Written by on Nov 21, 2014. Posted in Incentive News

Virginia reports production boost as Maryland study urges filming incentive axe

Location filming in Virginia got a boost in 2013 with TV dramas like TURN: Washington’s Spies, according to the Governor’s Office. In contrast, a report published in neighbouring Maryland has urged the cancellation of the state’s filming incentive.

Production spending in Virginia increased 16% year-on-year, rising from USD 328 million in 2012 to USD 382 million in 2013.

Virginia doubled for New York State in TURN: Washington’s Spies, which is inspired by the true story of a spy ring that served George Washington’s army during the Revolutionary War of the 1770s. A second series is scheduled to film next year.

In 2013, Virginia also hosted the National Geographic Channel TV series Killing Kennedy. So far this year, productions shot in the state include the pilot for American Civil War series Point of Honor and Meg Ryan’s feature film Ithaca, which doubled Virginia for California.

“We are particularly interested in continuing to bring episodic television series to Virginia,” said Andy Edmunds, Director of the Virginia Film Office: “These productions stay longer, hire more Virginians, and provide a greater impact on the economy. With the support of the Governor and the General Assembly, I believe that TURN: Washington’s Spies will be the first of many major TV series that will choose Virginia.”

The state offers a base 20% filming incentive and grants are available from the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund.

North across the Potomac, Maryland authorities are facing calls to end the state filming incentive, which is worth up to 27% of qualifying spend for TV series. A new report has questioned the cost of the programme and criticised the lack of long-term job creation.

We are particularly interested in continuing to bring episodic television series to Virginia.

Andy Edmunds, Virginia Film Office

Maryland has hosted comedy series Veep and the political drama House of Cards for several years, and the state has paid out some USD 60 million in filming tax credits over the past two years.

Maryland sharply reduced its film fund this year and faced long negotiations to keep House of Cards filming in Baltimore. The criticisms in the new report are likely to create new uncertainties for the future of the state’s production industry.

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