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Film Incentives driving film growth in Georgia, FSU Film School Dean to leave

November 28th, 2016 by Mike Vasilinda

Remember Flipper? Or Miami Vice? Florida used to be the place to film…But now as Mike Vasilinda tells us, few movies are filmed here because the state doesn’t offer filmmakers any incentives.

The sign at the state line says Florida is “Open for Business”, but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to making movies.

“Steam it live or on demand” says a promotion for MacGyver, shot in Georgia.

Hundreds of Florida film professionals are leaving the sunshine state for  Georgia. That’s because Georgia offers filmmakers a 20% rebate of everything they spend.

The result: Suburban Atlanta now boasts one of the largest film complex in the country. Pinewood Atlantas has hired FSU Film School Dean Frank Patterson to be it’s President.

“The film industry has had a six billion dollar impact last year on the state of Georgia.  And it’s just fifteen minutes north of here, the film school, for my students to go to” says the FSU dean, who will remain on the film school faculty when he takes over Pinewood in January.

Florida used to play in film. 250 million was set aside in 2011, but it was quickly gobbled up.In one of the few studies of film credits in Florida, a University of West Florida economist found that for every dollar it put up, it got a dollar forty four back in tax revenue.

But Florida isn’t going to be funding film anytime soon. Newly elevated House Speaker Richard Corcoran is a vocal critic of corporate welfare, including film incentives.
“It is a horrible, horrible use of taxpayers dollars and there is no return on investment.  And as a person who is finally charged with protecting the taxpayers money, I’m not going to waste it by giving it to Hollywood producers. They can go elsewhere if they want to, but the reality is Florida is Florida” says Corcoran.

Case in point:; Moonlight, In theaters now. Shot in Miami, but its budget…just five million.

The New speaker says better schools and infrastructure will still attract quality companies and films. Florida is one of the few states not offering film incentives.

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