News

  • Thursday, February 17, 2022 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    New bipartisan legislation was just introduced in the state house and senate. It would bring back a film incentive to attract filmmakers to the state and help the economy.

    Senator Wayne Schmidt and Representative Jack O’Malley introduced the bills to create jobs and retain talent. If approved Michigan would join nearly 40 other states with incentives for filmmakers to make films right here in Michigan.

    Film Incentive Pkg6 020900 00 30 17still002Brian Kelly is the First Chair Vice President of the Michigan Film Industry Association. He says Michigan is non-competitive in the film business.

    “We feel that Michigan is missing out on tons of jobs and entrepreneurship and opportunity with the film industry and we want the state to actually be apart of the 39-plus states that actually have film incentive programs,” Kelly said.
    For the past three years the Michigan Film Industry Association has been working to create what Brian Kelly says is one of the most competitive bills in the country.

    “We feel we’ll get the type of work that is necessary to rebuild Michigan’s lagging restaurant and hotel industry especially, but also lumber yards, florists, landscapers, security, just tons and tons and tons of businesses that benefit from the jobs of the film industry,” Kelly said.

    The proposed bill says filmmakers who choose to film in Michigan would get a base tax credit of 25% for in-state spending and an additional five-percent awarded for including a ‘filmed in Michigan’ logo.

    Kelly said the bill was created with taxpayers in mind.

    “We have crafted this bill to be very conscious of taxpayer funding,” he said. “We’re taxpayers ourselves and we wanted our tax dollars to be spent just as wisely as we would want others to think that as well.”

    The bill would also give filmmakers a 30-percent tax credit for hiring Michigan residents and 20-percent for non-Michigan residents. Local filmmaker Rich Brauer has been in the film industry for over forty year. He says he’s seen a lot of stuff come and go, including the incentive.

    The most recent film incentive from 2008 was discontinued in 2015 by then-Governor Rick Snyder. Brauer believes this incentive is better.

    “The new incentive, as I understand it, it’s a tax incentive it’s actually a credit towards your tax situation so that actually legitimizes it a bit, the previous one was just cash rebate… I kind of think this is a better way to go,” Brauer said.

    Brauer believes this incentive will attract legitimate filmmakers and give young filmmakers a chance to stay in Michigan.

    “There’s going to be an opportunity for all these graduates of schools and universities to be part of a real industry in Michigan, without having to travel to all the other 30 states that are out there that offer an incentive,” Brauer said.

    Read at 9 & 10 News

  • Saturday, February 12, 2022 3:37 PM | Anonymous

    Could Hollywood be making a return to Michigan? I sure hope so! New legislation has just been introduced in both the Michigan House and Senate to restore a film tax incentive to bring film productions back to our state.

    In previous years Michigan had one of the country's most enticing tax incentives for filmmakers and offered up to a 42% rebate on production costs. The bill was signed into law in 2008 by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and brought many big name productions to the state however, Gov. Rick Snyder discontinued that incentive in 2015.

    At the height of film production in Michigan we saw major motion pictures such as Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks, Transformers: The Last Knight starring Mark Wahlberg, and Batman v. Superman starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, all come to film in our state. When these large scale productions come to town they bring an entire crew who need lodging, meals, and entertainment. For example, the Transformers production alone had a crew of 850 members which means their dollars spent here while filming all benefit our state.

    I must admit, I was very disappointed when I heard the state's film tax incentive was being repealed. It was fun to hear stories about celebrity sightings when these productions were in town and you never knew who you could run into! I remember one particular story about all the loud booms that shook downtown Detroit while Transformers was filming. It was exciting to know a little slice of Hollywood was in our state!

    These days it seems like nearly everything we watch from The Walking Dead to Ozark to Avengers: End Game were all filmed in Georgia, a state with generous film tax incentives. I'm tired of Michigan missing out on all the action!

    The new proposed bill will offer a base tax credit of 25% for in-state spending, in addition to another 5% for including a "Filmed in Michigan" logo, and a possible 30% tax credit for hiring Michigan residents. I call that a win-win!

    It's a long process, but hopefully this new resolution will make it far enough to be signed into law someday soon.

    Read article at WKFR

  • Wednesday, February 09, 2022 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - State lawmakers may be trying to lure Hollywood back to Michigan.

    They’re looking to bring back the film incentives that made the state a hotspot for filming several years ago.

    About 40 states offer film incentives and Michigan lawmakers said it’s time to bring the film industry back to Michigan.

    Have you ever wondered why there aren’t many movie scenes you recognized your hometown in? Film makers said the lack of film production in Michigan is because film incentives are no longer in place in the state.

    “We saw a lot of promise and we saw a lot of incredible things happening for a few years,” said Matt Martyn, with Ahptic Film & Digital. “Ultimately pulling the rug out from under it left those that had really heavily invested high and dry.”

    Martyn said if a movie is supposed to take place in Michigan, it will be shot elsewhere.

    2018′s “White Boy Rick” filmed in Cleveland instead of Detroit, 2017′s “Detroit” was filmed in Boston and 2021′s “Don’t Look Up” shot primarily in Massachusetts and New York City, despite having scenes set in Lansing.

    Martyn said these productions create money and jobs in other states because of it.

    “Georgia did and followed through on what they promised to the studios,” Martyn said. “And because of that, so many people in Michigan that had met up with studio execs and other people then moved to Georgia.”

    Amaru, with Greenwood District Studios, said he wishes the film incentives for Michigan never left. He believes new incentives will bring people and money back to Lansing.

    “With the incentive coming back, Hollywood is going to show up overnight,” Amaru said.

    The film incentives hope to attract new industry opportunities for Michigan and will support the talent base and labor force.

    “If they change it to where they hire more locals, then the money that is made and brought into the state can funnel through the state and stay in the state longer,” Amaru said.

    The film incentive for Michigan means you may be seeing more Michigan-made films at local movie theatres. One of the main goals of the film incentives is creating more jobs and boosting Michigan’s economy.

    The proposed bills give preference to state-based companies that hire people who live in Michigan. House Bills 5724 and 5725, and Senate Bills 0862 and 0863 will go into committees.

    Copyright 2022 WILX. All rights reserved.

    Read article at WILX

  • Wednesday, February 09, 2022 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    LANSING, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A new series of bills introduced in Lansing this week would create tax incentives for the film industry in Michigan.

    The incentives would apply to Michigan produced commercials, film, television and streaming productions.

    The legislation creates a two-tiered tax credit that lawmakers say would boost the economy through added jobs, as well as money spent at hotels, restaurants and retailers.

    “What it’s going to do, it’s going to be an explosion of work, its going to be an explosion of opportunity, its going to put our restaurants and our hotels right to work and they are badly needing of it currently," said Brian Kelly, Chairperson with the Michigan Film Industry Association.

    The bills give preference to state-based companies who hire Michigan residents.

    Other specifics of the legislation include:

    • A base tax credit starting at 25% for in-state spending with an additional 5% awarded for the inclusion of a “filmed in Michigan” logo
    • A commitment from production companies to spend at least $50,000 for a single commercial campaign or project under 20 minutes or at least $300,000 for productions over 20 minutes
    • A 30% tax credit for hiring Michigan residents and 20% for nonresidents
    • A requirement that qualified Michigan vendors provide proof of brick-and-mortar presence, have inventory and full-time employees on staff. Pass-through companies and transactions will not qualify
    • Accountability requirements for independent verification of approved expenditures

    More than 39 states offer film incentives.

    Michigan previously offered incentives to the film industry but the program ended in 2015.


    Senate bills 862 and 863, now go to the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee with the House bills, 5724-5725, headed to the House Commerce and Tourism Committee.

    Read article at Up North Live

  • Wednesday, February 09, 2022 10:15 AM | Anonymous
      • Bipartisan bills position state to compete with 39+ states

        LANSING, MI – Bicameral, bipartisan legislation introduced today in the state Legislature is being heralded as an important investment in Michigan workers and the economy.

        The legislation creates a two-tiered tax credit that provides incentives for Michigan-produced commercials as well as film, television and streaming productions. The action comes at a time when over 39 states offer film incentives and, in turn, receive the jobs, economic boost and related upstream, downstream and peripheral benefits from a multi-billion-dollar industry.

        “This is about Michigan jobs,” said Sen. Adam Hollier, D-Detroit. “As we witness the devastation and business losses from the pandemic, we know that attracting an industry that reinvented itself amid the crisis is a wise investment in our state’s economy and its workers.”

        Sens. Hollier and Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, along with Reps. Kyra Bolden, D-Southfield, and Jack O’Malley, R-Lake Ann, introduced the bills to create jobs and retain Michigan talent. The initiative positions the state as an attractive location for film, commercials and the booming need for streaming content.

        Bringing the film industry back to Michigan will create more jobs and boost Michigan’s economy,” said Rep. Bolden. “Michiganders will be proud when movies made about icons like Aretha Franklin and Motown can be made right here in Detroit.”

        The bills give preference to state-based companies who hire Michigan residents. Other specifics of the legislation include:

      • A base tax credit starting at 25% for in-state spending with an additional 5% awarded for the inclusion of a “filmed in Michigan” logo;
      • A commitment from production companies to spend at least $50,000 for a single commercial campaign or project under 20 minutes or at least $300,000 for productions over 20 minutes;
      • A 30% tax credit for hiring Michigan residents and 20% for nonresidents;
      • A requirement that qualified Michigan vendors provide proof of brick-and-mortar presence, have inventory and full-time employees on staff. Pass-through companies and transactions will not qualify; and
      • Accountability requirements for independent verification of approved expenditures.

      The incentives will provide direct economic benefits to Michigan communities,” said Sen. Schmidt. “Many states can attest to the fact that film incentives spur additional investment and create jobs and training programs, boost local businesses and retain talent.”

      The Senate bills, SB 862-863, now go to the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee with the House bills, HB 5724-5725, headed to the House Commerce and Tourism Committee.

      "Film production is a manufacturing industry that depends on labor and a range of supporting goods and services to survive," said Rep. O'Malley. "This well-crafted and competitive film incentive program will attract new industry opportunities to our state and support Michigan's talent base and labor force."

      For more information and video segments on MiFIA’s advocacy efforts to create a film tax credit program in Michigan, visit www.mifia.org. To become a MiFIA member or support the association’s advocacy effort, contact Lorri Rishar at lorri@edgepartnerships.com or 517-449-7435.

      ###


  • Friday, October 08, 2021 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    MiFIA visits set to promote MI film incentive legislation

    LANSING, MI – Lights, action, camera and … a new film incentive credit for Michigan. All took center stage the past several weeks during the filming of Block Party in Grand Rapids.

    Live from Grand Rapids – On the set of Block Party are, from left, John White, transportation coordinator; Lisa Mathis, writer/producer; Kelly Haddad of Haddads Inc.; Tom Burke, co-chair IATSE Local 26 political action forum committee; and Lindsey Katerberg, Michigan Film Industry Association Board member and 1st vice president of IATSE Local 26.Wrapping up Michigan filming today, the family comedy is the product of Branch Out Productions, an African American led production company based in Grand Rapids. Block Party follows Harvard grad Keke McQueen, played by Antoinette Roberson, who wants to leave her hometown for a career in Atlanta but decides to stay to save her grandmother’s annual Juneteenth celebration.

    "Our comedy, Block Party, is set in Michigan, so it is important to add in as much regional flavor as possible," said Lisa Mathis, president of Branch Out Productions in a news release. "We're making an extra effort to cast locally while bringing more jobs to Michigan to strengthen our hub for diverse actors, producers and filmmakers. We believe casting local actors is good for the economy and good for creativity." 

    Electrician Chris McLoed, left, and Gaffer Dave Lowing on the Grand Rapids set of Block Party.

    The Michigan Film Industry Association (MiFIA) couldn’t agree more. Representatives of MiFIA visited the set to show their support as they pursue the introduction of legislation this fall to create a Michigan film incentive program.

    “More than 40 states and U.S. provinces, along with 97 countries, with incentives know that its all about jobs, the economy and retaining talent,” said David Haddad, MiFIA chair. “Tax credits stay in Michigan and benefit local companies. We can no longer stand idly by while Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania and other states capture all the advantages of film and commercial productions.”

    The legislation creates a two-tiered tax credit that provides incentives for Michigan-produced commercials as well as film, television and streaming productions.

    Initially introduced at the end of the 2019-2020 session, the legislation is drafted and ready for reintroduction this fall in both the Michigan House and Senate. The bills have garnered bipartisan support.

    Behind the Scenes – Filmmaking equipment fills the room for shooting in Grand Rapids of Block Party.Earlier this year, MiFIA members and state legislators visited the Detroit set of Black Family Mafia, a new hit series on Starz. While the producers wanted to film the Detroit-based story entirely in the city, they spent only a week in Detroit with the remaining scenes filmed in Atlanta because of Georgia’s film incentives.

                “Michigan is a beautiful, versatile state for filming,” said Haddad. “It defies logic that Michigan-based movies and the Big 3’s automotive commercials are not produced here. We have the power to change that now and, in doing so, create jobs and boost the state’s economy.”

                For more information on MiFIA, visit www.mifia.org.

    ###


  • Tuesday, August 03, 2021 7:58 AM | Anonymous

    from Crain's

    BY TOM O'DONNELL AND JOHN FORD

    We’ve seen this scripted act of ction before. Every year at this time, so-called “experts” from biased, politically motivated think tanks release a report concluding it is time to call "cut" on lm, TV, and streaming program tax credits nationwide, as a columnist did in the July 26 issue of Crain's.

    Read article PDF | Online

  • Friday, July 02, 2021 10:37 AM | Anonymous

     North Jersey set the stage for some 90’s nostalgia during the filming of the Hulu television series Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Season 2. Based on a true story, the show follows the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan in the early 1990s -- a vision of Bobby Diggs, aka The RZA, who strives to unite a dozen young, black men that are torn between lives of music and crime. They eventually rise to become the unlikeliest of American success stories. Executive produced by RZA, Method Man, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and Alex Tse, the series will air later this year. 

    Filmed entirely in New Jersey, Wu-Tang: Season 2 stars Ashton Sanders as RZA, Shameik Moore as Raekwon, Siddiq Saunderson as Ghostface Killah, and Dave East as Method Man, with recurring appearances by Joey Bada$$. Filming took place on locations in East Orange, Elmwood Park, Kearny, Newark, Paterson, Plainfield, and Secaucus. 

    Many television programs have been produced in New Jersey throughout the years. They include Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Sopranos, Oz, The Enemy Within, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector, Emergence, Little America and, most recently, The Equalizer. 

    Governor Phil Murphy pointed to the recent spate of television shows shot in the state as a testament to the success of the tax credit program. “A single network series filming in New Jersey for a full season can generate as much as $100 million in local economic activity, and create hundreds of local jobs,” he emphasized. The Governor cited as examples the aforementioned projects and such television shows as CBS’s The Equalizer and Ways & Means, and HBO’s The Plot Against America, all filmed on location here in the last two years. 

    Since the reinstatement and enhancement of New Jersey’s film incentive program, production activity has increased as much as 500%. Produced by Imagine Television, Wu-Tang: Season 2 is one of many projects recently attracted to the state by the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program, which offers a tax credit for qualified productions filming here. “We are delighted that the critically acclaimed Wu-Tang series chose to film Season 2 in the Garden State,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “We continue to see television shows produced here on a regular basis and expect that trend to continue in the years ahead.” 

    About the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission 

    The NJMPTVC, which falls under the New Jersey Department of State’s Business Action Center, is staffed by industry professionals and serves as a resource for production companies. The Commission promotes film and television production in New Jersey. 

    www.film.nj.gov 


  • Thursday, June 10, 2021 2:41 PM | Anonymous

    On June 8, MiFIA executive committee officers Brian Kelly, Peter Klein and Michael Anderson presented to the House Commerce and Tourism Committee a proposal to bring the film tax credit back to Michigan.

    Watch here starting at minute 13:
    https://www.house.mi.gov/SharedVideo/PlayVideoArchive.html?video=COMM-060821.mp4 

  • Tuesday, May 25, 2021 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    For the first time in years, Michiganders will see a familiar city in a major motion picture. Set and filmed in Detroit, Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move employed approximately 150 local workers (full and part-time) and used over 100 Michigan vendors for the 35-day shoot. The total Michigan spend for production is estimated at $30 million. Bringing back the Michigan film tax credit will attract other filmmakers like Soderbergh, promote tourism and create more jobs in our great state.


Blog posts

Michigan Film Industry Association (MiFIA)
117 E Kalamazoo St

Lansing, MI 48933

(517) 580 - 7710

mifia@mifia.org

Get Involved! Join our email list for updates


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software