Saturday Film Incentive News Wrap-Up

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…

California film and TV workers who have been spending more time outside the state working in places such as Georgia, Canada and Michigan are lobbying their state’s legislature to increase the Golden State’s film incentive - including Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd.

While Texas’ film incentive has been very successful over the past few years, attracting several television shows and films to the Lone Star State, the Southern Texas city of San Antonio wants to increase visibility and support local production.  A special grant that seeks to support filmmaking in the city was passed by the San Antonio City Council earlier this week.

The ongoing scandal surrounding Iowa’s film incentive program, which was suspended by the Hawkeye State in 2009, reached another turning point this week when a public television producer was convicted of filing fraudulent claims resulting on his receiving over $9 million from the state.

A documentarian in Louisiana, meanwhile, is disputing claims by a state auditor that his production filed for Pelican State tax credits on illegitimate expenses related to a documentary on the building of Mardi Gras floats.

Ways to heal Michigan’s recently scaled-back film incentive program – and changing the perception that “Detroit is over” – were topics of conversation at the recent Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham.  A panel discussion at the festival which included representatives from Hollywood and Michigan’s film industry focused on increasing the newly capped incentive and reminding the film and TV industry that Michigan is still open for business.

Mississippi is continuing to work towards increasing the cap on its film incentive program in an effort to draw more productions to the Magnolia State from neighboring North Carolina and Louisiana.  Realizing that skilled crews are essential to building a strong and sustainable industry, the state’s legislature is also proposing a trio of workforce development centers in the state.

Neighboring Alabama, meanwhile, is already increasing the cap on its film incentive program.  The Yellowhammer State’s House of Representatives voted this week to increase the cap on its program from $10 million to $25 million.

 Officials in North Carolina are eagerly awaiting the opening of The Hunger Games, the largest film to take advantage of the Tar Heel State’s film incentive program.  Officials with the North Carolina Department of Commerce say that the production spent $60 million in the state while shooting.  North Carolina tourism officials are also expecting the film to bring a record number of visitors to the state.

And finally, outside US Borders… The European Union is considering caps on member countries’ film incentive programs to prevent them competing with each other for film and television business… Lapland’s film and television industry is helping to balance the country’s economy during the tourist “off-season…” and Malaysia is boosting its film incentive program to increase foreign joint-ventures and local productions.


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About Haroldphillips

Harold Phillips has worked professionally in theatre, film and television for over 20 years. In that time, he's built a reputation for his commitment to the characters he plays and his efforts to strengthen the film and theatre industries in the cities he's worked in. Harold has gained prominence in the quickly growing world of digital media, with appearances in the wildly popular web series Lady Wasteland, Animus Cross, and the interactive movie The Outbreak. In addition to appearances in commercials and independent films (including the comedic Crackin' The Code and thrillers Sum Of The Parts and Dark Horizon), Harold has spent many years working on stage in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more about Harold, please visit his web site at http://www.haroldphillips.net or follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/haroldPDX
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