Welcome back from 2008 to 2015. Michigan incentives for the film and television industry attract productions like the Transformers movies and Clint Eastwood’s Torino. In 2015 Governor Rick Snyder
signed a into law that got rid of those incentives. In the year since multiple bills have been introduced in
Lansing to reinvigorate Michigan’s film industry and bring back those jobs, But they all failed to gain the traction needed. Now state senator Dana Hankey is trying once again and she’s hoping to get the votes needed to make it happen.
Joining us tonight is David Hadad, chair of the Michigan film association.
>> David, thank you for joining us tonight.
Fun To be here. >> Thank you for the invite.
Absolutely. So let’s start with the why. Why is the association pushing for these incentives?
>> We’ve been working on it for five years. We took the best of the best of all the competitor states nearby and put together put together a complete program we think will be very competitive against Illinois, Ohio,
Pennsylvania. And the timing’s now for that.
As you pointed out earlier. There’s 40 states 41 states and cities that have a program. Michigan Needs to get back into the game and compete with the neighboring states And actually quite frankly, the world as we
know with streaming is worldwide now and it’s jobs for the state which is what it’s all about.
>> Sure. You know, I recently lived in Pennsylvania and there were a number of productions there but outside of the occasional celebrity sighting, I don’t know if your average person really feels that impact. So what do you say to people who don’t understand incentivizing wealthy film production companies with deep pockets when maybe that money could go elsewhere?
>> Well, there’s always a decision be made and as to where the money should be spent. With 41 states and 90 countries disseminating in front of Michigan, I would say that both of them got it right. And as far as the why they should do it, they’re still running up the steps in Philadelphia 50 years later they call it the Rocky Steps in Pennsylvania They still out. I witnessed this film 60 some years ago. It adds a little feel good. It adds jobs. It certainly would stop the brain drain in the state of Michigan where people in the arts and the tech industry are leaving the state. How to keep our children in the state with their families. It’s a great opportunity.
>> Very exciting time right now.
Sure. So From the industry’s perspective from the televisio and film industry, what does Michigan have to offer? Is there anything about the state that you think would be beneficial to these companies?
>> Well, from an artist’s standpoint of course, with our lakes and natural diversity, the geography is excellent And we can be in the country we can be in as a backdrop. It sets the tone for some creative new look in film. People are tired of shooting in Georgia. People are tired of shooting in Canada and they’re looking for a new look. Certainly, there’ll be an infrastructure that would develop over time in one year, two
years, three years And and we have written the program so There’ll be no transformers, there’ll be no marble. These Are written for jobs that are 10 to 20 million to job the bill itself is constructed So
we have an ROI for the state and keep the jobs locally So it’s designed not for Marvel, it’s the designed to compete against maybe Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio where it’s a more modest conservative program with a high art.
Why why or why I love them?
>> And that’s interesting. Why not Marvel? Is it just too big a production?
>> That’s you know they say that’s a great question. The way that the laws the bills are designed by definition someone with $100 million or $200 million project would get back X amount of dollars based
on the state, We put caps and limits in the program so that we get the lower budget films20 million, 30 million, $40 million films to go in a budget And we constrain that guide it as do other states based on
their needs and the design of the film credit program, And you know the ultimate win for the state of Michigan, which secure streaming Netflix, as you know, HBO and the lot and Apple are looking for new venues And then if you build it they will come. So we offer this incentive as our sponsors have written it. If you build it they will come. I expect that we will have Apple and Netflix coming in and setting up and buying property and hiring full-time infrastructure.
>> That would be the goal.
Sure And then finally we mentioned there have been a number of attempts to make this happen that have not succeeded in recent years But Lansing looking a little different these days. So how confident are you
>> Well, it’s certainly an exciting time because you never really know how it’s going to go.
We’re very, very optimistic It is bipartisan received. We have been a trade group for the last four years meeting with senators and legislators explaining the reason the answering why what you started with We believe we’ve answered the question. So now we just have to hang in there and be supportive.
We hope eminently that the bills will be introduced And when that happens, we encourage all of your viewers if they are in favor of the film industry coming to the great state to get on the phone and call their
senator and legislators’ emails and support and that’s what we need and what it’s about.
>> All right