Northland's Very Own: Riki McManus

By KBJR News 1

March 18, 2011 Updated Mar 18, 2011 at 7:47 AM CDT

Many Northlanders remember it like yesterday, when the cast and crew of "Iron Will" made the journey to the Northland to film the popular movie.

But "Iron Will" is just one of a long list of films Riki McManus helped bring to the Northland.

"Everyday is a new adventure. You never know what I will be looking for the next day," says Riki.

She started out as a casting director in Minneapolis but eventually moved back home to Duluth.

It was then she decided to open her own business called the Upper Minnesota Film Office, using her Hollywood connections to turn the Northland itself into something of a star.

"The locations that we have here are fabulous. So I started talking more and more about them and sending pictures out and I started getting more and more requests for locations," says Riki.

Riki has helped get "The Good Son" and "North Country" to film in the Northland, along with the History Channel, HGTV, the Food Network, and Lifetime, which also brings big bucks to the area.

"What I do is all about economic development. Yea, it's cool to have actors that are recognizable walking the streets of Duluth or Lutsen or the Iron Range but I like what happens with a movie when they spend millions and millions of dollars," says Riki.

Riki has worked on 17 feature films and doesn't plan on stopping there.

"I love being able to promote our region, it's the region I love. I love my job," says Riki.

Riki most recently hosted the Lifetime Network in the Northland, which just wrapped up shooting a series.

She couldn't talk too much about the project but she says it will be hitting the airwaves soon.