Massachusetts Booming from Film Tax Credits

Posted: September 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


...by Warren Kirshenbaum

The Commonwealth has seen improvement in movie production numbers ever since the 25% movie tax credit (no annual or per-project cap, with sales exemptions for qualifying productions) was instituted in 2006. Nearly 40 films were shot here in the ensuing years.

The renaissance may have already begun: The Ryan Reynolds movie "R.I.P.D.," which shot in 2011, was the state's biggest-ever production, employing 950 crew and 3,300 extras, with a total spend of $108 million. Last year's total direct spend was $222 million.

But there's still work to be done.
 
For a long time, locations were pretty much all that the state had to offer, and there were no traditional stages set up for production. Public TV's WGBH has had small facilities in Allston and Brighton over the years, but they were of little use to TV series or large film productions. Retrofit situations and warehouses aside, Massachusetts has been thirsty for soundstages for years.

"Having stages would afford the opportunity to mount a film production in the wintertime," executiveproducer Barry Bernardi says. "Having a physical plant would be a great thing."

Fortunately, that's likely to happen now that construction has begun on New England Studios. The large Devens-based complex is expected to be open for business by next summer.

Reflecting the expansion of production in Massachusetts, the membership of IATSE Local 481 -- the union that represents film technicians and craftspeople in New England -- has nearly tripled since 2006, the year the state tax incentive went into effect.
 
"It's safe to assume (it) grew dramatically because the film tax credit incentive generated a lot of work," says Chris O'Donnell, the local's business manager. Growth will continue because "we have a very experienced and talented crew base and great locations."

For information on movie tax credits, the process and how to apply, contact the Cherrytree Group.

Original Article appeared in Variety




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