The film industry creates billions of dollars in jobs and products for the United States as a whole. However, it also greatly affects the states movies are filmed in. Recently, Pennsylvania’s City of Brotherly Love has been getting an enormous amount of attention. Not for the liberty bell, but for the movies that have been filmed there. During the summer of 2012, Liam Hemsworth made a stay in Philadelphia while filming an upcoming flick, Paranoia. His presence and that of his co-stars put a whole new spot light on the area. In the past five years alone, more than 50 movies have been filmed in the state of Pennsylvania. Baby Mama, I am Number Four, Law Abiding Citizen, and Love & Other Drugs are some of the more well-known.
In 2007, Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell , signed into law Act 55 of 2007, the current Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit Program. It’s budget sits at $60 million, not too far behind California, home to the famous Hollywood movie scene, which has $100 million allocated to their program. For Pa., this means that filmmakers can come to Pa., produce films, and receive 25% of their proceeds back if they spend 60% of their production budget in the state.
There are numerous projects that qualify for this film tax credit (FTC), including feature films, game show series and television commercials. In order to apply for an FTC, applications must be filled out by companies no sooner than 90 days before filming starts. Additionally, monthly reporting forms need to be turned in five business days from the end of the month. Upon completion of filming, a series of forms including a completed final production and budget top sheet must be turned in to the PA Film Office within 120 days. An economic impact report, which sums up exactly how the film process has economically affected the state, also has to be turned in at completion. The PA Film Office also asks that “In each print and electronic version of the project, the end credits should include an acknowledgment of the support provided by the Pennsylvania Film Office and use of its logo.”
There are incidents where grants require films to pass sensitivity tests in order to show the respective states in a good light, which in turn could lead to issues with censorship. However, the FTC does more good for a state than bad. As stated by the Pittsburgh Film Office, House Bill 1027 allows for "fee-free" use of state-owned property for movie location sites. If cast and crew stay in a Pennsylvania hotel for at least 30 consecutive days, the state hotel tax will be waived. All in all, FTC brings a lot of attention to Pa. and it’s cities, thus resulting in vast opportunities for tourism and creating many jobs for residents in those areas.