Competition among the states heats up

WISCONSIN

WHY: The Badger State’s new 25% refundable tax credit helped lure Michael Mann’s gangster epic “Public Enemies,” starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Other incentives include a 15% investors credit and 25% credit to videogame developers for new titles created in Wisconsin. Since incentives went into effect in January, regional film offices have launched in Green Bay and La Crosse to help with the expected increase in filmmakers shooting in the state.

BONUS: Partnership with Marcus Theaters offers distribution on 700 screens across the Midwest.

SHOT THERE: “Fort McCoy,” “Nephilim,” “NoNAMES”

HOT SPOT: Pulse Studios in Green Bay is set to unveil a new production facility by year’s end with a 20,000-square-foot soundstage, 2,500-square-foot greenscreen stage and full post facilities.

LINKS:

Film Wisconsin: filmwisconsin.net

Film Green Bay: filmgreenbay.com

NORTH CAROLINA

WHY: State’s 15% refundable tax credit for productions with a minimum in-state spend of $250,000 has been extended to Jan. 1, 2014. Also OK’d as a qualifying expense under the newly expanded tax credit law are any individual wages up to $1 million. (Before the change, if the wage reached $1 million, the entire compensation was excluded.) Further qualifying for the first time is the cost of production-related insurance coverage.

Other recent changes to North Carolina’s incentives include two new mandatory actions that productions must take: register with the NC Film Office and give the state an onscreen credit.

BONUS: North Carolina offers a 1% sales and use tax for in-state production-related purchases and rentals.

SHOT THERE: “Blood Done Sign My Name,” “Nights in Rodanthe,” “The Secret Life of Bees”

HOT SPOT: Wilmington-based EUE/Screen Gems broke ground Sept. 25 on Stage 10, a massive project that will create the third-largest soundstage in the world. The 37,500-square-foot, column-free stage is expected to be completed this coming spring and will feature a 60-foot-by-60-foot indoor water tank with a depth of 10.5 feet.

LINKS:

North Carolina Film Office: ncfilm.com

Wilmington Regional Film Commission: wilmington-film.com

CONNECTICUT

WHY: The Constitution State offers a 30% tax credit with a minimum in-state spend of $50,000. The only cap is a $15 million limit on above-the-line salaries. Last April the state legislature passed more incentives, including a $2.6 million film industry training program to strengthen the in-state workforce.

BONUS: The hotel tax is waived for productions staying more than 30 days.

SHOT THERE: “Righteous Kill,” “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,” “Rachel Getting Married”

HOT SPOT: Fox’s Blue Sky Studios is relocating to Greenwich from White Plains, N.Y., to take advantage of the state’s digital animation incentives.

LINKS:

Connecticut Commission of Culture and Tourism: ctfilm.com

New London Film Commission: filmnewlondon.com

New Milford Film Commission: filmnewmilfordct.com

LOUISIANA

WHY: Since 2002, Louisiana has offered transferable tax credits of 25% for in-state production expenditures and an additional 10% for employing Louisiana residents. Productions must spend a minimum of $300,000 to qualify, and there is no limit on the amount of tax credits that can be earned.

BONUS: While devastating hurricanes make the headlines, the state’s subtropical climate is able to accommodate year-round filming.

SHOT THERE: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “W.,” “True Blood”

HOT SPOT: The Celtic Media Center in Baton Rouge is nearing completion of a 28,000-square-foot stage with 70-foot ceilings. Seven Arts Pictures recently opened a post-production facility in New Orleans.

LINKS:

Louisiana Film and Television: lafilm.org

Louisiana Capital Film Commission: lacapfilm.com

New Orleans Office of Film and Video: filmneworleans.org

NEW YORK

WHY: This past April, the Empire State increased its refundable tax credit for below-the-line costs from 10% to 30%, which when combined with New York City’s 5% credit, provides a 35% incentive to qualified productions shooting in any of the five boroughs. Other revisions include an extension of the program to 2013 and a six-year increase of the credit cap from $60 million to $110 million.

BONUS: “Made in N.Y.” Discount Card provides at least a 10% discount from more than 800 participating vendors. The cards are available to use for the duration of the shoot.

SHOT THERE: “The Hungry Ghosts,” “Watching TV With the Red Chinese,” “7 to the Palace”

HOT SPOT: Steiner Studios is expanding its 15-acre media campus at the Brooklyn Navy Yard by renovating a 289,000-square-foot, seven-story World War II-era building. The renovation will double Steiner’s space to 600,000 square feet and is expected to bring an additional 550 jobs to the Navy Yard.

LINKS:

New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development: nylovesfilm.com

City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting: nyc.gov/film

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