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Michigan legislators enacted the Michigan Film Production Credit incentive program in April 2008. The news was noted in movieland, when a statement in the L.A. Times read, “Not since Michael Moore’s documentary “Roger and Me” has the Great Lakes state garnered so much attention from Hollywood.” (Verrier, 2008).

In a 2008 radio address, Governor Granholm had this to say about our state’s new film industry venture: "We are encouraging the production of movies and TV shows, the creation of film industry infrastructure, and the hiring of Michigan workers for the wide range of jobs that exist in this industry. Hollywood will know what we know—Michigan has a strong workforce, a strong work ethic, and great locations. We are investing in this new industry for several reasons.”

The state established the Michigan Film Office to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of the film industry in our state. In the nine months following the enactment of the Michigan Film Production Credit incentive program, the Film Office received 221 scripts for potential consideration, leading to 136 applications and 71 approvals for the incentive program. The Film Office offers the following services to potential filmmakers:

  • Location photographs—from our files or shot to order
  • Help with location procurement and clearance
  • Response within 48 hours in most cases
  • Liaison with local/county/state government
  • Contacts with business, institutions, churches, neighborhoods, farmers, and local municipalities
  • Production—pre to post
  • Crew, equipment, talent, unions, weather stats, studios, and lab

Ken Droz, publicist for the Film Office, told local officials at the League’s Capital Conference that nothing has excited people in Michigan like the prospect of Hollywood coming here to make movies. Governor Granholm explained the economic impact like this, “Every dollar spent in film production will generate up to $3 in economic activity in Michigan. We also believe the film industry can give our economy an immediate shot in the arm while it takes years to reap the benefits of other economic development incentives.”

Michigan Film Credit FAQs

What is the Michigan film incentive?
The incentive is a refundable, assignable tax credit of up to 42 percent of a production company’s expenditures that are incurred in producing a film or other media entertainment project in Michigan.

Who qualifies?
The film production credit is available to eligible production companies—companies that bear the overall responsibility for making (or producing) a movie or other entertainment project as a whole.

What is the difference between the 40 percent credit and the 42 percent credit?
Qualifying expenditures made in a designated core community in Michigan are eligible for a 42-percent credit. Qualifying expenditures made in a “non-core” community in Michigan are eligible for a 40-percent credit.

Who qualifies for 30 percent?
Compensation payments made by a production company to below-the-line personnel (cast and crewmembers)who were not residents of Michigan for at least 60 days before approval of the agreement between the production company and the Michigan Film Office will be “qualified personnel expenditures” eligible for a 30-percent credit.

Who qualifies for 40 percent?
Above-the-line personnel (creative talent) regardless of residency, and below-the-line personnel who were residents of Michigan for 60 days or more before approval of the agreement between the production company and the Film Office, will be direct production expenditures eligible for a 40–42 percent credit.

(Information from the Michigan Film Office website, www.michigan.gov/filmoffice.)

 

 

 

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