Saturday, February 7, 2009

Movies now, more than ever

Detroit Free Press | February 7, 2009

The Michigan movie tax credit has already paid off in some important ways, attracting more and more filmmakers to the Great Lakes State seeking cheaper production costs.

But the fear had to be that the program's appeal might have an abbreviated shelf life. As soon as another state came up with a better tax break, the Hollywood crowd would flock there instead.

That's why it has been so encouraging to see the tax credits inspire more permanent movie-making infrastructure: the $86-million studio planned for the old MGM site in Detroit, and a $70-million studio slated to rise in Pontiac, at the old General Motors Centerpoint plant.

These fixtures, along with other production houses and studios, will more fundamentally lower the cost of filmmaking in Michigan than the tax credit, giving the state a potential long-term edge.

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