California’s Hollywood and Burbank area has been the epicenter of movie and television production for decades, but the tide is beginning to turn. The economic downturn of the early 2000s forced cash-strapped states to look for new sources of income, and the movie industry became one of their targets.
P3Update.com reports that by 2010, 46 of the country’s states and territories had introduced tax incentives and other programs designed to woo film producers. These campaigns were successful, netting roughly $60 billion through video, television and movie productions.
Louisiana started the trend of offering tax incentives to lure film producers, and it continues to lead the way in innovation in this area. The state’s revenues from the film industry continue to grow and netted more than $674 million during the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Some of the more popular movies filmed there include “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” and “Green Lantern.” Although movies comprise the lion’s share of the revenue, there are a few television shows filmed there as well, including 1987’s “21 Jump Street” and 2010’s “Memphis Beat.”
Florida dropped in favor with film producers over the past few years due to the locations, tax credits and other programs offered by Louisiana, but the state is fighting back, attracting the productions of shows such as “The Glades” and “Burn Notice.” Georgia is a relative newcomer, with its tax incentive programs beginning in 2008. It is starting to see some success and was home to the productions of “Footloose” and “Wanderlust.”
New York City is no stranger to film, video and television productions, netting close to $5 billion in revenue each year. In 2010, New York City hosted more than 230 films and television series.
With its proximity to New York City, Connecticut has been able to establish itself as a less expensive option for film producers. Part of its success has been due to the structure of a tax incentive program that requires at least 50 percent of the film to be produced in the state or at least $1 million spent in post-production expenditures there to qualify. Several movies and television shows have been filmed in part or in whole in Connecticut, including “We the Peeples” and “Are We There Yet?”
Despite the number of large production houses in New Mexico, whether the state can continue to draw production crews remains to be seen. Its tax incentive programs were cut by Governor Martinez and then restored by the Senate with some caps in place. Because of this instability, it may be a few years before production crews begin to flock there again. Some of the more popular movies and shows filmed in New Mexico include “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Fright Night” and “Breaking Bad.”
The windy city of Chicago is home to a burgeoning film industry that drew over $160 million in revenue for the state in 2010, which was up more than 50 percent from the previous year. Illinois has been the stage for several popular films, including “Contagion” and “The Dilemma,” but it is quickly becoming the place for television pilots. Recent pilots filmed there include “Superman: Man of Steel” and Kelsey Grammar’s “Boss.” Like its neighbor, Michigan is also growing in popularity with both television and film producers.
Although Hollywood may have lost some of its luster, the movie production industry continues its love affair with the state, making it one of the country’s top contenders. Recent movies shot there include “Cinema Verite,” “Jackass 3D” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Although it has a long way to go to rival California, Utah is quickly becoming home to many production companies, with 65 film projects receiving state credits to film there since 2004.