Saturday, August 13, 2022

Play

Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.

Play

Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Ohio Film Industry Leaders Call for More Investment

Play

Friday, July 22, 2022   

By Andrew Kuder / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration

According to data from the Ohio Film Office, film productions in Ohio have received more than $164 million in tax credits since 2010. Now, some film-industry leaders are calling for even more investment in the sector.

"We've had relative success for the limited resources that we have," said Bill Garvey, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission. "We've built a pretty robust business, but we could be so much more."

Over the past decade, Ohio has served as the location for various film projects. These range from commercials and short films to big-budget blockbusters like "The Avengers".

But according to Garvey, states like New Mexico and Louisiana have a tax incentive cap of at least $100 million, and Georgia has no cap at all. Ohio, on the other hand, has a cap of $40 million.

This means that, compared to other states, Ohio is not spending as much money on getting movie studios to film in the state.

"When you're talking $4 billion directly spent from production filming in Georgia, we want that," Garvey said.

Garvey has only been with the Cleveland Film Commission for six months, but before then, he already had plenty of experience working on movie sets. "In the last 13 years, I have worked exclusively in Ohio on movies, so I know how great we can be," he said. Now he's overseeing new projects in Cleveland, like a LeBron James biopic.

The state should invest more in film production, Garvey argued, because of the way it positively affects local businesses.

"The amount of work that it produces and the amount of revenue it produces to local businesses is unreal," said casting director Angela Boehm.

For almost a decade, Boehm has helped cast productions in Cleveland, from big-budget Marvel movies to short films and commercials. Along the way, she's seen how much businesses can benefit from film productions.

"[The producers and directors] take us to a local restaurant, or they get us Indians tickets, or they rent out the Rock Hall for a wrap party," she said. "Sometimes they get their clothes in from L.A. in costume trucks, but a lot of times they're shopping locally."

Cincinnati, Columbus and other parts of the state also see local film and TV productions.

John Daugherty,executive director of the Greater Columbus Film Commission, said that while Cleveland has the upper hand over Columbus when it comes to attracting movie studios, the whole state is learning from its success.

"The Cleveland Film Commission's been around a lot longer than we have, so they have a bigger crew base," he said. "The bigger the crew base, the more productions are going to go your way."

Cleveland's geography can also be more attractive to filmmakers. "It's easy for Cleveland to double for New York City sometimes, with some of their old bridges and old areas and things like that," Daugherty said.

Film commissions across the state try to work for the benefit of Ohio as a whole, though. "Bill [Garvey] and I have always talked about, the better we all do and the more we can work together, it's better for the whole state," Daugherty said.

In recent months, Ohio's Legislature has pursued anti-LGBT and anti-abortion laws. A similar situation happened in Georgia when that state put new restrictions on mail-in voting and vote counting in March 2021. In response, many filmmakers and actors called for boycotting film productions in the state. Daugherty is worried that the same could happen in Ohio.

"Some of these things could hurt business in the long run," he said, "not only in the film industry, but all business."

Despite these setbacks, Garvey and Daugherty still remain optimistic for the future of Ohio's film industry. Right now, they're working on getting House Bill 599 passed, which would expand Ohio's film tax program. The legislation would create new tax credits for constructing new film sets and hiring crew members and students. The state would be allowed to issue more of these tax credits every year, topping out at $20 million in 2028.

"I think if we were able to up that incentive, it would mean a world of difference for us in Cleveland," Boehm said. "Not just for those in the film industry, but for those who support the film industry."

If HB 599 passes, it could further demonstrate the potential of Ohio as a center of filmmaking. "There's a lot to like here, and a lot that Ohio can leverage to be successful in this business," Garvey said.


This collaboration is produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


get more stories like this via email
Since the 2020 election, at least 19 states have passed 34 laws restrict­ing access to voting, according to the Brennan Center For Justice. (Orlowiski Designs/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…


Social Issues

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

Social Issues

Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…


While there are continued disparities, an annual report says Minnesota has seen progress in elevating kids out of poverty, with 12% of children falling into that category. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…

Social Issues

Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …

Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…

Environment

A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021