Written by on Jan 30, 2015. Posted in Incentive News

Lawmakers push for filming incentives in Washington DC

Lawmakers in Washington, DC, are pushing to introduce local filming incentives. The city is a popular setting for TV productions like House of Cards, Veep and Scandal, but high-profile shows typically only spend a couple of days in the actual city to film establishing shots.

A lack of filming incentives is an issue in Washington, but local bureaucracy is also a major stumbling block.

Two Council members are specifically calling for changes to the way the iconic Pennsylvania Avenue is managed, reports NBC Washington.

Pennsylvania Avenue links the United States Capitol building and the White House. It’s a popular production setting but getting permission to film there is difficult as the street and the pavements are controlled by separate organisations.

"So, you have everybody in charge, which means what? Nobody's in charge," Council member Jack Evans told the outlet.

Maryland is a common stand-in for Washington, mainly because of its filming tax credit that’s worth up to 25%. Baltimore is the filming location for both House of Cards and Veep, while Scandal and crime drama NCIS double Los Angeles for Washington.

The formal film fund in Maryland is actually worth less than USD 10 million a year but a special deal was made to keep House of Cards in Baltimore for its upcoming third season.

Filming incentives are a controversial subject in the US. Lawmakers frequently disagree about how much money should be offered to producers and the extent to which local communities truly benefit.

New York, Atlanta and New Orleans are three of the top production hubs in the US. Los Angeles is looking to rebuild its big-budget appeal with an incentive overhaul in the coming months.


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