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Review of Leading State Film and Video Production Incentives
Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Tue, 07/24/2007 - 21:53.
How and why do film and video production decision get made? A film trade group recently asked those questions, and the answers are not encouraging for Ohio, which continues to say “no” to the adoption of production incentives that other states now consider routine.
Bill Bowling, a locations officer with Warner Brothers Worldwide, commented, “in the past few years, financial incentives have overwhelmed the 'where to shoot' equation. Major studios and smart independents are going to locations that have the best incentives. It's as simple as that.” The leading states were grouped in two tiers by P3Update, a trade journal for those in the film production sectors.
While attractive features, like size and skills of the local crew base, locations and weather, are certainly present here in Ohio in some degree, the skills base is not as deep and the talented local crews are not finding steady work, as in the leading states, as the amount of film and television work is simply not here. Ohio trails the leading states and is falling further behind due to its inability to pass the financial incentives that are growing in importance, missing an opportunity to move forward.
In Northeast Ohio, we can and should take important steps on our own. By making the Convention Center available as a preparation and warehouse area for film production, as was done for the “Spiderman 3” movie, Cleveland provided a financial advantage for the film industry working here. However, Northeast Ohio, on its own, can't match the power of those states offering tax and financial incentives to attract and keep the work and bring projects to their states.
Here are the leading states identified by the film and video professionals, some of the features that made them standout and the direction Ohio needs to move. The sooner, the better.
Tier One States
Tier Two States
North Carolina: A comprehensive tax credit, offsetting purchases, leases in state and wages paid to residents and non-residents for work performed in the state, seemed to put this state in the first tier.
Ohio needs to adopt tax production incentives and add other financial breaks to make film and TV budgets competitive with the rest of the world competing for the business. Without the film industry, the creative talent in these sectors will move away, another sad example of “brain drain” and lost creative energy. That's a tough loss for a state that can't afford to squander anything.
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