With Virginia's 15 percent to 20 percent refundable tax credit, many Hollywood productions are taking advantage of the state's less expensive shooting locations—and it's seriously boosting the local economy.
Clint Eastwood’s "J. Edgar" and Ben Affleck’s "Argo" recently shot in the state prior to Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."
Together, the A-list productions have helped create 1,166 jobs and brought in $60 million in state and local tax revenue.
During a news conference at the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Va., before a screening of "Lincoln" hosted by the Virginia Film Office and Tourism Corporation, Gov. Bob McDonnell discussed the benefits of the state's budding film industry:
"The increase in jobs and revenue from Virginia’s film industry is encouraging and demonstrates the effectiveness of our state’s incentive programs for film production. It is particularly significant that the industry has added 1,166 jobs during the past year and contributed nearly $60 million in state and local tax revenue. Thanks to the bipartisan effort to put in place policies attractive to the industry, Virginia continues to land major films, like Steven Spielberg’s 'Lincoln.'"
At the same press conference, Chris Dodd, chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, told reporters how having large film crews eat in local restaurants and stay in local hotels has been beneficial for the entire state:
"For the three months that 'Lincoln' filmed here in Virginia, it brought tens of millions of dollars into the state – hundreds of men and women in the cast and crew stayed in hotels, ate in local restaurants, and shopped in local retail stores. During the course of this film being made, the production company used Virginia film industry vendors to construct the sets, purchase authentic props, rent equipment, provide catering, and so much more. That’s money for Virginia businesses and jobs for Virginia workers."
"Lincoln," which cost about $65 million to produce and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president, has already earned $900K in the past three days at the box office—and it was only released in 11 theaters.