Tag Archives: filmorlando

Gus Corbella: Keep Florida’s Film Industry Booming

As many of you know, Indie Cinema Showcase is as ‘indie‘ as the films we showcase. We are a zero budget production doing our best to bring YOU the best of Florida’s film, television and local entertainment goings on. When our mighty four person Field Team comes together, we utilize all available resources we can find to provide the very best coverage out of our own pockets. Yes, I said that collectively, OUR pockets. Sometimes it’s at a small sacrifice… other times it’s at a great one.

Personally, I have turned down paying work from major networks (when coverage couldn’t be rescheduled) to make sure we have at least a skeleton crew to cover an event for Indie Cinema Showcase. Call me stupid, but that’s how much I believe in what we’re doing here at the show. Those who know me personally know, I only back causes and brands that I wholeheartedly believe in. ICS is one of those causes.

Like all of you, our Field Team and show producers actively work in this industry as well as produce Indie Cinema Showcase. As of January 2014, we will enter our Fourth Season. While this show is truly a labor of love for all of us, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it. And we’re not the only ones who feel this way about our industry here in Florida. Below we share an example of such passion, penned by Gus Corbella for the Tallahassee Democrat last month;

Keep Florida’s film industry booming

Oct. 28, 2013 6:30 PM
Written by Gus Corbella
Opinion Columnist

Gus Corbella is serving his third term as chairman of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, the lead advisory body to Florida government on entertainment issues. He is also the director of government law and policy for Greenberg Traurig in Tallahassee (www.gtlaw.com). 

I can’t help but smile when I read in Variety about the mayor of Los Angeles begging film and television studios not to take work out of his city.

A recent study by Film Works LA finds that movie production in Los Angeles has plummeted 60 percent since its peak 15 years ago. Increased taxes and regulations are driving the entertainment industry out of California in a sort of reverse manifest destiny, and studios are farming out productions throughout the country, including here to Florida.
The Sunshine State has been successfully utilizing tax credits to attract the industry to shoot major motion pictures, television series and other independent productions here. The benefits to Florida are many: high-wage jobs, boosts to the local economies and worldwide publicity for our state. However, entertainment incentives in Florida are at a critical juncture, and our state could suffer unless we act during the upcoming legislative session.

Here’s why: The $296 million in tax credits appropriated for the industry since 2010 by the Legislature have mostly been committed. That is a testament to the success of the program and the industry’s interest in our state.

As legislators struggle to identify where to best invest limited resources in the coming months, I hope they’ll see the incredible value that has come from luring these productions to Florida. Legislation will be considered in the coming months to reseed and modernize the financial incentive program to keep Florida competitive with other locations trying to attract these productions. Providing a reliable and stable funding mechanism that will guarantee Florida as the “go-to location” for entertainment production is an opportunity that Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature should not pass up this spring.

Any resident of South Beach can attest to the transformative powers of television. “Miami Vice” changed the landscape of South Florida in the 1980s by re-energizing Miami as one of the emerging entertainment capitals of the world and the global center for Hispanic media.

“Burn Notice,” one of four major television shows recently produced in South Florida, wrapped up a seven-season run this year and is now in syndication in more than 200 countries. The movie “The Truman Show” helped convert the sleepy town of Seaside and State Road 30A into a major beach destination. Many of the top video games played by enthusiasts globally are produced in Maitland, which is also becoming a high-tech hub for military, medical and training simulation development.

Don’t forget the little dolphin named Winter, who starred in “Dolphin Tale.” The modern family classic re-energized the city of Clearwater and made the Clearwater Marine Aquarium a tourist destination for children and families throughout the world.

Considering all our years of success, it would be regrettable for Florida to suffer an entertainment exodus simply because we failed to take the necessary steps to cultivate this blossoming industry in our state.

Without a doubt, the entertainment industry can continue to play a substantial role in our state’s economic recovery and diversification. According to the Office of Film and Entertainment, production in Florida has created more than 100,000 jobs for Floridians in the past three years alone, paying more than $658 million in wages to talented professionals who call our state home.

This creative economy also has tremendous ripple effects on our local communities. Feature films and television productions spend on average $225,000 per day on-location, providing an infusion of new money to local businesses, including hotel rooms, rental cars, restaurants, legal and medical services, security, office space and equipment rentals. “Burn Notice” alone generated more than $120 million in total local direct spend during its run, employing more than 200 cast and crew and thousands of extras. The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the promotional value of the show to be $170 million a year.

Florida is uniquely poised to permanently attract and grow this vibrant industry within our state. Legislators should capitalize on this opportunity and commit in the months ahead to renew our efforts to lure these productions to Florida. From the big screen to the iPad screen, it’s time to hear “lights, camera, action” being barked out once again in Florida – not time to yell “cut!” to our efforts.

This Op Ed appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat and was featured on Tallahassee.com on October 29, 2013

Advertisements

WFTV Reports on Florida’s Entertainment Tax Incentives (and lack thereof)

ICS Producer, Jen Vargas, was invited to be part of this critical conversation last Saturday with WFTV reporter Tim Barber. Also interviewed for this piece was Sheena Fowler, our current Metro Orlando Film Commission President.

We’re curious, filmmakers. A bunch of questions:

  • How many of you make your living in Florida?
  • How many of you make your living outside of the state?
  • What about Florida makes it so desirable for you to stay, or so undesirable that you’re thinking of moving away permanently?
  • How important is it to you to STAY based in Florida?
  • What are YOU personally doing to raise awareness and start a conversation of this situation with your peers?
  • Do you even care to? (WE CERTAINLY HOPE SO! This effects ALL OF US!)

Please feel free to answer below in the comments section or on our Facebook page! Check out WFTV’s full report below…

Mark Simon interviewed by WFTV’s Tim Barber

 

Related:

Legislative Update from Metro Orlando Commissioner Sheena Fowler


Orlando’s Abyssmal Entertainment Unleashes Fiend Fatale

ICS past guest, Steven Shea (Abyssmal Entertainment), just released his latest short film called “Fiend Fatale,” a proof of concept brand conceived here in Central Florida. FIEND FATALE is a horror-adventure film, about five sisters, a vampire, zombie, werewolf, demon and mermaid, cloned from the DNA of extinct monsters, thrust into the modern world and facing off against the government, terrorists and themselves. You may notice some familiar faces in this piece including local actress and presenter, Tracy Wiu, actor and past Popcorn Gallery panelist, Chris Greene and even a small cameo by our former host and current Enzian FilmSlam programmer and host, Tim Anderson! (If you look real close, you’ll notice Cronin… as in Terry Cronin from Students of the Unusual and our MegaCon special!)

Their Vimeo page states, “This project is currently seeking financing, and being shopped around to different studios, executives and financiers. We have created a brand that contains a Proof-Of-Concept Short Film, Comic Book, Video Game App, as well as possibilities for a Television Series and Sequel potentials.” Perhaps Orlando, nay the world, will be seeing a lot more of these ladies in the near future…

If you’re an Android user, check out the app! It’s called “Fiend Fatale: Stairwell to Heaven.”

Now available for download in the Google Play Store!

Now available for download in the Google Play Store!

 

Related: 

Troma Entertainment, Inc. releases Florida lensed Doomsday County

Fiend Fatale on Facebook


Film Incentive Update: Don’t Count Florida Out Just Yet…

At the top of June, our Metro Orlando Film Commissioner, Sheena Fowler, confirmed some terrible legislative facts:

…no additional funding was added for the Florida Film & Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive program. While this is not what we had hoped for, here is our current reality:

  • We have no incentive money to bring any NEW projects to the area with the exception of Commercials and Music Videos
  • Future seasons of currently “in-production” TV series are pre-certified and will continue to film
  • There is the opportunity for projects in line who have been pre-certified to fall out thus opening some funds to the projects currently in line behind them

Our next steps include working together to educate our legislators on the validity of this industry and to form a more effective plan to better our efforts of receiving new funds to the program next year.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that there is still money left in the queue for commercial and music video production. As such, you’ll see our office aggressively going after this opportunity. Additionally we will continue to advocate the Orlando market as an ideal location for productions based on our indigenous incentives, experienced crew, large talent pool, variety of locations and stages, experienced infrastructure including post houses and the sales tax exemption program.

This is a good time to be sure to log into your account with FilmOrlando’s online filmbook to make sure your listing is up-to-date. You can do this 24/7 from this link: http://www.filmorlando.com/Get-Listed/

Do not count Florida out just yet, filmmakers and producers.

We share some hopeful news via miamitodaynews.com;

In conjunction with the Film Florida advocacy group, she plans to visit legislators around the state in August and September. “We’ll be asking “What do you need from us?’ as well as showing the economic impact. The sheer numbers will send a huge message.”

Read the full text of Author Catherine Lackner’s story HERE.

If you live and work in the industry here in Florida, how do YOU advocate? Do you talk with legislators, fellow collaborators and colleagues about the state of our film industry? How can we fix it? CAN we fix it? Please comment below to help start a dialog. Please keep FIGHTING to help our industry. If more voices united, imagine the hell we could raise!


Florida Film and Entertainment Incentive Update

In case you weren’t aware, here is a legislative update from our Metro Orlando Film Commissioner, Sheena Fowler…

Dear Orlando Film Community:

Thank you for your support during the recent Legislative Session. As you know, there was no additional funding added for the Florida Film & Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive program. While this is not what we had hoped for, here is our current reality:

  • We have no incentive money to bring any NEW projects to the area with the exception of Commercials and Music Videos
  • Future seasons of currently “in-production” TV series are pre-certified and will continue to film
  • There is the opportunity for projects in line who have been pre-certified to fall out thus opening some funds to the projects currently in line behind them

Our next steps include working together to educate our legislators on the validity of this industry and to form a more effective plan to better our efforts of receiving new funds to the program next year.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that there is still money left in the queue for commercial and music video production. As such, you’ll see our office aggressively going after this opportunity. Additionally we will continue to advocate the Orlando market as an ideal location for productions based on our indigenous incentives, experienced crew, large talent pool, variety of locations and stages, experienced infrastructure including post houses and the sales tax exemption program.

This is a good time to be sure to log into your account with FilmOrlando’s online filmbook to make sure your listing is up-to-date. You can do this 24/7 from this link: http://www.filmorlando.com/Get-Listed/

Today (May 14th), I’m leaving for New York City to attend the CLIO Awards, “the world’s most recognized awards competition for creativity.”  This event gathers the best in the commercial industry from across the globe for one night to celebrate commercials. I’ll be meeting with clients who’ve filmed here before and working to interest those who have yet to take advantage of Orlando’s commercial market.

If you have any questions, please contact me at Sheena@FilmOrlando.com.

Thank you,
Sheena

SHEENA FOWLER | Orlando Film Commissioner
Metro Orlando Film Commission
A Division of the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission
301 E. Pine Street, Suite 900 | Orlando, Florida 32801
Sheena@FilmOrlando.com
407.422.7159 x262 | c 407.923.3454 | f 407.425.6428
web | facebook | youtube | twitter


%d bloggers like this: