Pittsburgh to open new film studio
Island Studios in Pittsburgh is developing a new movie studio. The complex will be Pennsylvania’s first purpose-built filming facility, offering a 75,000-square-foot soundproofed stage and accompanying office space. High-profile productions shot in the city in recent years include Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.
“Many of us have seen the films that have helped show the world the majesty and character of Pennsylvania,” said Governor Tom Corbett: “When completed this project will help make Pittsburgh a national leader in film production and bring more jobs, more economic growth, and more attention to a city with undeniable character.”
Pittsburgh is a popular filming location for US shoots and has recently hosted Russell Crowe’s family drama Fathers and Daughters, Jake Gyllenhaal’s boxing movie Southpaw and the critically-acclaimed wrestling drama Foxcatcher. The city stood in for Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises.
Pennsylvania’s popularity is partly due to its 25% filming incentive, although a USD 60 million cap on the state’s annual film fund is seen as a major limitation curbing the industry’s expansion. The state’s production industry is engaged in a long-term campaign to have the cap removed altogether as the USD 60 million figure is usually rapidly allocated, leaving the state unable to support additional shoots.
Annual caps are a controversial element of many state filming incentives in the US. California has had a USD 100 million cap for the past few years but will be boosting this figure to USD 330 million from 2015. Louisiana has become a top production hub partly because of an uncapped incentive, while New York is also a major filming location with a USD 420 million annual cap.
(Image: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc and Legendary Pictures)
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