Jacksonville pushing for extra bonuses to attract filmmakers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The last major movie filmed on the First Coast was "Recount," which was based on the contested 2000 presidential election and hanging chads.

Since then, the city has been active in landing commercial production, documentaries and feature films, but not anything high dollar like "Recount," which had a $6 million dollar impact. That movie was shot in 2008.

Todd Roobin, who heads up the city's Office of Film and Television, said that's why it's important lawmakers offer incentives to the movie industry to film in what are called "under used" areas in the state. The bonus being considered by House lawmakers would give those areas up to a 10 percent extra boost.

"In the House bill basically allows if film 50 percent main production days, they can get the maximum of 30 percent. If they go to Miami or Orlando the maximum is 20 percent," said Roobin on impact bonuses would have for places like Jacksonville.

Last year, the city permitted 56 productions that had a impact of around $1 million.

Roobin said the producer of "Recount" has a movie in mind for the First Coast, but that incentives are needed.

Lawmakers are working on a package that would make $300 million available over the next six years. One version would also provide extra incentives for under utilized parts of the state.


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