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…
The big film incentive news of the week comes from Washington, where the ongoing effort to restore the Evergreen State’s film incentive program has succeeded in the state House. Thanks to a concerted effort by Washington film and TV workers and the non-profit Washington Filmworks, the bill to reinstate the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program passed overwhelmingly late last week.
Utah film officials are celebrating the box office draw of Disney’s new film John Carter – which brought nearly $20 million to the Beehive State’s economy – and are hoping that the success of the film will encourage more producers to shoot in the state. The word about Utah seems to be getting around, as eight film and TV projects have already been approved for film incentives this year (the most ever approved in a single meeting of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.)
Nebraska’s legislature has taken another step to enact the Cornhusker State’s first film incentive program. This week the state legislature advanced LB863, which seeks to make film, commercial and television projects eligible for existing “local option” development incentives.
Louisiana’s film and TV industry continues to steam ahead with the announcement that 46 feature films and television programs utilized New Orleans in the past year (and 17 have already begun shooting this year.) As one location scout in the Pelican State puts it, “It’s basically hand-over-fist work here… There’s movie companies tripping over each other.”
Mississippi’s Legislature is working to remove the cap which has thus far limited the Magnolia State’s film incentive program. The state’s House Ways and Means Committee passed a bill onto the full house this week that would raise the caps on allowable reimbursement to film and television productions.
Meanwhile film and TV workers in Tennessee are continuing to pressure the Volunteer State’s legislature – and governor Bill Haslam – to increase the state’s underutilized film fund so they won’t have to leave for work in neighboring states.
Residents of the Michigan community of Cadillac are looking forward to the start of production on Cadillac High, a film chronicling the rock band Kiss’s visit to that town in 1975. The film is expected to bring over $27 million to the Wolverine State. The mid-state community of Muskegon is seeing its nascent film and TV industry falter since the state capped its popular film incentive, however, and a production studio in Pontiac is blaming that cap for its current financial troubles.
Georgia’s House of Representatives is “tweaking” the state’s popular film incentive program with a new bill that seeks to cap some credits, eliminate some exemptions, and force production companies to place the Peach State’s “Made In Georgia” logo earlier in a production’s credits. The bill is awaiting approval from the state senate.
And finally, outside US borders… Canada is seeing a shift in productions from British Columbia to Ontario… and Turkey has seen a steady increase in production – especially in Istanbul – since it established a film incentive program in 2004.