My Concentrate Media story on the legacy of Michigan’s film incentives

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Ann Arbor filmmaker Donald Harrison. (Photo by Doug Coombe)

Michigan’s film incentives program – which former Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law in April 2008, and current Republican Governor Rick Snyder scaled back by applying a cap of $25 million in 2011 (before halting the program altogether in 2015) – played the role of political football from the get-go.

Supporters argued that the state had to focus on the long-term revenue potential, and get ourselves on Hollywood’s radar (by way of an aggressive 40 percent rebate for film production companies), before we’d see a significant return on our investment. Critics argued the rebates-to-revenue ratio would never tip in Michigan’s favor, and that the longer we stayed on the film incentives path, the more money the state would stand to lose.

In the end, when Snyder was voted into office, the program’s critics won the day, and the program started being phased out. Indeed, the recently released Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was among the last Hollywood productions to be filmed in Michigan, drawn to the Mitten State by incentives.

So now that the film incentives program appears in our collective rearview, it’s a fair time to ask local filmmakers: What legacy, if any, did they leave behind? READ THE REST HERE


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