- Parent Category: Preproduction
- Category: Locations
- Published on Wednesday, 09 July 2008 17:13
- Written by Frank and Margie Barron
Florida enjoys a great reputation among filmmakers, who have praised their crews, locations, talent pool, and weather throughout the Sunshine State. Adding to its appeal, a cash rebate is being offered of up to 22 percent on qualified production expenditures. To get to that 22 percent, you have the general rebate of 15 percent, along with another 5 percent, if three-quarters of your filming takes place during the off-season of June 1 to November 30, and if you’re producing a family-friendly film, you can add on a 2 percent bonus. There is a maximum rebate of $8 million for feature films and television productions.
The film office’s Discounts and Deals program lists special deals and discounts from vendors around the state. And Florida offers a sales tax exemption on qualified production purchases, making for an even greater budget-saving experience.
Florida is not only the place for incentives and grants, but just about every corner of the state celebrates the industry with dozens of film festivals. One of the most successful is the Palm Beach International Film Festival, which has created an opportunity to introduce filmmakers to the area’s resources. Showcasing student films also encourages homegrown talent, and that’s one of the goals of the Central Florida Film Festival (August 29 - 31), when they send out a call for entries. It all goes to reinforce Florida’s thick and seasoned infrastructure, most evident in the Miami and Orlando areas, and spreading throughout the state to support multiple shoots.
Recent productions include: Hurricane Season, Confessions of a Shopaholic, I Love You Phillip Morris, Marley & Me, December, Thespians, Zobotomy; and series: Burn Notice, Police Beat, Redneck Weddings.
“The Film Tax Credit put Illinois back on the film industry’s map and helped Illinois achieve record revenues of $155 million for 2007. I am pleased to bring together two generations of local filmmakers for this event today to highlight Illinois’ deep talent pool,” announced Governor Rod R. Blagojevich ─ flanked by actor/writer/producer/director Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters) and producer John W. Bosher (Chicago Overcoat, filmed entirely in Chicago). “By renewing the tax credit, we’re holding on to our competitive position and ensuring that filmmakers will continue coming here to make their movies,” Governor Blagojevich added.
In 2000, Illinois began suffering a mass exodus of film industry as other states began enacting film incentives. By 2003, the Illinois film industry had fallen to an all-time low of $23 million. In response, Governor Blagojevich enacted the Illinois Film Tax Credit. Since its passage, the film industry has rebounded dramatically. The film industry reached an all-time record in 2007. This represents the single best year in the state’s history, and an 80 percent increase over 2006. According to Ashley Cross of the Illinois Film Office, the Illinois Film Tax Credit has done a tremendous job bringing revenue and creating jobs in the state, by offering a 20 percent tax credit to filmmakers for money spent for Illinois goods and services. This includes wages paid to Illinois residents.
Recent productions include: Public Enemy, the Informant, Baby On Board, The Unborn, and the Dark Knight.
Currently grabbing the spotlight for offering the gigantic incentive of 40 percent is the state of Michigan. “That makes Michigan very attractive. It will be something that many will have to consider, and I think the people who spearheaded the legislation will see it become a huge success,” says producer Frank von Zerneck.
The most generous package of incentives includes 40 percent of a refundable and transferable business tax credit or a non-refundable, non-transferable income tax credit. There is a maximum benefit of 40 percent of direct production expenditures in some locations, and 42 percent of qualifying direct production expenditures in “core communities.” And 30 percent of qualified personnel expenditures or a 50 percent qualified job training expenditure credit for resident below-the-line crew.
The state offers a sizable crew base and the Michigan Film Office has an online production guide to assists filmmakers with every type of assistance ─ before and during a shoot. And let’s give Michigan credit for the “48 Hour Film Project” stunt, which has filmmakers from all over the Detroit area competing to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours during the weekend of July 18…pity the poor PAs!
Recent productions include: The Saint, Right Angle, Youth in Revolt, and the pilot The Prince of Motor City.
International Film Guarantors (IFG), a subsidiary of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, notes that in the past couple of years there has been a marked increase in completion guarantees in such states as New Mexico and Michigan ─ both of which offer large tax credits. Ironically, guarantees also go on in California, which does not offer such credits or benefits.
A spokesperson for the Santa Monica-based company, says a weak American dollar and the tax incentives have been the major factor in the business structure. In the past year, IFG has written completion bonds totaling more than $1 billion for films of all budget sizes, and even the IFG fee may be part of the qualified spend, where permitted. Website: www.IFGbonds.com
- << Prev