Written by on Aug 14, 2015. Posted in Incentive News

Pittsburgh urged to develop more film studios and commit to long-term incentive

A new report has urged Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania to expand its studio infrastructure and commit to a long-term filming incentive. Productions recently shot in the city include TV drama Banshee and Vin Diesel’s supernatural action movie The Last Witch Hunter.

The report from California think tank The Milken Institute also urges the city to ensure its growing crew pool stays local and doesn't relocate elsewhere in the US.

“For Pittsburgh to consistently lure movie and television projects, it must have sufficient capacity to house and support a number of productions year-round, and not just when the weather is good,” the report states.

“This means multiple soundstages and vendors to provide services throughout the productions. Although Pittsburgh has the core of this capacity, it pales in comparison to rivals.”

On the subject of filming incentives, the report concludes: “Ensure political support and long-term commitment to film incentives. Sustained investment in retaining human capital and building infrastructure requires a stable commitment to film production incentives.”

Pennsylvania offers a generous 25% filming incentive with a fund of USD 60 million a year. The state’s production industry has persistently tried to increase the annual fund, while committing several years of funding to the programme would increase the state’s Hollywood appeal. High-end TV shows would also be easier to attract.

“This issue requires a concerted effort on the part of businesses, educational institutions and organisations, led by the Pittsburgh Film Office, to influence policy and restructure the incentives program so that production companies can anticipate costs in a reliable way,” the report adds.

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