22 June, 2010

Saving Maryland's Film and Commercial Production Industry

2.23.10 UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who showed. Great turnout. Great dialogue. Video and links from thes press conference here.

Maryland movies that weren't

Our friends on the other side of the building at Renegade Productions know a thing or two about the state of film and commercial production in Maryland. Over the last few years they've watched as other states (and even other countries) have created attractive incentives to lure studios and production companies to their hoods; unfortunately, Maryland hasn't kept pace. The titles above, all set in Maryland*, never made it here. The mere fact that the remake of John Waters' "Hairspray" was filmed in Toronto makes me want to hit someone in the face with a crab mallet.

An article from Baltimore Magazine suggests why Maryland isn't ready for its closeup:

Maryland's incentives, which include exemption from state sales tax, plus a 25 percent refund (up to $1 million) on all production expenses spent in Maryland are paltry when compared to states like Michigan that offer a 40 percent rebate on filming expenses. (Flicked Off, Baltimore Magazine)

The summary: When it comes to keeping the film and commercial industry alive in the Old Line State, we're blowing it. It's tougher to get projects. It's tougher to get crews. It's tougher to make a living on either side of the lens.

So, Renegade Productions is proud to welcome former Governor (and current gubernatorial candidate) Robert Ehrlich to speak about the issue. He's been a big proponent of beefing up incentives for film and commercial projects in the state, so we're sure he'll have a lot to say. He's also bringing a few friends. Regardless of whom you're voting for in November, if you care about the future of the film and commercial production industry in Maryland, it's worth checking out.

Call me Bob.

The criticals:

Governor Robert Ehrlich
Talking about how to resuscitate the film and commercial industry in MD
Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 11 a.m.
Renegade Productions Studio
10950 Gilroy Rd, Suite J
Hunt Valley, MD 21031

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* F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button takes place in Baltimore while the movie's set in New Orleans.

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