St. Louis County Considering Luring TV and Movie Companies With Incentives
Commissioners in St. Louis County are considering a $1 million film production incentive to help lure movies and TV series to come film here. This incentive would reimburse up to 25% of production costs after the project wraps and the expenditures are audited by the county.
Having these shows and movies filmed here would provide additional jobs and money throughout the region. This is the first incentive of it's kind in the state, the Minnesota Legislature has considered this but as of yet has not passed a new statewide credit for the film industry.
Riki McManus, director of the Upper Minnesota Film Office said to the Star Tribune:
We have all this interest in coming here and shooting, but no one is going to come here without an incentive, I think it’s a very good start. I’m really hoping it will spur the state to do something.
Last year the Catalyst Content Festival brought its indie TV event to Duluth for the first time and County officials were in talks with many executives. Many from the industry said the area was very enticing but an incentive is necessary to make it financially viable for the productions to move here.
States with these incentives have seen a boom in the industry such as Georgia. Minnesota was passed over on a chance to host a Disney film called "Clouds" which was filmed instead in Canada which has strong incentives for TV and Film.
McManus said to the Star Tribune: "there are a number of works set in the area that have been picked up for TV series — including one of author Brian Freeman's books and Vidar Sundstøl's Minnesota Trilogy. Others could follow, possibly from HBO and Netflix. The nice thing about a television series is it's not just a one-off, I like the long-term opportunities."
The beauty of Minnesota is we have a major metropolitan area along with just about every type of landscape possible from woods to the Northshore and rolling fields and bluffs in the southern part of the state, plus all the different seasons as well. It is an ideal place to film, so hopefully this will go through so these production companies stop filming up in Canada.