As the Carmel Christkindlmarkt prepares to open for its third year, a Carmel promoter is pressing Hallmark to consider shooting a Christmas movie at the German market.
New York-based Rob DeRocker, who is paid up to $125,000 a year to promote Carmel to national and international media outlets and site consultants, told IBJ Carmel is becoming more telegenic and movie-genic and he feels the Christkindlmarkt, which opens to the public Saturday, would make a great backdrop for one of the beloved network’s Christmas movies.
But it could be a long shot.
Hallmark shoots most of its Christmas flicks in Canada, where it takes advantage of tax incentives not typically offered in the U.S., DeRocker said. But some have been filmed in quaint towns and cities in the U.S. Last year, an independent film maker used the Carmel market to portray an Austrian village
DeRocker has worked as a consultant for the city since 2010, helping to arrange meetings and interviews between Mayor Jim Brainard and reporters and site consultants. He bills the city about $10,000 a month for work that includes getting Carmel or Brainard mentioned in stories published by national and international media outlets, like the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and the New York Times.
For the past few months, his monthly reports, which detail work he’s done or intends to do, have included “exploring” the possibility of the Christkindlmarkt becoming the setting for a Hallmark or other Christmas film in the future.
DeRocker told IBJ this week he recently made his pitch to someone who manages Hallmark communications and that he will continue to reach out to her.
He praised the Christkindlmarkt’s authenticity and said it’s continued to get better year after year. This year, the market was ranked No. 15 on Wide Open Country’s list of the 23 best German Christmas markets across the U.S. It was also recently mentioned in a travel-related story in the Chicago Tribune.
“It’s a longshot but worth a try,” DeRocker said of the movie idea. “I’m not giving up.”
“The worst they can say is ‘no,’ but they’re going to get a lot of communication from me before they say no.”
Carmel spokesman Dan McFeely said the city makes a concerted effort to leverage what it has built in Carmel to gain national recognition that can translate to economic development opportunities. That includes promoting the city’s roundabouts—which often get media attention—as well as the Center for the Performing Arts and the Christkindlmarkt.
“We believe the Christkindlmarkt is an ideal location to film a holiday movie,” he said.