It’s Saturday, which means it’s time for our weekly look at some of the news about film incentive programs around the country. Now, you know the focus of this site is Oregon’s film and TV industry, and its effect on the state’s economy. It’s important to keep an eye on trends nationwide, though. The film and TV industry is an interdependent organism; what happens around the country affects Oregon’s industry, and what happens in Oregon affects the rest of the country as well.
While each state’s incentive program is different, it’s important to see the “big picture” by keeping an eye on the choices other states have made – to learn from their successes and their mistakes.
So With That…
Alaska film and TV workers, buoyed by the premiere of the Drew Barrymore film Big Miracle (the first major production shot in The Last Frontier under the state’s film incentive program) and happy with the chance to work at home instead of in the “Lower 48,” are calling for the resurrection of a bill in the Alaska legislature to extend the program for another ten years.
After allowing Arizona’s film incentive to lapse last year, the Grand Canyon State’s legislature is considering a new bill to bring filmmaking back to locations such as Old Tucson Studios (and to help the state compete with neighboring New Mexico.)
New Mexico’s legislature, meanwhile, is gearing up for a new battle over the Land of Enchantment’s film incentive program. A pair of bills have been filed in the state House of Representatives - one which would remove the $50 million cap placed on the incentive last year, and another which would do away with the program altogether.
The Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media is lobbying county commissioners in the Centennial State to “change the way [Colorado is] currently playing the game and fund an incentive program that makes sense for our taxpayers.” According to the office, virtually no “serious film production” is currently taking place within the state.
Michigan governor Rick Snyder is defending the changes he made to the Wolverine State’s popular film incentive program last year, noting that industry-related business such as the troubled Raleigh Studios need to “be able to survive on their own.” One other Michigan business sector that’s feeling the pinch of the state’s film incentive cuts - the Recreational Vehicle industry.
Film and TV workers in North Carolina are celebrating the news that direct spending by Hollywood studios in the Tar Heel State increased nearly three-fold this past year, from $75 million to $220 million.
Florida is still struggling to draw more films and television to the Sunshine State, but the message from TV producers at the National Association of Television Program Executives was simple: the state needs to offer stronger incentives to draw production in.