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Dark days for some film offices

Location drought reaches MA, OH

Budget cuts, closings and scandal have rendered some U.S. commission offices dark or, at least, dim. Massachusetts shuttered its doors on the heels of its Boston office closing last year and Ohio’s office was absorbed by its Division of Travel and Tourism. Cody Cluff vacated his office as prexy of the L.A. Entertainment Industry Development Corp. under the cloud of an investigation into the alleged misuse of $700,000 in public funds. Massachusetts’ Robin Dawson has since reorganized and plans to reopen a scaled-down office with private funding.

Even successful states such as North Carolina haven’t escaped. The State Film Office’s operating budget was cut from $500,000 to $375,000 for a third consecutive year. Additionally, its Triad Regional Film Commission closed last year and the Charlotte Film Commission lost half of its staff including its commissioner.

Undaunted, the No. 3 filmmaking state implemented an incentive for productions that spend at least $1 million to receive a cash rebate equal to 15% of those expenditures, up to $200,000.

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