Proposed bill could bring film production back to Florida

By: Tiffany Lewis | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 10, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A bill introduced Wednesday could help Florida's flat-lining film industry compete for big-name projects.

Senate Bill 1606, introduced by Miami Senator Anette Taddeo, would allow the state to fund select projects, and aims to bring movies with $1 to $8 million budgets to Florida.

"The film industry is crucial to our state's economy and we must do everything we can to ensure that Florida is the first choice for film and television productions," Taddeo said.

In 2010, the Florida legislature granted $292 million in film production incentives to the state. But by 2014, all of that money was used up.

Florida lawmakers have voted for seven straight years against film production tax incentives for the state.

Gary Yordon, the president of local video production house The Zachary Group, says that this affects more than just those in the industry.

"What we're talking about here is 30,000 jobs and about a billion dollars of economic impact," said Yordon. "Little production houses, editors, the people who you don't even see on the set of a production but post-production people, small businesses all around the state that support a production, all of those will be impacted by the influence of legislature like this."

Florida is one of only 17 states without a film production incentive.

HBO's Ballers, which previously filmed in Florida, moved filming to states with production tax incentives. Netflix's Bloodline was cancelled due to lack of tax incentives.

More television shows and movies are now being filmed in Georgia. It is quickly becoming nick-named the "Hollywood of the South".

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