That's a wrap for Washington film incentives
Up until the start of July, Washington was offering a 30 percent rebate off the amount of money the film industry spent in the state — but lawmakers declined to extend the program.
The Associated Press
OLYMPIA — Washington is boldly going where few states have gone before: It is ending incentives for the film industry.
An arms race among states in recent years led almost all to offer various benefits to lure production studios. Up until the start of July, Washington was offering a 30 percent rebate off the amount of money spent in the state — but lawmakers declined to extend the program.
The industry warns that Washington stands to lose out on future productions because it can't compete with the incentives offered in Vancouver and Oregon, which both offer lucrative benefits to lure projects.
"We become a quintessential flyover state," said Amy Lillard, executive director at incentives-managing group Washington Filmworks. "We are between two very aggressive jurisdictions. If you're a producer and a business person, it doesn't make sense to come to Washington."
Even with the film incentives, Washington still wasn't getting some of the work that would logically be shot in the state. The vampire-and-werewolf story behind the popular movie "Twilight" was based in Forks, Wash., but much of the film was shot in Oregon. The television series "The Killing," meanwhile, is set in Seattle but filmed in Vancouver.
Lillard said the "Twilight" movie bypassed the state because Washington's incentives weren't good enough, while "The Killing" went to Vancouver because of the uncertainty over the future of the state's incentives. The group still has about $3.5 million raised in the first half of this year to lure additional production and has recently approved four new projects, but Lillard said others are reconsidering whether to come to the state.
"I would say the film industry is way down on the value chain," said state Sen. Jim Kastama.
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