Saturday Film Incentive Wrap-Up

It’s Saturday, which means it’s time for our regular 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 continues to celebrate the recent 10-year extension of its successful film incentive program, which helps keep talented Alaskans in the Last frontier as well as bring large out-of-state productions to the nation’s northernmost state.

The Director of the California Film Commission is warning that the Golden State may lose its “signature industry,” which represents approximately $30 billion to the state’s economy, unless state and local governments get serious about competing for film and television productions.

Arizona has struggled with the loss of its film incentive program since the Grand Canyon State’s legislature allowed it to lapse.  A special Town Hall Meeting in Tucson has been set for August 16 to discuss “a call for business leaders and owners to join with film and television professionals who live in Arizona to craft new economic solutions together.”

Though Colorado recently increased its film incentive program and changed its structure, the Centennial State’s legislature only set aside $3 million for their program – far less than other states.  Many in Colorado’s film community are hoping that the newly re-tooled program’s innovation will help surpass this limitation in funding.

Michigan’s film and TV industry is still coming to terms with the recent “capping” of the Wolverine State’s film incentive program.  While production has slowed significantly, projects such as the independent film AKA Jimmy Picard are still bringing production dollars to the state - albeit on a much smaller scale than before the incentive cap was put into place.

Ohio has been a growing film incentive success story, with big-budget film such as The Dark Night Rises shooting in Pittsburgh.  A recent CNN Money story on the former steel town’s film boom focuses as much on the start-up businesses setting up shop to support Pittsburgh’s film industry as the films themselves.

Film and television spending in North Carolina, already booming since the Tar Heel State’s implementation a 25% film incentive two years ago, has exceeded last year’s record numbers.  While 2011 saw $220 million worth of spending by the industry in North Carolina, 2012 is expected to bring $300 million and provide 15,000 jobs.  While many in the state (including governor Beverly Perdue) are celebrating the industry’s jobs and spending, some North Carolinians are grumbling that the state is providing “corporate welfare to Iron Man.”

Similar complaints are being lodged in New York against an increase in the Empire State’s incentive aimed at film and television post-production.  While many in New York hailed governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature of the legislation, some complained that projects signing up for film incentive dollars would have shot in the state any way - a notion disputed by many in the $7 billion industry.


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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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