Colorado Film and Shoot Colorado are Making Production Industry Headway
We think it's important to know what's happening in our neighboring states with regards to their film incentives, not because they should be considered "competition" but because film is a transitory and fluid industry that increasingly requires film professionals to be geographically mobile. Knowing what your neighbors are up to is a great way to stay in touch with the pulse of the industry.
With that in mind, the state of Colorado has recently upped their film incentive program from a paltry 10% rebate to 20%, and also providing a state-backed guarantee on 20% of a production loan. The finer details of the program are now being released, but they're looking to attract 3-4 indy features per year in the $5-$10m range. The focus is not big studio features, firstly because the total pot of incentive $ is small ($4m), but because they're focused on hand-picking films that will most benefit Colorado (diverse locations around the state, upping tourism opportunities).
The Colorado Office of Film Television and Media has also recently released a 100-page website dedicated to bringing production business to the state. Shoot Colorado (shootcolorado.org) gives more than 80 communities their own film web-page featuring location information, production resources, photos and local production contact information. Again, the focus is on insuring that people and places around the state feel involved and a part of the film world, and that each area of the state is equally visible to productions.
The director of the Colorado Film Office, Donald Zuckerman, is also a Hollywood producer who knows the ins and outs of the business - and the Governor has thrown his support solidly behind the industry.
Stay tuned, because they're creating what looks like a sustainable, long-term model for a successful production industry. It's a small program, so I wouldn't expect NM to lose production business, but there's always things to be learned by how other states are managing their film industry.