Friday, May 20, 2016

If we build it, will they come?

Tax credits fund movies filmed in Mississippi, yet the movies rarely seem to make it to the big screen.  The film tax credits are often used for commercials as well.  The Sun-Herald questioned the film tax credit program in Mississippi earlier this week:

For the past six years, the state has been betting movies could give the state an economic development boost. And, it put together one of the country's most attractive packages of incentives to nurture the film industry.

The results have been mixed at best. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says the industry likely has just one more year to prove its worth.

"The PEER report said it returns 49 cents for every dollar invested by the state," said Reeves. He said the Legislature extended the repealer in the movie incentives bill for another year but "it's got to return more to the general fund than it takes out."

The Film Office, which gets its almost $400,000 of annual operating money from the budget of Visit Mississippi, the tourism wing of the Mississippi Development Authority, spends about a third of that money on marketing. The rest goes to salaries and fringe benefits.

"The MFO is focusing on developing its film infrastructure from the ground up in a manner similar to the integrated approach used in Canada (where filmmakers went to escape the high cost of Hollywood)," the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review wrote in its report. "The Legislature has tailored the incentive program to attract lower budget and independent films. The MFOis hoping to expand the film industry workforce and infrastructure in the same manner as Canada by focusing on sustainable employment opportunities and creating a competitive edge by focusing on a specific market."

People trying to get the industry off the ground on the Coast say the state has neither the infrastructure nor workforce to attract a steady stream of films, independent or otherwise. And, independent movies don't have a big budget and salaries for the crew are generally low.

Studio didn't make it

The only film studio on the Coast folded without ever landing a movie deal.

"The timing just wasn't right," said Paula Lindsay, one of the owners of Mississippi Gulf Coast Studios, which took over the old skate park in Gulfport but went out of business after less than two years. "We partnered with a gentleman named Michael DeLorenzo out of Santa Clarita Studios. He owns one of the largest studios in California.

"He has all the equipment and everything and he couldn't get anyone to come to the (Gulfport) studio. I think it's mainly because of the infrastructure here.

"We came in hoping we could work with the state and getting funding for education and we met a few times with the colleges and they were very helpful and very excited but we never could get anything to stick."

She said the smaller productions that are coming here don't require a studio. She said a lot of other people seemed interested but backed out before ever seeing the studio. And she said one reason is the state lacks enough people trained in the highly technical aspects of filmmaking....  Rest of article.


Anonymous said...

There's only so many films that can be set in 1940/50/60's America.

Gays and Liberals control the money in Los Angeles-they don't want to come here to film.

OR the film unions (actors, writers, producers) don't want to film here due to the anti-union climate of the state.

They've read the Clarion-Ledger every day and don't want some thug to steal the equipment and pawn it on HWY80.

OR-it's just another example of Mississippi Corporate Welfare that's going to fail.

Anonymous said...

it's somewhat laughable.......our government can not even successfully deliver what it's core purpose is, and they continue to flirt with something that has more than proven does not work.

Anonymous said...

Becoming a film destination is a long-term project that involves very competitive incentives AND available talent (crews, etc...). If we want films, we have to have educated/experienced crews. To have that you have to get films consistently to seed experienced personnel AND you need to be cranking out graduates from a JUCO program. Once you do those things, you can count on a steady stream of films - until someone else with talent one-ups you with incentives.
There was an opportunity to slide into a film slot fove or so years ago, but that opportunity has passed. We should always work with those who want to film here (provided we don't give away the farm), but we need to move-on from making film recruitment a priority for MS. We're better off spending most of that $ on matching tourism grants.

Anonymous said...

Sort of a catch 22. We have our leaders deciding to give our tax money away trying to bring people to Ms. then passing laws that keep many people from wanting to visit Ms.
They need to decide which they want to do. Pick a side and get off the fence.

Ships With No Sails said...

Look! Over there! A unicorn! No! It's a goos that lays gold eggs!

That this crap would work is just another example of goofball dreams that originate under tin-foil hats worn by blind sailors on lost ships. Ships piloted by day-dreamers like Malcolm White and Ben Allen. Windmills mounted on ships sitting in the desert.

Anonymous said...

^^^ 11:10

Anonymous said...

We could bring back Andy Griffith Show. Barney is still around (serving as governor).

Anonymous said...

All the economic incentives in the world will not overcome our stupidity in the legislature and governors office. they are all a bunch of dimwits.

Anonymous said...

A cost-benefit analysis was done in Louisiana last year. For all the hype, the tax incentives provided were far higher than any revenue produced by the movies filmed or TV shows produced.

Anonymous said...

11:45, calling you an idiot doesn't even begin to cover it. These two men, especially Malcolm, are visionaries that work for progress. Just stay your dumb and happy little self in your dark and lonely basement. Thank the Lord you're not in charge of anything.

Anonymous said...

Spending on lobyists pays off at 50 or 100 to one. So why these corporations and politicians are interested in the movie scam?

Anonymous said...

The movie Same Kind of Different As Me will tell the tale as to whether we should legitimately continue down this road. Relatively sizable budget with some big name actors/actresses. It comes out in February 2017 and I believe Paramount is the Producer.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of bringing back the Andy Griffith show. My suggestions for casting should save money as they are already in the state:

Barney - Feel Bryant
Goober - Feelip Gunn
Floyd - Tater
Gomer - Sen. Harkin
Otis - Sen. Burton (that was too hard to pass up)

Anonymous said...

So two-thirds of the film office budget goes to salaries and benefits and only a third to actually marketing the state as location for filming. Either the film office is overstaffed or the people there are overpaid.

And to the poster who called Malcolm White a visionary...child please. He's a glorified bartender who started a parade that attracts a bunch of drunks. How he ever landed the tourism job is a mystery. Then he quits and gets the job back when he realized how much he missed getting paid those state dollars and retirement benefits for doing nothing but giving pie-in-the-sky speeches.

Anonymous said...

The creative expression award goes to 11:45.

Anonymous said...

Having done a fair amount of film work in MS -- on the talent & production side -- I can tell you that the incentive package was well-intended, but has been a net loser as it has been in most states, Louisiana and Georgia being the exceptions.

There is a very small pool of crew; you see the same folks on every set, whether it's a short or a commercial or a low budget/high budget feature. The film office has worked hard with local community colleges to try & build the workforce. There's some interest, but not enough. And it's kind of a chicken and egg thing: Not enough consistent work to support a big enough crew work force. Not enough local workforce to consistently support bigger-budget projects. I promise, I went to monthly production luncheons for 2 years. I think the bottom line is population.

Gays and Liberals control the money in Los Angeles-they don't want to come here to film.

Tate Taylor doesn't seem to have a problem with it. See, e.g., The Help and Get on Up.

Plenty of gays and liberals in the film scene here, too.

Look! Over there. A Unicorn... said...

@ 12:34 - The results are in the puddin'. That your two examples of leadership support this insane concept speaks volumes for their value to this community. So, I'm an idiot for stating the obvious, pointing out frivolity and identifying two of its major cheerleaders? Get back to your begonias and leftover Subway sammich.

Anonymous said...

A 'visionary'? Here; Hold my Pepsi. I'm 'bout to fall out.

And I never even thought about the man eventually drawing state retirement for this meaningless gig. Goot Lawd a'Mercy!

Anonymous said...

FYI the man who backed the film ,Same Kind of Different, is from Jackson and is still trying to get his s tax credit money that was promised by MDA! Also I'm still trying to get paid by the film crews who ordered equipment and paid all but last invoice then packed up and left the state! Now we can't get them on phone and they are gone and other film crews always want to use us but want to pay pennies for us to bring equipment to remote sites , we negotiate then when they get bill they want it to be renegotiated! It's not great for business because MDA cheapened our state with incentives and breaks now they run all over us and don't pay! It's a bad business model created by MDA ! Also as far as Malcolm and Ben , I don't drink their kool aid! Both are snake oil salesmen!

Anonymous said...

Does this PEER study include money made directly by the state or do they calculate the total generated by the movie on motels, food, etc,? What about on going tourism to the set locations? I've met multiple people who came to MS to see where "Oh Brother..." was filmed. I provided them with a Google map to the locations and it gets a lot of hits from people looking up the locations. I also worked on "Get On Up" and "Same Kind of Different As Me" and got my share of the movie star pie... I wonder if they calculated my share in their total ROI?

Anonymous said...

Nip it!

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS