most generous such public subsidies in the country – with enticing movie-makers to the Last Frontier. How long will the gold rush last? Is the state getting a big enough return on its investment? Welcome to Hollywood, Alaska.

Why isn't 'Race to Save Nome' being filmed in Alaska? - 11/14/2012 10:37 am

'Frozen Ground' awarded $6.3 million, few new features in view - 8/29/2012 1:11 pm

Casting call: You, and the person you most want to punch in the face - 6/29/2012 11:10 am

Disney documentary-makers approved for Alaska feature - 6/28/2012 12:03 pm

Todd Palin joins military-themed reality show - 6/19/2012 9:51 am

PHOTOS: A first look at 'Frozen Ground' - 5/28/2012 6:59 pm

Barrow-based 'On the Ice' hits iTunes - 5/14/2012 4:42 pm

‘Twilight: Eclipse’ director tapped for Alaska-based thriller - 5/14/2012 10:42 am

More reality TV: Fairbanks gold-mining series premieres on NatGeo

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

Remember Lauren Reeves, the Fairbanks and Anchorage news reporter who disappeared for New York City a few years ago?

Her family, among others, stars in the latest Alaska-based reality show, National Geographic Channel’s “Goldfathers.”

Disclosure: Lauren’s an old friend. I asked her to describe the series, which premiered Friday, in a short video:

“We prospected the crap out of my dad’s property. ... This show has been in the works for a long time. For years, so it’s nice to have it finally up and on the air,” Reeves said.

It's not alone. The series follows Discovery's "Gold Rush" and "Bering Sea Gold," all mining Alaska for reality show viewers. Gold-digging, it seems, is the new crab fishing.

The Onion AV Club rated the new show a “C." Anyone in Alaska catch the premiere? What’d you think?

Here's how National Geographic describes the series:
(And yes, I asked the state about the show's claim that John Reeves is the largest private landowner in Alaska. That information wasn't immediately available, Recorder's Office employees said today.)

Goldfathers airs Fridays at 10 pm ET/PT on National Geographic Channel.
It’s a modern-day gold rush. The new series follows three gold-mining “families” as they battle nature, machines and each other in a brutal race against time to get as much gold from the ground as possible before the icy frost of winter returns to shut them down. John Reeves is a lifelong treasure hunter who owns ten thousand acres of patented land in Alaska … with gold everywhere. It’s a gold dynasty and his whole family is involved — his wife, son and four daughters, including one who has been fashioning a career in modeling in New York. Together, they’ll delve into their archive of drill records and prospecting maps to identify likely targets of treasure frozen in the legendary goldfields. We’ll also see Doug Baker struggle to run one of the largest “mom and pop” mining operations in the state. Doug may be a brilliant mining engineer, but nothing about gold mining is a certainty, and last year he lost half a million dollars mining a bad claim. And newcomers Creighton Lapp and Chuck Durant thought they’d strike it rich when they started their small mining company, but they’re quickly proven wrong when a series of mechanical breakdowns sets them behind.

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