How Atlanta became the World’s fastest growing Film Production Centre

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According to Georgia’s Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, 245 film and TV productions were shot in Georgia during fiscal year 2016 (between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016). Those productions spent $2.02 billion during that time and generated an economic impact of $7.2 billion. (Much of the state’s production is located in and around Atlanta.) That’s double from just three years earlier, in fiscal year 2013, when 142 movies and TV projects were filmed in the state, spending $933.9 million with an economic impact of $3.3 billion. (A decade earlier, in fiscal year 2007, the total value of all 48 production budgets was just $93.1 million, which helped generate an economic impact of $241.5 million.) Georgia’s film and TV industry is now third in the nation, behind only California and New York.

Full story at Adweek

But if you want to know HOW that happened, listen to Lee Thomas’ Ted Talk….

Michigan loves Oogieloves

I was struck by the ner-ner-ner tone of the following headline:

Michigan-made film that received $3.9 million in incentives becomes biggest box office flop in history

The article is talking of course about the movie “The Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure,” which shot in Michigan in 2009 on receipt of a Film Incentive approval, but made just $443,901 in its opening weekend – apparently the lowest gross ever for a film released at more than 2,000 theaters. Honestly, fewer people saw this that The Innocence of Muslims.

My Father always said Continue reading “Michigan loves Oogieloves”

Over in Colorado…..

Patricia Calhoun on Denver’s fab Westword blog site gives a list of the best movies shot in Colorado. It’s a good list. But what it really hammers home is that there has been very little production in Colorado since around the mid-2000’s, which is when competitive Film Incentives – or Colorado’s lack of them – really began to bite.

Since then, Colorado’s tremendous crews, talent, equipment and locations have not been able to trump the allure of other States’ incentive programs. To illustrate, all of the films listed below (total production budgets +/-$300 million), with given Colorado locations, filmed elsewhere:

Read on:

Continue reading “Over in Colorado…..”

Bailout or Bust – Film Incentives under threat

There’s an interesting article on the new pressure on Film Incentives (or “Bail-outs for Hollywood,” if you’re on the other side of the aisle) in todays International Herald Tribune.

Tax credits for Hollywood were recently expanded in Florida and North Carolina but are under fresh scrutiny in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and New Mexico, all of which have new Republican governors reviewing film subsidy programs that were begun under Democratic predecessors.

No big spender has yet pulled out of the subsidy business, though Arizona, Iowa and Kansas have suspended or dropped their relatively small programs. In Missouri, meanwhile, a bipartisan review of all the state’s tax credits recommended that a film incentive be dropped…

Even New Mexico – which has arguably scored just about as big as anyone from their aggressive offering (really, does anyone actually think it’d have become so meteorically successful otherwise?) – is talking seriously about ditching their program.

Now, I’m no great fan of incentives which I think catapult participating territories into a bidding game that will only end when we’re agreeing to pay in full for movies that shoot in our homelands. But incentives have shown, time and time again, that they do actually work, stimulating jobs and direct local spend – at least in the short term. But in the current economic climate there’s really a horrid sense of inevitability to this discussion that doesn’t bode well for Hollywood.

Let Me In

Whilst on the subject of remakes, the US version of the creepy Swedish chiller “Let the Right One In” is also nearing our screens. Made by the same guy who made Cloverfield, it was originally slated to shoot in beloved Colorado, but ended instead in incentives-rich New Mexico. Clearly understanding the maxim that “No Publicity is Bad Publicity”, the host town of Los Alamos has even allowed itself to be named in a movie that features (if the original was anything to go by) alcoholism, child abuse, bullying, pedophilia, poverty and gangs – let alone the small problem of Vampires in their midst. In the spirit of July 4th, I shall be generous and allow that Americans may be able to pull off English language versions of good foreign movies (even if Death at a Funeral sometimes proves they don’t even get the English bit right). The trailer looks like it rocks.