Written by New Contact on May 8, 2012. Posted in Production News

Filming incentives and location flexibility won Marvel’s Avengers for Ohio

Filming incentives and flexibility with shoot locations were the main reasons why Marvel’s Avengers Assemble doubled Cleveland, Ohio, for New York City in the summer of 2011. The film - which now boasts the biggest cinema opening in history - is a huge boost for Ohio.

Marvel and parent company Disney originally planned a Michigan shoot for Avengers Assemble, as they had filmed there before and at the time the state still offered one of the most generous filming incentive programmes in the US. This all changed very quickly when the future of Michigan’s programme suddenly came into doubt.

Ivan Schwarz is Executive Director of Greater Cleveland Film Commission: “Michigan announced uncertainty over their incentives on a Wednesday and the next day I got a call to come and meet Marvel and Disney in Los Angeles. It was very fast. They wanted to know what incentive options Ohio could offer and how that process worked.”

Having access to large sections of Cleveland for some ten months - around three months of which was set construction before filming began - was a major element of the shoot and one of the principal reasons why New York itself wasn’t a feasible option.

The incentive was the first question. Incentives are everything. You can deliver the best servicing, but if you don’t have incentives you don’t have a movie.

Ivan Schwarz, Greater Cleveland Film Commission

Schwarz adds: “They closed down three sections of Downtown Cleveland and needed access and complete control of these areas 24 hours a day; we were the only city that could deliver that flexibility. But the incentive was the first question. Incentives are everything. You can deliver the best servicing, but if you don’t have incentives you don’t have a movie.”

The commission enjoyed a collaborative relationship with Marvel and Disney throughout the film’s stay in the city that Schwarz says is not necessarily typical of the industry. The state is currently campaigning to have its 25% tax credit renewed with an annual film fund doubled to USD20 million.

(Still photo: Marvel)

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