Film production in Maryland has increased thanks to $7.5 million in tax credits. Jack Gerbes, director of the
Maryland Film Office,
part of the state’s Department of Business and Economic Development, credits legislation that went into effect this year with attracting new productions.
Gerbes listed productions that were or will be filmed in the state this year. They are Season 1 and 2 of the HBO series, “Veep;” the Netflix series, “House of Cards;” the HBO original movie, "Game Change;" and two independent films, one of which is "Jamesy Boy,” which was scheduled to begin filming in Baltimore last month.
He calculated the economic impact to the state of these productions to be nearly $200 million, and to result in approximately 5,500 jobs. For example, the economic impact of "Jamesy Boy" is estimated at $5 million and 400 new jobs for crew, actors and extras.
In 2010, the film office had funding of $1 million in tax credits. In 2011, the General Assembly passed legislation that, beginning in 2012, increased funding to up to $7.5 million in tax credits for each of the next three years. “This is the most funds we’ve ever had to attract productions,” he says.
The law stipulates that the production company must spend at least $500,000 in direct production costs in the state to be eligible for 25 to 27 percent tax credit.
With 45 states offering incentives, Gerbes says the funding enables Maryland to compete effectively for production companies. “Producers used to ask me, ‘Do you have the location and crew?’ Now they ask, ‘What’s the incentive program?’” he says.
“Producers still want you to have the right locations,” says Gerbes. “We actively market that we are near Washington, D.C.”
Source: Jack Gerbes, director, Maryland Film Office
Writer: Barbara Pash