Grand Rapids – Rapid Growth says that the recent Motion Picture Tax Incentives Package has begun the effort to attract more filmmakers to Michigan with a $7 million incentive fund offering rebates to cover up to 20% of production costs (details from the Michigan Film Office).
In this wide-ranging article, Deb Havens of the West Michigan Film Video Alliance (WMFVA) and Hopwood DePree of TicTock Studios (a Saugatuck Waterfront Film Festival co-founder) discuss many of the things that are being done – as well as those that still need to happen – to make Michigan a major film destination.
WMFVA has even established the West Michigan Film Commission Task Force to help coordinate activities and provide a structure for film industry growth, encourage local businesses to support filmmaking through incentives of their own and seeking assistance from Hollywood professionals with Michigan roots.
If all this energy seems excessive, consider this:
The impact of even a small production can be staggering for a small community. When the Hollywood blockbuster Road to Perdition, starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, shot in the Douglas-Saugatuck community a few years ago, more than 100 hotel rooms were booked in the surrounding area. Local production lasted only three days. But, when you factor in meals and other purchases, the film activity represented a significant boost to the local economy.
Read Silver Screen Dreams in Rapid Growth.