In 2008 Michigan implemented tax incentives for film making in the state giving Production companies 42% for filming in Michigan. From 2008 until 2012, 85 major motion pictures went into production, which led to positive economic growth and employment for the filmmakers in the area. Starting off there were 1,663 available jobs, with an estimate of over 6,000 jobs coming in the near future. This opened up the possibilities of creating great opportunities for Detroit who suffered from all time high unemployment rates at 15%, giving Michigan hopes for a turn around.
The city budgeted themselves accordingly in order to invest in infrastructures that would house soundstages, editing rooms, production sets, and any other use the companies may have had this would’ve involved the former plant of General Motors in Pontiac, Michigan and the Detroit Center Studious in downtown Detroit. The investment would’ve meant investing $156 million in property to officially establish a home for the film companies within the following year.
However, when the Governor of Michigan signed a bill ending film incentives in 2011 (which also carried through 2015) it led to a decline in all theses figures and after a few years and over 80 films leaving Michigan filmmakers high and dry. Lots of surrounding businesses and locals suffered the consequences of not being able to work in the film industry as a result.
As of now, governor of Georgia just announced they’re expected to make $6 billion from their film industry and their new incentives. With this information, it is important to understand how to take advantage of the opportunity once it’s presented before you. Production companies have began to migrate to states such as Kentucky, California, Kansas City and Missouri have expanded their tax credit from 20 percent to 30-35 percent of qualified generation costs. Simply put, indie filmmakers need to understand these cost, percentages and benefits to increase their chances of success in the film industry.