Updated: April 25, 2021 10:53 PM
Created: April 25, 2021 05:06 PM
Hollywood pulled through a year unlike any other as the pandemic closed theaters, delayed major releases and shut down productions all together.
Now that Hollywood productions are picking up again, two bills before the House and Senate could bring filmmakers to Minnesota.
The bills are called HF-1975 and SF-1986. They encourage film makers to come to Minnesota by offering them a transferable tax credit of up to 25% on in-state purchases for production.
Riki McManus, Chief Production Officer for the Upper Midwest Film Office, believes a production incentive program like this is priceless for an economy recovering from the pandemic.
“It is creating jobs and it is leaving money behind,” McManus said.
McManus pointed to places it has worked—including St. Louis County, where a similar incentive program was passed earlier this year and is already yielding results.
“We have a number of productions coming to St. Louis County to shoot because of our incentive here,” McManus said. “We have two films that will start shooting in May. We've got a couple more that are coming in November. We've got one that's looking at summer still.”
Beyond St. Louis County, McManus said roughly 30 states across the US have incentive programs like this in place.
“It is a billion dollar industry,” McManus said. “Billion. And, we could do that too with this incentive.”
Lawmakers could vote on the bills this summer.
"The end of the session is May 17th and at this point in time, we don't know how long its going to go or if its going to go over that May 17th deadline, as it has the past few times," McManus said.
After a difficult year for the film industry, McManus is hopeful about the possibility of showcasing Minnesota in TV shows and movies.
“So many of the projects that have inquired about shooting here want snow,” McManus said. “Many Christmas stories, lot of Hallmarky stories.”
McManus also looks forward to seeing productions get going again at large—shedding some light at the end of the tunnel for the world of lights, camera and action.
“It’s very exciting,” McManus said.