Maryland has a long and storied filmmaking history, including significant success in attracting film and television productions. Our geographic diversity, well trained crew and actor base and many dedicated businesses and vendors that service this industry provide the locations and infrastructure that make Maryland a prime filming destination. Our history on the screen includes award-winning and popular hits such as Diner, Hairspray, And Justice For All, Homicide: Life on the Streets, The Wire, Wedding Crashers, Runaway Bride and, most recently, Veep and House of Cards.
Beginning in 2002, states began to offer tax credits and other incentives to attract film and television productions. According to a July 2008 Report of the National Governor’s Association, the motion picture industry benefits state and local economies by attracting out-of-state investments, creating high paying jobs, contributing to the economic and civic vitality of communities, and stimulating cultural tourism. The NGA Report characterized the film industry as a highly desirable, environmentally “green” industry that brings higher paying knowledge-based jobs to a state.
By 2008, over 40 other states offered tax credit and other incentive programs to attract film and television productions. Because Maryland did not keep pace with other states by offering competitive productive incentives, our skilled crew was forced to leave Maryland to find work, and the small businesses that support the industry in Maryland were shrinking or collapsing. Other states were attracting productions that otherwise would have been shot in Maryland.
In 2008, the Maryland Film Industry Coalition was formed by Marylanders who were appalled by the loss of this industry. The Maryland Film Industry Coalition is an alliance of local business leaders, educational institutions, labor unions, government entities and individuals who are dedicated to improving the business conditions to improve and increase film and television production in Maryland.
Thanks to the support of our bill sponsors, supporters and the Maryland General Assembly, the Maryland Film Employment Act of 2011 passed unanimously and was signed into law in May of 2011. The program went to work immediately, bringing the award-winning television series, “House of Cards,” and “VEEP” and three independent films to Maryland. In 2013, the General Assembly passed legislation that enhanced the incentive program. All of the credits were quickly committed. The 2014 session patched funds together to keep existing projects in Maryland for another year.
While the film and television industry is enjoying a wonderful resurgence in Maryland, the Coalition’s work is far from over. We must ensure that each new class of elected representatives in Annapolis, and each new administration, fully appreciate the importance of maintaining a competitive production incentive program in order to attract film and television productions to Maryland. Our elected leaders should understand not only the benefits of film and television production activity, but also the dire consequences of taking these industries for granted and failing to compete with states only too happy to take this vibrant industry.
The Maryland Film Industry Coalition is dedicated to improving the business conditions for the film industry in Maryland. We believe that a stable, predictable production incentive program will ensure the continuation of Maryland’s storied film industry, full employment for its crew and actor base, and continued growth of the small business infrastructure that supports these vibrant industries.
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Maryland Film = Maryland Jobs