Winning a tax break under Michigan’s moviemaking promotion program is far from a sure thing for those seeking the state subsidy.

Of the 352 applications since the program started in April 2008, Michigan granted credits to 183 projects, according to the Detroit Free Press.

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Michigan has given out $62 million to production companies, generating $348 million in spending. Michigan’s tax credit is one of the nation’s most generous, refunding up to 42 percent of a company’s qualified expenditures.

The Michigan Film Office says it is friendly toward moviemakers.

“We are in the business of bringing jobs to the state,” said spokesman Ken Droz. “But it’s not a blank check. It’s not carte blanche.”

Movies denied credits include “The Big Valley,” an adaptation of the 1960s TV western. Officials said the producers didn’t plan to use many Michigan actors for a cast that includes Jessica Lange, Richard Dreyfuss and Aidan Quinn.

The 150-member crew now plans to start shooting Sept. 20 in Baton Rouge with a Louisiana tax credit.

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“It would have been great to be in Michigan,” said director Daniel Adams. “Hopefully we’ll do another movie there.”

Michigan filmmaker Adrian Walker, 28, said when he set out to make his first movie in early 2009, he mistakenly assumed that getting a Michigan film production tax credit would be relatively easy.

The screenwriter and producer is now talking with theaters about distribution of his suspense thriller “The Art of Power.”

He made the movie without the state aid he sought.

“It was very disheartening to us,” Walker said.

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