Reporting Sandra McNeill
ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Did Michigan’s generous film incentives really create jobs? A local director is making a case restore the tax breaks to a $100 million annual cap.
The locally produced documentary ”Jane of All Trades” will premier at 8 p.m. Thursday night to a crowd at Royal Oak’s Main Art Theater.
First time director and Southfield native Chris-Teena Constas told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil the film incentives brought her back home from Chicago. She bought a house in Hamtramck.
“And I was planning on buying a second house; I bought a new car here. My brother moved back — he bought a house. He’s on a second house now. So, there’s thousands of stories about people who really transformed their lives in three years,” Constas said.
She said “Jane of All Trades” focuses on four people who had good jobs until the film incentives were cut.
“I know from just my story, and one person coming back, how much money I put back into the economy, and how many people I was able to get jobs,” Constas said. “And now they’re making a full-time wage working part-time and spending that money in Michigan.”
Constas said she doesn’t mind keeping the tax incentive at 32 percent, but she’d like to see the cutoff raised to $100 million to bring back the industry that has been devastated.
“Unemployment can only take me so long, so if we don’t have another movie or two coming this year, you know, I’m forced to leave,” she said.
Learn more about the film here.
Keep up with the latest on film making in our state on the Michigan Film Office website at this link.