Friday, December 21, 2007

Incentives still not enough and other film news

Posted by John Stoehr on Fri, Dec 21, 2007 at 11:40 AM

Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees is being made into a movie, according to Variety. But you won't find it being made in Charleston, the best-selling author's home town.

Nope, the movie will be shot in North Carolina, probably in Wilmington, where Screen Gems Studios, whose president, the legendary son of the legendary director, Frank Capra Jr. died Wednesday.

Stars currently in negotiation for the movie adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees: Dakota Fanning, Kate Hudson, Queen Latifah and Alicia Keyes.

Meanwhile, applications from Hollywood are pouring into Missouri, which tripled its tax incentives this month, according to the Kansas City Star. Even so, the amount, about $4.5 million, is tiny compared to South Carolina's incentives. The state spent $15 million in 2006.

But lawmakers cut back on incentives in June after finding out movie companies weren't hiring locals to make films, according the a July 29 article in The State newspaper. Cash subsidies were as much as 30 percent, but out-of-state hiring forced a congressional cutback of 15 percent on such hiring.

That may change if a bill currently being considered by the Senate Committee on Finance is passed. The bill, introduced by State Sen. Glenn F. McConnell, the Senate President Pro Tem from Charleston, would increase incentives for hiring in-state to 20 percent. The bill would also increase tax breaks for expenditures of at least a million to 30 percent.

The bill was introduced in order to make South Carolina competitive with other states scrambling to attract Hollywood dollars. Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Louisiana, according to figures from 2006, are the fastest-growing states for film jobs, while counties in South Carolina saw negative growth in the same category: Greenville County was down nearly 3 percent and Charleston County was down about 2 percent.


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