By: Lori T. Williams, Owner/Managing Attorney of Your Legal Resource, PLLC
I was a bit surprised by the renewed interest in film making in Michigan, since the tax incentive cuts seemed to put an end to that industry in 2011. Director Sam Raimi, a former Metro Detroiter, enjoyed $40 million in film incentives for making Oz The Great & Powerful in Michigan. His personal interest in our community also helped entice him to make his movie here. His project employed 683 from Michigan, including grips, woodworkers, plasterers, carpenters, film artisans, cameramen, lighting technicians, etc. According to Raimi, Michigan has everything you need for film making. Click here for more information about the movie and why Raimi chose Michigan.
Last month, the Michigan Film Office approved Need for Speed for a film incentive. Click here to read the press release. All the details on what’s involved with Michigan film incentives these days can be found here.
Although the film office director spoke at The Sundance Film Festival about the Michigan incentives, others are skeptical about its allure. See also: When Hollywood Comes to Town, Michigan Film Industry Rises and Falls as Tax Credits Come and Go.
The current problem is the uncertainty in the amount of incentives available. Snyder’s latest budget proposal is to slash the incentives 50%, from $50 million film credits cap back to $25 million like it was in 2011. See Michigan, film industry reels over Snyder’s budget proposal. Snyder views the incentives as subsidies that take money away from vital programs like education and public safety. While that is a valid argument, movie producers feel the rug is being pulled out from underneath them as the industry started to perk up again last year.
Hopefully, a solution will be found this year that both retains the funds necessary for education and public safety, and which continues to attract business to Michigan from the film industry and other industries.
Lori T. Williams is a 23 year attorney based in Birmingham, MI. She owns a legal referral and legal consulting business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC. She assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation by connecting them with the right legal specialist for their situation. She also provides consulting services for attorneys and other professional service providers on how to generate more business through effective branding, marketing, networking, and by creating strategic partnerships. For more information, visit www.bestlegalresource.com.