February 21, 2008

Michigan to pile on incentives to lure filmmakers

San Francisco Chronicle
With its striking visual images - urban landscapes, sandy shorelines, northern forests, lush vineyards, the Great Lakes - Michigan could be a film studio's dream. But in the end, decisions on where to shoot featured scenes are about the bottom line.

And Michigan long ago lost its competitive edge when other states started offering better deals in terms of incentives.

Now, state lawmakers and Gov. Jennifer Granholm are looking at increasing the size of rebates and adding other incentives to leapfrog Michigan ahead of states such as Louisiana, New Mexico and Connecticut.

Michigan offers a sliding-scale rebate of up to 20 percent to production companies that shoot movies, TV shows and commercials in the state. But that no longer carries the cachet it once did, film industry insiders say.

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