Florida laments lack of Hollywood appeal as filming incentive boost is denied
Florida’s production industry is concerned about the state’s lack of big-budget Hollywood appeal since the latest efforts to boost the filming incentive failed last week. Movies like Dolphin Tale and its sequel have been successes but Florida’s filmmaking future is uncertain.
For the past couple of years Florida has technically had a filming incentive in place. However, the fund originally set aside for it was intended for use over several years and was rapidly allocated back in 2010.
The state’s production industry has spent the past three years campaigning for more money, but the request has again been denied by lawmakers.
“We have spent several years educating legislators about the need to level the playing field for Florida’s entertainment businesses to compete with the companies in other states,” said Michelle Hillery, President of Film Florida.
“The industry is not asking for excessive support; it is seeking a resuscitation of a proven, conservative programme that will restore Florida to the elite few states in the industry, and back on the path of being a global hub for entertainment production.”
Added Dale Gordon, Executive Director of the Tampa Hillsborough Film & Digital Media Commission: “[Local film commissions] need the state to do its share by funding an incentive so we can compete against Georgia, Louisiana and others who are actively poaching our cast, crew and infrastructure with robust incentives.”
Bryan Cranston’s new thriller The Infiltrator is set in Florida but filmed only a few scenes in the Tampa area using a small regional filming incentive.
Georgia will likely stay as the main production hub in the southern US for the foreseeable future, with competition from Louisiana.
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