Incentives could lure more Hollywood films to Tennessee - WSMV Channel 4

Incentives could lure more Hollywood films to Tennessee

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The House and Senate both have bills under consideration that would give film makers tax breaks to lure Hollywood to Tennessee and shoot more major films in Tennessee.

For years, members of the local film industry have been deflated when movies starring Nashville actors and actresses end up shooting in other cities. The local dollars generated along with them are lost.

"Are we going to get the $100 million projects? No. From the studios? No," said Jan Austin, with the Association for Future of Film and TV.

The reason for that is largely due to incentives. Other states like Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina are luring major motion picture companies with big time tax breaks.

But now there is a bill that would hopefully make Tennessee more competitive.

"Tennessee is one of those places where it really makes sense for the entertainment industry to live. It already has a vast and thriving history in this state," said Nathan Lux, a former member of the Tennessee Film Commission.

Monday, members of the arts and film community came together at the Belcourt Theatre to talk about what the state is losing.

They showcased a scrolling list of 200 people who have left Tennessee over the past two years to find work out of state.

One local talent scout explained how actors and actresses are losing every time a film goes somewhere else.

"Last year, I had three actors hired onto a production in North Carolina," said Juanell Walker, owner of Talent Trek. "Two weeks out, they called and canceled our actors, and the casting director said to me, 'I really hate this, because I really think they're the best people for the role, but I'm canceling every out-of-state actor because the production has decided to take advantage of the local incentive to hire local talent."

According to statistics from the state film commission, every dollar spent on incentives generates four dollars to the local economy.

And if Tennessee doesn't make some changes, our piece of the Hollywood pie and money could be lost.

"It's painfully obvious that the walls are coming up around Tennessee with every state offering incentives except us," Walker said.

If you want to support these bills, the Association for Future of Film and TV is hosting a rally Tuesday on the Capitol Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit the group's website at http://affttennessee.org/.

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