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…
After some “eleventh hour” maneuvering in Alaska’s legislature that folded an extension of the Last Frontier’s film incentive program into a bill approving oil and gas incentives, the popular program has been extended for an additional ten years. The extension also provides for more transparency, a new review-and-approval structure, and an additional incentive to hire Alaskan film and TV workers.
Meanwhile, California’s legislature is still working to extend the Golden State’s film incentive program and curb what Hollywood terms “runaway production.” An important hurdle in this effort was cleared earlier this week when the Assembly’s Arts and Entertainment committee approved a five-year extension to the program. The bill was approved by a 7-0 vote (with one abstention.) Now that the bill has been approved by the committee, it heads to another assembly committee for review.
Michigan’s film office has approved the first film incentive to be given out since the Wolverine State’s scaled back its popular program last year. Beside Still Waters, directed by Up In The Air actor Chris Lowell, will shoot in Detroit and Traverse City.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Ohio, the buzz around Marvel’s upcoming release of The Avengers and a new report on the growing strength of the Buckeye State’s film and TV industry has prompted a proposal in the legislature to extend the program and double the cap on available dollars.
A producer in Massachusetts has been sentenced to prison for inflating payroll and production expenses to defraud the Bay State’s film incentive program.
And finally, outside US Borders, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan’s plan to do away with its film incentive program has drawn protest and a petition drive from film and TV workers. Leaders of the provincial government acknowledge the protest but have not indicated whether the incentive program will be saved, or a new plan put in its place.