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STATE FILM SUBSIDIES: NOT MUCH BANG FOR TOO MANY BUCKS


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#1 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:43 PM

Subsidy report

by Robert Tannenwald
Like a Hollywood fantasy, claims that tax subsidies for film and TV productions — which nearly
every state has adopted in recent years — are cost-effective tools of job and income creation are
more fiction than fact. In the harsh light of reality, film subsidies offer little bang for the buck.
 State film subsidies are costly to states and generous to movie producers. Today, 43
states offer them, compared to only a handful in 2002. Over the course of state fiscal year 2010
(FY2010), states committed about $1.5 billion to subsidizing film and TV production (see
Appendix Table 1) — money that they otherwise could have spent on public services like
education, health care, public safety, and infrastructure.
The median state gives producers a subsidy worth 25 cents for every dollar of subsidized
production expense. The most lucrative tax subsidies are Alaska’s and Michigan’s, 44 cents and
42 cents on the dollar, respectively. Moreover, special rules allow film companies to claim a
very large credit even if they lose money— as many do.
 Subsidies reward companies for production that they might have done anyway. Some
makers of movie and TV shows have close, long-standing relationships with particular states.
Had those states not introduced or expanded film subsidies, most such producers would have
continued to work in the state anyway. But there is no practical way for a state to limit
subsidies only to productions that otherwise would not have happened.
 The best jobs go to non-residents. The work force at most sites outside of Los Angeles and
New York City lacks the specialized skills producers need to shoot a film. Consequently,
producers import scarce, highly paid talent from other states. Jobs for in-state residents tend to
be spotty, part-time, and relatively low-paying work — hair dressing, security, carpentry,
sanitation, moving, storage, and catering — that is unlikely to build the foundations of strong
economic development in the long term.
 Subsidies don’t pay for themselves. The revenue generated by economic activity induced by
film subsidies falls far short of the subsidies’ direct costs to the state. To balance its budget, the
state must therefore cut spending or raise revenues elsewhere, dampening the subsidies’ positive
economic impact.
820 First Street NE, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: 202-408-1080
Fax: 202-408-1056
center@cbpp.org
www.cbpp.org
2
 No state can “win” the film subsidy war. Film subsidies are sometimes described as an
“investment” that will pay off by creating a long-lasting industry. This strategy is dubious at
best. Even Louisiana and New Mexico — the two states most often cited as exemplars of
successful industry-building strategies — are finding it hard to hold on to the production that
they have lured. The film industry is inherently risky and therefore dependent on subsidies.
Consequently, the competition from other states is fierce, which suggests that states might
better spend their money in other ways.
 Supporters of subsidies rely on flawed studies. The film industry and some state film
offices have undertaken or commissioned biased studies concluding that film subsidies are
highly cost-effective drivers of economic activity. The most careful, objective studies find just
the opposite.
Given these problems, states would be better served by eliminating, or at least shrinking, film
subsidies and using the freed-up revenue to maintain vital public services and pursue more costeffective
development strategies, such as investment in education, job training, and infrastructure.
Effective public support of economic development may not be glamorous. However, at its best, it
creates lasting benefits for residents from all walks of life.
State governments cannot afford to fritter away scarce public funds on film subsidies, or, for that
matter, any other wasteful tax break. On the contrary, policymakers should broaden the base of
their taxes to create a fairer and more neutral tax system.


Read the entire report at http://www.cbpp.org/...11-17-10sfp.pdf
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 03:55 PM

Even without subsidies, the cost of living in NYC and LA drive higher wages in those areas, even without subsidies.

If you didn't LIVE in one of them, you would probably have the opposite take, Brian. Are you not capable of being objective with a matter that involves your personal livelihood?
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:24 PM

Film production in New Mexico is in big trouble. Gov Richardson is out in January and the honeymoon is definitely over. The newly- elected (Republican) NM Governor campaigned hard against movie company tax credits. The state legislature also has been trying to get rid of them for a while. So the writing is on the wall: things are not good now in NM film production wise, but after 1/11 things are gonna look even more dire. I imagine film production will taper off to the 1 or 2 film productions per year that would set up shop in the state before the boom.

With some multi-million infrastructure built at the height of the boom now sitting idle and at the verge of (or in) foreclosure, it is clear that people grossly overestimated the commitment of film productions to the state. Some other states that didn't gamble as heavily as hard as NM did, will be a lot better off. Those who didn't are now paying a heavier price.

I hate to be cynical, but I simply couldn't imagine hard nosed Hollywood film producers committing or investing long term anywhere when history has shown repeatedly that since the late 80s they are constantly looking for the best bottom-line deal they can get, be it in California, NM, Canada or elsewhere out in the world. The days of filming solely in one given place for long periods of time seem to be over, for better or for worse.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:42 PM

Hmm, I wonder if this will affect "Breaking Bad." Are there any other TV shows shot in NM, Saul?
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:28 PM

Well Brian you've posted this type of stuff on numerous occasions, and I for one see many areas of flawed logic made by the author here.

If the US states want to get rid of all their film tax credits...fine with all of us here North of the border, it just means that a whole lot more work will come to Canada. Certainly no one here will complain. There's no indication at all that the film tax credit system is going any where in Canada. We still have a federal tax credit that is effective in all regions of Canada plus the provincial programs, the biggest being in Quebec, Ontario, and BC. None of those three provinces have given any indication they wish to cancel their tax credit systems.

It was clear to most of us in Canada that when US states decided to copy the Canadian program that it would never last. New York and Iowa already threw in the towel.

So I for one say to the USA, Cancel! Cancel! Cancel! Hell I'll come down there and help your campaign Brian, we all stand to benefit here in Canada so go right ahead.

And guess what....when the tax credit systems are finally all gone in the USA. You won't have any recourse of any kind to try and get them cancelled in Canada Brian. You are not a Canadian citizen so it will be tough for you or anyone from the US to influence policy on this side of the border.

So I support you Brian, get those state film tax credit programs cancelled as fast as you can!!!

R,
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:44 PM

Even without subsidies, the cost of living in NYC and LA drive higher wages in those areas, even without subsidies.

If you didn't LIVE in one of them, you would probably have the opposite take, Brian. Are you not capable of being objective with a matter that involves your personal livelihood?


Hmm, I'm not sure how to address this exactly.

First, you'll notice that I merely posted the report without additional commentary on my part, so I feel that I couldn't have been more objective right then. :)

As far as my personal feelings toward tax incentives go, they are formed BY the facts as evidenced in the report, not necessarily from any animosity because production is not taking place where I reside. If I saw proof that tax incentives for ANY business were in the best long-term public interest, I would support the concept. But there is no sound argument that supports the idea that handing Corporations subsidies or tax breaks is in the public interest. The bottom line on any of these schemes is that the costs are "publicized" while the profits are "privatized." What private for-profit business WOULDN'T accept taxpayer money in the form of subsidies (Socialism?) or tax breaks (ie. decreased revenue for local, state, and national governments) with no financial strings attached? Perhaps I could support such a scheme IF the public was given a share in the profits. Afterall, since tax payers are either giving money outright to for-profit Corporations or are losing revenue in the example of "incentives," then that means that the general public is as much of an investor in that for-profit product as anyone else is. Right? Shouldn't the citizens who are handing out, in essence, financing that allows a movie to get made be entitled to share in the box-office profits? Why don't we hear anyone suggesting that in the public arena?


Now, regarding any un-objective feelings I might personally have toward the entire issue, yes, it all seems a bit unfair. Generations of aspiring filmmakers and other industry professionals picked up everything they owned and in some cases, their families, to move TO where the majority of production was taking place. Necessary location shooting aside, the "factories" for movie production were built, primarily in Southern California and thousands of people moved there over the years to live lives and raise families doing the jobs they loved. There was a bit of sacrifice and risk taken on their part which in many cases resulted in a successful career.

But with advent of Corporate Welfare in its various forms, people in many different industries across the nation are being forced into unemployment lines as their jobs are outsourced to other states or other nations where the local governments are handing out money to for-profit companies at taxpayer expense while those companies keep all of their profits to themselves due to tax breaks. It's an amazing scam that somehow or another has been sold successfully to the workers of the world as being not only valid, but the best way to do things. It's astounding that so many people can be fooled by the wealthy elite so effectively year after year. So, just like many people in the textile industry in NY or the auto industry in Detroit, those professionals in Southern California who had the cahones to GO to where the "factories" were built are now being told that those jobs are now going to places which hand out the biggest bribes. They are offered the jobs MAYBE, but that means spending days, weeks, or months away from their families... this, an ideology coming from the political Party of "family values." :rolleyes: The hypocrisy of the CONservative agenda is mindnumbing sometimes.


But anyway, my personal opinions aside (because they're not really relevant), the facts are that Corporate Welfare is BAD for the overall economy and ultimately, bad for just about everyone. Well, except for those at the very tippy-top of the economic ladder who benefit most due to massive tax breaks and other sheltering schemes that keeps their wealth safely locked away from general circulation. An economy only works when currency is flowing through it so when so few are allowed to hoard so much, the machinery stops working. And after thirty years of "Reaganomics" and "Milton Friedmanism" foisted upon the planet, that's pretty much what we've got now. And while tax-incentives may seem to be a positive thing in the short-term, the governments who have been offering them year after year are now looking at the numbers and realizing that it is all a negative sum game for them with any potential benefits going into the pockets of just a scant few in the private sector. Bush Sr. (in a moment of weakness?) even publicly called this entire economic ideology "Voodoo Economics" way back when because it was clearly a shell game. He knew it. So do most of the leaders in our governments around the world. So when will the taxpayers figure it out and demand that this nonsense of Corporate Welfare stop?
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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 06:00 PM

Well Brian you've posted this type of stuff on numerous occasions, and I for one see many areas of flawed logic made by the author here.

If the US states want to get rid of all their film tax credits...fine with all of us here North of the border, it just means that a whole lot more work will come to Canada. Certainly no one here will complain. There's no indication at all that the film tax credit system is going any where in Canada. We still have a federal tax credit that is effective in all regions of Canada plus the provincial programs, the biggest being in Quebec, Ontario, and BC. None of those three provinces have given any indication they wish to cancel their tax credit systems.

It was clear to most of us in Canada that when US states decided to copy the Canadian program that it would never last. New York and Iowa already threw in the towel.

So I for one say to the USA, Cancel! Cancel! Cancel! Hell I'll come down there and help your campaign Brian, we all stand to benefit here in Canada so go right ahead.

And guess what....when the tax credit systems are finally all gone in the USA. You won't have any recourse of any kind to try and get them cancelled in Canada Brian. You are not a Canadian citizen so it will be tough for you or anyone from the US to influence policy on this side of the border.

So I support you Brian, get those state film tax credit programs cancelled as fast as you can!!!

R,


Well, this is where fair-trade policies USED TO kick in. I'm simplifying this a bit, but prior to the Fascist Conservative takeover of the USA with Reagan (arguably, it began before then), tariff policies were designed in such a way that encouraged US Corporations to manufacture their products in the nation where those Corporations, and the people who ran them, were. Bottom line was that if a US company could make a widget here, but chose to do it in a foreign land, then the tariff on that import would be such that any economic benefit of making it somewhere else (due to cheaper labor, etc) would be negated. That kept manufacturing by US based Corporations within the US, thereby ensuring that US tazpayers would have viable jobs with which they could pay taxes with.

But as we all know, the CONservative agenda in the US sought to undo all of that and more which has been the direct cause of just about every financial woe we have currently. They want to have this developed society, but with workers not being able to contribute to the tax pool as much as before (due to outsourcing) and tax breaks for the wealthiest and Corporations, there just isn't as much money in the pot as there needs to be. Local governments are feeling that very directly, as the accurate report states above and the nation (the USA) is feeling it as our deficit clearly indicates.

The solution to this problem for the US is indeed, a return to sensible trade and tariff policy which would return and keep more jobs within the borders of the nation where the Corporations are. But Richard is likely correct. Allowing transnational Corporations to cross boundaries without penalty isn't likely to stop anytime soon. But, even so, Canada would still be playing the incentive game with nations in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. All the while, the US-BASED Corporations would be seeking out bigger and bigger bribes from the most desperate nations while taking all of the profits back home to the USA where the stash it all away because of the tax breaks here too.

Seriously, when does this madness stop? How FEW people have to have all of the money before the rest of the world is so impoverished that they finally revolt and storm the mansion gates? :ph34r:
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 06:36 PM

The solution to this problem for the US is indeed, a return to sensible trade and tariff policy which would return and keep more jobs within the borders of the nation where the Corporations are.


Main problem here Brian....the USA is also a major exporting nation. Any tariffs the USA imposes on its trading partners will be met with reciprocal tariffs by Canada, Europe, Asia, etc. This will cost jobs in the USA. The idea that the US can impose tariffs and not face any consequences is ridiculous.

America's economic power has gone way way down in the last 8 years. Foreign countries simply don't fear the might of the US economy like they once did. Especially when they visit the USA and what they see is crumbling cities, & house after house with a foreclosure sign out front. It's pretty tough to "scare" your trading partners under these conditions. Not to mention that America's banking system resembles some thing akin to an East African nation.

But Richard is likely correct. Allowing transnational Corporations to cross boundaries without penalty isn't likely to stop anytime soon. But, even so, Canada would still be playing the incentive game with nations in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.


We are not worried about competing with NZ for Hollywood movies, we can take them out any time we want. In fact we have dispatched a team of our best Eskimo warriors to attack their country :)
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 08:00 PM

Brian,

The core problem is that we allowed one country to become our dealer first for every imaginable consumer good, then industrial goods, and now increasingly even high dollar professional goods. Competing with Germany is tough, but it can be done. Competing with a country that pays workers less per week than I make in an hour or so is insane but that's exactly where we're at right now.

My feeble effort to do something about the situation is at least to try to buy things made in democracies (even those that aren't functioning too well). At least I'm trying not to support people who mean us harm, physically, psychologically, financially, and militarily.

PS: Richard.

Last time I checked Canada was a functioning democracy, you're on my white list.
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#10 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 08:06 PM

Main problem here Brian....the USA is also a major exporting nation. Any tariffs the USA imposes on its trading partners will be met with reciprocal tariffs by Canada, Europe, Asia, etc. This will cost jobs in the USA. The idea that the US can impose tariffs and not face any consequences is ridiculous.

America's economic power has gone way way down in the last 8 years. Foreign countries simply don't fear the might of the US economy like they once did. Especially when they visit the USA and what they see is crumbling cities, & house after house with a foreclosure sign out front. It's pretty tough to "scare" your trading partners under these conditions. Not to mention that America's banking system resembles some thing akin to an East African nation.



We are not worried about competing with NZ for Hollywood movies, we can take them out any time we want. In fact we have dispatched a team of our best Eskimo warriors to attack their country :)



I wasn't suggesting that the USA "scares" anyone at all. It's simply a matter of "protecting" your own citizens/taxpayers a little bit. The fact is that in order for any civilization to operate, it needs a government to run it and taxes to pay for infrastructure and other things that people usually take for granted. CONservatives don't want to tax rich people enough and they don't want to tax Corporations at all. The poor don't have enough money for anything. That leaves the Middle Class to pay for just about everything. But when rich people in power enact policies that undermine basic employment of those Middle Class citizens, then there won't be a functioning economy as the only people who DO have money are the wealthy, who get to hoard almost everything they have. Economies can't function under those conditions and subsequently, neither can civilizations. Economies fall apart and then society itself is threatened. And why? Just so that rich people can "not be punished for their success"?

Anyway, my point is that in this global environment, there must be some kind of middle ground. Allowing transnational corporations the right to troll the planet, using trade policies and currency differences against workers and governments is insanity. The endgame is that wages everywhere will be suppressed and work quality will go down. And there is no reason for prices of goods and services to sink with the lower costs of manufacturing. I mean, let's look at filmmaking for a second. Tax incentives are, supposedly, sought out by production companies in order to keep costs down. Okay, so they get cheap labor, cheap locations, and tax subsidies which lowers their entire bottom line. The product was manufactured for less than it presumably would have been had it been made in, say, Southern California.

So, how about those lower ticket prices at the box office, huh? Since filmmakers can get, what is it, around 40% off just by moving their production to Canada, shouldn't consumers expect to see a 40% reduction in the price of those tickets for those movies? No? Okay, so the producers walk away with 40% MORE profit because Canada (for example, I don't mean to just pick on Canada) has given away either direct subsidies or tax rebates, which is all revenue that the government COULD HAVE if it didn't give this bribe to the filmmakers. But it did give that "incentive" (a loss of revenue to the government/people) and the filmmakers now have a 40% increase in their profit. So, why aren't the people of Canada entitled to a share of that profit, since they were, in effect, partial Producers on the project, giving financial assistance that got the project made?

It doesn't happen that way. Why not? And since it doesn't, and transnationals are free and clear to roam the globe looking for the biggest bribes and cheapest workers, we see how the long-term effects on governments and civilizations are headed the way of other ancient civilizations that ran their course.


We all have to find a way to stop this Reaganomics insanity or start learning to speak Chinese. And quick! :blink:
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#11 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 10:29 PM

Hmm, I wonder if this will affect "Breaking Bad." Are there any other TV shows shot in NM, Saul?


In Plain Sight and BB both look like they are coming back to town. Judging from the link, I guess it isn't quite as bad as it could be, yet . . .

http://www.abqjourna...lot-in-abq.html
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#12 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 10:34 PM

We are not worried about competing with NZ for Hollywood movies, we can take them out any time we want. In fact we have dispatched a team of our best Eskimo warriors to attack their country :)


Gloating is never good. Particularly when the US and Canadian dollar parity is so close. If the Can dollar goes higher, things will start looking bad for all of you up there, incentives or not - especially when those same incentives can be found stateside.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 18 November 2010 - 10:37 PM.

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#13 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 12:43 AM

New Mexico losing their tax incentives is a HUGE deal for me. One of the biggest points we have in our investment memorandum is the fact that all funds spent in New Mexico and in hiring New Mexican residents, up to 15 million dollars, are rebated back to the production company in a timely manner, once the project is completed, thereby insuring the investors recover the majority of their money right away and thereby minimizing their risk.

Now SO FAR, I've had little luck with investors so though this point might seem moot, even, if I'M my OWE major investor, it would be nice to get my money back in order to help promote the film or start on another project most likely scheduled to be shot again in New Mexico. I HAD actually planned an eventual move across the border into Chaparral but without the incentives, it doesn't make all that much sense from a financial perspective.

See what a many politicians seem to forget is there are a LOT of local and regional film makers that are the REAL people who need these incentives. A 200 million dollar production doesn't really need the 15 mil incentive but a 50 thousand to 2.5 million dollar production can flourish because of the incentives and thus promote local films and regional art. They only seem to look at the flash and publicity generated by big films and not the compilation of funds brought in by the expenditures of several small productions and the jobs those productions generate that help keep film professionals working after the 1 or 2 mega-million dollar films have blown their wad. Face it, we small film makers need every advantage we can get and these "cost saving" measures of cutting off film incentives is nothing more than another attack on the arts by the Right. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 19 November 2010 - 12:45 AM.

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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 01:28 AM

Gloating is never good. Particularly when the US and Canadian dollar parity is so close. If the Can dollar goes higher, things will start looking bad for all of you up there, incentives or not - especially when those same incentives can be found stateside.


The CDN dollar hit $1.10 USD in Nov 2007. Disaster was predicted in the Toronto film industry.....nothing happened.

The reason is that Toronto has huge sound stages, two big labs/post houses (Deluxe and Techi Colour), and hundreds of trained film professionals. Across the border in Michigan.....they can offer none of this. I don't think Michigan has any place that can process 35mm and deliver HD dailies. Does New Mexico?

Also, a high Canadian dollar allows me to "buy" US talent for a fraction of what it used to cost, and US prod cos can take back their tax credits to the USA and not lose money on the exchange. These are two major PROS you may not have considered to having a higher CDN dollar.

Brian D, James points out an issue that I have raised with you many times before, the tax credits are not just for billionaire film producers that live in mansions and drive ferraris, they are for ALL filmmakers.

This means a guy shooting his first indie for 100K, qualifies the same as a Hollywood production spending 100 million.

When you advocate an end to film tax credits, you also advocating an end to assistance to the very people you claim that you speak for and are trying to help.

R,
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#15 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 02:39 AM

The CDN dollar hit $1.10 USD in Nov 2007. Disaster was predicted in the Toronto film industry.....nothing happened.

The reason is that Toronto has huge sound stages, two big labs/post houses (Deluxe and Techi Colour), and hundreds of trained film professionals. Across the border in Michigan.....they can offer none of this. I don't think Michigan has any place that can process 35mm and deliver HD dailies. Does New Mexico?


There are at least now 7 full feature film crews ready to film anywhere in NM, that is just one state, mind you. Same goes for the soundstages. Big, shiny, and in foreclosure. I have personally heard it from producers who claim it was still cheaper to produce in NM than in Vancouver, notwithstanding the fact that NM does not have a big processing / post houses. That is why hundreds of movies were filmed in NM during the last decade in the first place. In 2007, I worked on some movies stateside that would have gone to Vancouver otherwise, so I am not sure if your theory works across the board.

One thing the producers liked and explicitly mentioned about NM was the relative close distance to LA, and its year round filming (sunny) weather. On the minus side, the dearth of tall buildings and urban setting were the things they mentioned most. But NM did successfully compete with Vancouver mostly for nearly a decade. Until local conservatives and their politics of envy took the film credits away.

Also, a high Canadian dollar allows me to "buy" US talent for a fraction of what it used to cost, and US prod cos can take back their tax credits to the USA and not lose money on the exchange. These are two major PROS you may not have considered to having a higher CDN dollar.


You can "buy" talent cheaper if your funds originated in Canada. Same goes for the tax credits / exchange rate. If you are using US dollars, as most Hollywood films do, then you could lose in both counts, because you first have to get your US money to CDN to spend it in Canada and then back to US to take home, so if CDN is higher than US dollar, the profit could be minimal, if at all. And if the exchange rate is fluctuating between the two exchanges, that could be really bad or not good enough to be an incentive.

If Canadians (anyone really) were smart, they'd start their own big scale funding for the movies they produce there and cut Hollywood studios completely out of it (except for the problem of distribution). I know that is what Richardson tried (and failed) to do: Build a homegrown industry, where the production money is local, so are the jobs, and therefore the profits. Alas, until there are truly independent film distribution channels, that is going to be hard to accomplish.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 19 November 2010 - 02:44 AM.

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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 11:48 AM

You can "buy" talent cheaper if your funds originated in Canada. Same goes for the tax credits / exchange rate.


Yes that's what I mean, the CDN dollar component of the financing allows a production to bring in a US DOP for a lot less money than a CDN DOP would cost. Also US lead actors are a lot cheaper as well.

Of course this causes vigorous complaints from Canadian DOPs and actors who feel the work should go to them. So this is where a high CDN dollar benefits US film folk. They may not be working in the USA...but at least they are working.

I would think that the weather in NM would be a major plus over Vancouver? It rains in Vancouver so many days a year it's ridiculous. But Vancouver does have a varied landscape at your finger tips, a gleaming city, ocean, mtns, forests, all within a short drive.

Certainly a lot of US, CDN, and British, CG folk have moved to NZ to work at WETA. There is no way NZ supplied all of the talent needed to complete LOTR on their own. I know a lot of people that moved down there.

R,
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#17 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 03:51 PM

Yes that's what I mean, the CDN dollar component of the financing allows a production to bring in a US DOP for a lot less money than a CDN DOP would cost. Also US lead actors are a lot cheaper as well.

Of course this causes vigorous complaints from Canadian DOPs and actors who feel the work should go to them. So this is where a high CDN dollar benefits US film folk. They may not be working in the USA...but at least they are working.

I would think that the weather in NM would be a major plus over Vancouver? It rains in Vancouver so many days a year it's ridiculous. But Vancouver does have a varied landscape at your finger tips, a gleaming city, ocean, mtns, forests, all within a short drive.

Certainly a lot of US, CDN, and British, CG folk have moved to NZ to work at WETA. There is no way NZ supplied all of the talent needed to complete LOTR on their own. I know a lot of people that moved down there.

R,


My personal worldview wonders why we need a global system that is set up this way that pits workers against each other as Corporations shake down governments for bigger and bigger bribes. In the case of WETA, yes, they had some temporary jobs, but what happens to those workers when that job is done or the tax incentives run out?

As the report above indicates, the current incentive packages are already a negative for the governments that give them out. So when a "hot" production area suddenly runs out of incentive money, what happens to those workers who set up shop and lives (with families) in those places? Are they expected to pick up and move to chase the incentives around the planet? Or maybe they petition the government to give bigger incentives to for-profit Corporations to ensure that the world stays put. If that's the case, how much is too much? If New Zealand offers 45% back, then Canada counters with 50%, will Budapest trump them with 75%? At what point will a government actually agree to FINANCE a movie just to have the chance to have a movie made there and have their local workers have jobs? Then isn't that the very Socialism that all the righties are whining about in the first place?

All I'm suggesting is that we, as Earthlings, decide that there are places where we do things. We make cars in Detroit. We make movies in Southern California. We make really good steaks in Argentina. We make cheap vending machine toys in Shanghai. Etc. Then, people who want to DO those things can make the choice to actually move there to live life doing those things instead of trying to eak out a living on the road always wondering what "foreigner" is going to agree to work for a wage that is cheaper and cheaper.

A pipe dream? Maybe. But every nation was more or less set up that way before the Milton Friedman/Globalists got into power so if they want it this way, then the entire paradigm needs to change with it. Which means, a one-world currency, the freedom for workers to move and work across borders, and dedicated production centers where workers could build lives as well as careers. Because the way things are going now, wages are being depressed, families are being torn apart, and only those at the tippy top are raking in the financial windfall leaving people and governments in the dust.
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#18 Richard Boddington

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 04:14 PM

We make cars in Detroit.


Actually Ontario is the jurisdiction that produces the most cars in North America. More than Michigan now :)

So we took your auto business, check. Now we want your movie business as well.

After that, we want some of your decent bloody S. Cal weather!!! :D

R,
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#19 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:02 PM

Brian D, James points out an issue that I have raised with you many times before, the tax credits are not just for billionaire film producers that live in mansions and drive ferraris, they are for ALL filmmakers.

This means a guy shooting his first indie for 100K, qualifies the same as a Hollywood production spending 100 million.

When you advocate an end to film tax credits, you also advocating an end to assistance to the very people you claim that you speak for and are trying to help.

R,



This is a good discussion point. The assumption, that your statement above implies, is that the "guy shooting his first indie film for 100K" WOULDN'T get to make that movie if the incentives weren't there. There's no evidence of that at all. What it DOES allow the indie guy and the billionaire filmmmaker to do is make the movies for less expense, which means either they are paying the cast & crew less than they should be and/or the local government is taking in less tax revenue than they should be to provide for the infrastructure that, ironically, makes it possible to shoot a movie there in the first place.

So, I don't buy the argument that movies, big or small, would suddenly not be made if the incentives weren't there. Movies were made before this con-job was ever conceived and they'll likely be made after the scheme collapses under its own weight.

It still comes down to having a project that is worthwhile for a financier to invest in. If the project appears to suck, it doesn't matter how much tax incentive someone is offered. But if the project shows promise, it'll likely get made incentives or not. The incentive thing is merely to allow the "manufacturer" the ability to pocket more on the back end due to tax breaks or outright money upfront.
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#20 Richard Boddington

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 07:24 PM

likely be made after the scheme collapses under its own weight.


No sign of that happening in Canada. The system is well run and managed.

But let's face it consistency of policy is very difficult with the way the US political structure is set up. I remember during the primaries for the Democratic nomination, BOTH, Obama and Clinton pledged to renegotiate NAFTA. Well how much progress has Obama made on that file?

Both big talkers who try and capture votes in states like Ohio, then they do nothing.

Don't blame corporations Brian, your own political leadership has failed you. And it wasn't Bush this time.

R,
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