Alaska funds film crew training and makes moves to extend filming incentive
Lawmakers in Alaska have launched a grant scheme to fund local crew training, while also making moves to extend the state’s incentive programme. Despite hardly lacking in topographical wonders, Alaska’s been a relative newcomer when it comes to attracting outside film interest.
Until recently Alaska was more popular as a setting than as an actual filming location, with places as leftfield as Massachusetts acting as a double. Now it offers tax credits worth as much as 44%. This scheme was recently granted a ten-year extension by the state Senate, although it still needs approval from the House Finance Committee.
In 2010 Everybody Loves Whales became the first major project to film in Alaska, although the production shone a spotlight on the relative lack of local crew as the shoot soaked up practically every trained professional in the state. Lawmakers have now announced a grant of nearly USD490,000 to help train Alaskans interested in entering the film industry, which appears to be a timely response.
Our film and television workforce is still developing. If we don’t develop our crew, Alaska may lose business due to our inability to staff multiple projects.
Senator Johnny Ellis
David Greathouse, a Producer with Warp Entertainment, said: “Production companies want to hire Alaskans. They don’t want to pay travel and per diem costs. Building an Alaskan workforce aligns Alaska’s economic interests with production companies and it ensures that more Alaskans are put to work.”
Senator Johnny Ellis added: “Our film and television workforce is still developing. If we don’t develop our crew, Alaska may lose business due to our inability to staff multiple projects.”
Some Alaskan politicians have been cautious about supporting the incentive scheme. Actor Ted Danson criticised the state’s offshore drilling policies while he was involved with Everybody Loves Whales and some lawmakers are wary of drawing negative publicity for Alaska’s core industries.
Global Filming Incentive - United States of America (see more…)
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