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…
The California Assembly has passed a two-year extension of the Golden State’s film incentive program. The state senate passed the extension earlier this week, and the full assembly passed the bill in the last hours of the legislative session to much applause from players in the film and television industry. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.
Film and TV workers in Arizona have struggled since the legislature allowed the Grand Canyon State’s film incentive program to expire in 2010. Undaunted after two failed attempts to revive the incentive program, however, film and TV workers are rallying to reinstate the program in the coming legislative session.
Neighboring New Mexico’s film and TV industry, meanwhile, has been slowing since 2011′s battle over the Land of Enchantment’s film incentive program. Many in New Mexico are expecting a new round of battles around the program, especially in light of recent criticism of the state’s business incentive programs by state auditors and concerns over the profitability of films that have received incentive moneys.
Iowa is working to rebuild its film and TV industry after its film incentive program was suspended in 2009 due to an embezzlement and fraud scandal. As the Iowa Film Office works to bring new productions to the state, it’s encountering skepticism and mistrust from both inside and outside the Hawkeye State.
Michigan’s film industry, already struggling since the Wolverine State’s film incentive program was capped in 2011, was dealt a blow by the Michigan Court of Appeals recently when it ruled that commercials shot in the state are not eligible for incentive funds.
The film and television industry is booming in Ohio, with large productions coming into the state and a recent increase in the Buckeye State’s film incentive program. Now one Ohio city is looking for ways to capitalize on this film and television boom.
Maine is one of the few US states without a film incentive program. One state representative hopes to change that in the coming session, though many in the Pine Tree State are skeptical that legislation to enact an incentive will get through… including the new head of the state’s film office.
Film and TV workers in Massachusetts are keeping a wary eye on the Bay State’s legislature after House Committee on Revenue Chairman Jay Kaufman stated this week that the budget process would include “a debate over tax credits and targeted tax breaks” (including the state’s film incentive program.)
New York has expanded its film incentive programs quite a bit in recent years, and Brooklyn’s Steiner Studios (one of the largest soundstages in the country outside California) is planning to expand so it can meet the influx of productions headed to the Empire State.
And finally, outside US Borders… England’s plan to roll out a slate of new film incentives next year has been met with applause by British television executives. Some in the British TV industry have said they expect the new incentives to usher in a “golden age of television dramas filmed in Britain.”