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Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau encourages participation in photo contest

Filmmakers also want to scout possible movie locations

Published: Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 11:54 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013 11:55 a.m. CST

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The Iowa Tourism Office will be accepting, now through Sunday, photos of locations throughout the state for use in the official Iowa Travel Guide. One worthy photo, however, will land on the cover of the guide.

“We would love Newton to be on the cover— or at least in the running — of the Iowa Travel Guide,” Newton Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Linda Bacon said.

That’s why she’s encouraging local amateur and professional photographers to submit photos online to the Iowa Tourism Office’s Facebook page. The top three photos selected by ITO staff will be put up for a public vote Nov. 4-8, with the winner announced Nov. 12.

More than 100,000 Iowa Travel Guides are distributed to travelers throughout the U.S., while the online version is viewed thousands more times annually. The full-color, 176-page trip-planning publication includes listings from more than 700 attractions, 750 hotels, 220 bed and breakfasts and 350 campgrounds.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to showcase photographers who have best captured the spirit of Iowa in their photography,” ITO Manager Shawna Lode said. “Whether it’s a candid family picture from an Iowa getaway or a professional scenic portrait, we will showcase the images that best represent our state and its travel opportunities.”

More than 600 photos were submitted for a similar contest last year.

Filmmakers Scouting

Bacon also noted the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has been notified of a number of filmmakers looking for Iowa locations.

“With Newton having a couple of films partially shot here previously, maybe we can get some local momentum for more by folks sending in their photos,” she said. “If they’d like to send the Newton CVB their photos electronically, we’d be happy to make sure they are in the correct format when submitted and act as a contact, as well, if desired.”

IDCA spokesman Jeff Morgan said the state is looking for Iowans who have a home or a property that could be featured in a movie, or a scenic view or a vista that might be appropriate for a film production. The photos submitted will be placed into a Media Production Directory at its website, www.produceiowa.com.

There is no cost to submit photos.

“This is actually to build an online media directory that can be available to production companies from California and all around the world 24 hours a day for them to see what Iowa has to offer in terms of site locations,” Morgan said.

He said producers aren’t looking only for farmsteads, but may be attracted to any Iowa homes, unique buildings or entire main streets or downtowns that can be featured. He also provided the following tips for submitting photos:

• use a digital camera,

• each photo should be no larger than 1 megabyte,

• title each photo,

• no more than 10 images per property,

• include distinct features, and

• use a wide-angle lens or landscape view.

Additionally, Morgan said, Produce Iowa is requesting submissions about Iowa’s media production workforce and support service companies. He said local talent, production crews and hospitality businesses like hotels, restaurants and caterers should register their services to help round out the directory.

Daily News Editor Bob Eschliman may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 423, or at beschliman@newtondailynews.com.

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