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State Approves Film Incentives For History TV Show

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Michiganfilm
(credit: istock) Technology Report
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LANSING — The Michigan Film Office announced today that an episode of the TV series “The Rusty Bucket Kids: Hunting History’s Heroes” has been approved for a film incentive from the state.

The episode, entitled “Edison: The Possibilities of Imagination,” will be shot at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad near Flint and the Thomas Edison Depot in Port Huron.

“This project tells the story of one of our hometown heroes here in Michigan — Thomas Edison — while utilizing some of the great historical attractions we have in the state.” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “In addition to sharing this important piece of Michigan history, the cast and crew for this shoot will be made up almost entirely of Michigan residents.”

The Rusty Bucket Kids was awarded an incentive of $33,604 on $80,010 of projected in-state expenditures. The approval was made prior to Dec. 31 under the previous tax credit structure and is not part of the $25 million allocation for Fiscal Year 2012. The project is expected to hire 26 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of one job.

This brings 2011 numbers to 23 projects approved with $24.8 million in incentives being awarded on $59.6 million of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,978 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 401 jobs.

The Rusty Bucket Kids is an “edutainment” children’s television series featuring a time-traveling brother and sister. In the pilot episode, the young time travelers meet a 15-year old Abraham Lincoln. Episode 4, approved for the incentive, will feature Thomas Edison at age 13 as he is growing up in Port Huron. The Rusty Bucket Kids series will plan to air on Detroit Public Television, and a DVD of the series will be distributed worldwide by Bridgestone Media Group in Grand Rapids.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. Film Review Committee, comprised of senior MEDC staff including the Michigan Film Commissioner, reviews all completed applications.

Using the statute to guide approval decisions, preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:
* The production is financially viable.
* Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, equipment rental, etc.).
* The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production.
* Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination.
* Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.

Since the incentives took effect in April 2008, the Film Office and the Department of Treasury have approved a total of $385.9 million in film incentives on $981 million in total qualified expenditures by productions in Michigan. This represents 228 projects that have been approved to date, including 164 projects that have actually wrapped in the state.

The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan, as well as infrastructure development and workforce training.

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