Thompson agrees that filmmakers of color would be attracted to the deal. “Atlanta, especially, has been a leader in this area over the decades, helping support and foster the careers of filmmakers like Spike Lee (40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks Inc.), Will Packer and Rob Hardy (Rainforest Films, Stomp the Yard), Tyler Perry (the Madea series, House of Payne), Dallas Austin (ATL, Drumline) and many more,” he says.
“Georgia’s new entertainment incentives will create new opportunities for all filmmakers and generate a significant increase in the amount of productions within the state,” he adds. “We also expect to see more startup film, television, and video game companies, growth and expansion of existing companies, and other companies looking to relocate to Georgia due, in part, to the new incentives package.”
The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment office is busy getting the word out to clients in Hollywood and elsewhere. “We make several trips to California each year, meet with clients and prospects at an annual trade show, utilize e-mail, direct mail, advertising, and phone calls to keep our clients abreast of any new developments in Georgia,” Thompson says.
Something must be working. Georgia has already been dubbed by industry insiders as “Hollywood South.”
EST STATE DEALS FOR FILMMAKERS
As of 2006, the Connecticut General Assembly established a tax credit program to encourage the production of digital media and motion pictures in the state. Eligible production companies can receive a tax credit of up to 30% of qualified digital media and motion picture production, pre-production, and post production expenses incurred.
The state offers a 15%-20% motion picture, digital media, and film production income tax credit. This is a refundable tax credit based on a production company’s Hawaii expenditures while producing a qualified film, television, commercial, or digital media project. The credit equals 15% of qualified production costs incurred on Oahu, and 20% on neighbor islands including Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, and Molokai.
The state’s tax credit consists of 20% of Illinois production spending for a taxable year and a 20% credit on Illinois salaries up to $100,000 per worker. The tax credit eligibility is $50,000 in Illinois production spend for a project 29 minutes or less in length, and $100,000 in spend for a project more than 30 minutes long. Qualified Illinois production spending includes tangible personal property and services purchased from Illinois vendors and compensation paid to Illinois resident employees (up to a maximum of $100,000 for a single employee).
Studios, major producers, and filmmakers who shoot at least half of their movie or spend at least half of their production budget in the Commonwealth, are eligible for a tax credit equal to 25% of total spend. This includes salaries over $1 million. There are No caps. No limits. No pre-authorization. No pre-certification. Beginning with the start of pre-production and continuing for a period of 12 months, filmmakers will be eligible for 100% sales tax exemption on any production related items purchased