Lost film jobs in Florida

(WNDU)
Published: Nov. 28, 2016 at 9:36 PM CST
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The sign at the state line says Florida is “Open for Business” but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to making movies.

Hundreds of Florida film professionals are leaving the sunshine state for Georgia. Georgia offers filmmakers a 20% rebate of everything they spend.

Suburban Atlanta now boasts one of the largest film complexes in the country. Pinewood Atlanta has hired F.S.U Film School Dean Frank Patterson to be it’s President.

“The film industry has had a six-billion dollar impact last year on the state of Georgia, and it’s just 15 minutes north of the film school for my students to go to,” Frank Patterson, Pinewood Studios CEO said.

Florida used to play in film; 250 million was set aside in 2011, but it was quickly gobbled up.

In one of the few studies of film credits in Florida, a University of West Florida economist found that for every dollar it put up, it got a $1.44 back in tax revenue.

Florida isn’t going to be funding film anytime soon. Newly elevated House Speaker Richard Corcoran is a vocal critic of corporate welfare, including film incentives.

"It is a horrible, horrible use of taxpayers dollars and there is no return on investment," Rep. Richard Corcoran said. "As a person who is charged with protecting the taxpayers money, I’m not going to waste it by giving it to Hollywood producers. They can go elsewhere if they want to, but the reality is Florida is Florida.”

The new speaker says better schools and infrastructure will still attract quality companies and films.

Florida is one of the few states not offering film incentives.