The State of Florida movie industry has a historical past almost as long as movie-making itself. Over the years Southeast Florida (or the Miami area) has placed only behind California and New York in movie production. Then starting in the 1960s and since Orlando as well as Central Florida has grown to be among the true entertainment capitals of the world, which of course involves making movies. Within this commercial infrastructure you would undoubtedly think the State of Florida has to be a natural for making films.
Nothing is different in terms of Florida’s attractions to making motion pictures. Along with infrastructure, Florida weather conditions are great; shooting can happen with no setbacks year-round. Moreover making movies often calls for employing many part-time extras, and Florida has many retired or semi-retired individuals who can work from day to day. But most of the work done with films could be moved to anywhere in the country, and in many cases the world, and they will film wherever production expenditure is the lowest priced.
During the 1990’s film production began moving to other international locations, with Vancouver, Canada calling itself Hollywood North. In reply to this several states began offering incentives to entice film productions to their states. Such benefits include tax credits and exemptions as well as other perks. Some states, like Louisiana and Georgia to name a couple, have been extremely aggressive with their incentives. This has been at the expense of places which had been doing quite a lot of filming, like Florida and Tennessee.
All the arguments for granting these credits depend on your perspective, and studies for the financial benefits show differing levels of effectiveness. Plus of course subject to a person’s perspective they site the analysis that helps their point of view. But in Louisiana’s case they are obliged to hire a high percentage of a project’s talent to qualify for tax benefits. This helps to keep quite a few people within the state employed that may not be working.
An additional benefit for shooting in a particular locale is to showcase the area for its tourism attributes. A great number of the films produced in New Orleans have used the French Quarter or a Mardi gras parade as a backdrop. Which brings us to Florida, and due to the large numbers of visitors it draws in it might seem it will go the extra mile to exhibit its tourism attributes in films. But Florida has actually been rather indifferent in its approach to granting film incentives.
In 2010 the Florida legislature approved $269 million in incentive tax credits, which were meant to be enough to last a decade. But the rush by filmmakers to snap up these incentives saw them gone in 3 years, and since then Florida continues to be losing film business to the more competitive states, including Georgia. Needless to say lots of people think that those benefits are giving out tax money, but you have to invest in order to get a return. However if it is done properly, it seems like it should be something the State of Florida should be using more aggressively.
Places like south Florida are must-see if you vacation in the Sunshine State. Read more on our website whattoseeinflorida. Also, a place in this area of the country you may really enjoy is Key West. Click here to read more. Jim O’Connell is a writer who loves to travel.