Sunday, May 03, 2009

Getting Hollywood to Memphis

Interesting story here on filmmaking in Memphis - ranked high as a good city to film in - from

For those who toil within Memphis' economic development sector, the impressive ranking can be summarized in two words: local incentives. For example, Memphis officials offered an incentive package valued at $500,000 (in real estate and storage space), which helped entice the production company involved with the 2004 Walk the Line filming effort to choose the Bluff City over Shreveport.

"Although our incentives on the state level can be competitive, [the state] cannot offer all of the benefits of some of the other states' incentives," says Sharon Fox O'Guin, deputy commissioner of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission (MSCFTC). O'Guinn and MSCFTC Commissioner Linn Sitler, who oversees Memphis/Shelby County incentives efforts, have a combined 45 years of film industry experience. "That is where our local government has really stepped up and offered the wage refund program that not only allows a monetary incentive to outside productions, but trains the local crew to help them move up the ladder in the production world."

With the wage refund program, filmmakers can receive a state filming incentive consisting of a 32% cash refund of qualified in-state spending, as well as a city/county filming incentive of a 50% cash refund of wages of qualified local crew trainees.

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