LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Film Office, which approved incentives for 12 movies during the first half of 2011, has given the green light to only four films during the same period this year.
The film office has received 21 applications for the state’s film incentives so far, compared with 69 during the first half of 2011, according to a report by Detroit Free Press.
“In addition to the four we have approved, we have several others in the pipeline that are very close to approval that we hope to announce soon,” film office spokeswoman Michelle Begnoche said.
Gov. Rick Snyder cut spending on the state’s film incentive program last year as part of his plan to balance the budget. With fewer incentives available, interest among Hollywood producers to film their projects here has waned.
But under a new budget agreement reached earlier this year, a $25 million annual cap on the incentives will be increased to $50 million for the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
The four movies approved so far this year have been given $14.5 million in grants. Filmmakers said they plan to spend $49 million in Michigan on production expenses.
Of the $14.5 million granted, $12.1 million, or 83 percent, went to an untitled Warner Bros. production about a super tornado that sweeps through a small town. The movie will be filmed in the Detroit area and at Raleigh Michigan Studios in Pontiac. It is expected to spend $40.7 million in the state and hire hundreds of Michigan residents.
The three other projects received much smaller incentives.
“AKA Jimmy Picard,” which is based on the true story of a World War II veteran and Blackfoot Indian, received a $2 million grant, and the Jim Jarmusch-directed “Only Lovers Left Alive” got a $365,904 grant.
And “Beside Still Waters” received a $79,324 grant. It is the story of estranged high school friends who reunite at a summer home in the Upper Peninsula.
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