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Protest Scheduled To Save Michigan Film Credits

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LANSING (WWJ) - Advocates of Michigan’s film industry are meeting in Lansing Friday to make their voices heard about Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal that would serious cut back efforts to bring movie production to the state.

The Governor is proposing to cap film credits to $25 million dollars a year, saying it has been a drain on the state budget.

Michigan Film Office Advisory Council Chair Emery King explained that the film industry has not only helped to keep budding film makers and young people in Michigan, but it has actually brought them to Detroit.

“Many of those students will be there to testify and will be there to urge the Governor and legislators to not take this draconian action on the Michigan film office.”

Jeffrey Spilman of S3 Entertainment in Oakland County says Michigan’s film industry stopped still after the Governor’s budget proposal.

“We had three productions that on Friday told us they were leaving Michigan. And they would have employed 500 Michigan workers at an average rate of about $30 an hour,” Spilman said.

While critics say the film tax rebate is a drain on Michigan taxpayers, King said the industry is breathing life into Detroit and needs time to take root.

“We will realize that the ancillary benefits and the true economic impact will be tremendous in this state,” King said.

Vice-Chair of the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council Jim Burnstein said great strides have been made in stopping Michigan’s brain drain, and that if this proposal is approved, “everything we’ve built up will be gone.”

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