Tampa Bay can lead the state in film and digital media projects and Film Tampa Bay’s relaunch on Friday is the first step on that ambitious goal.
“We want to become the state leader in this industry,” Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan said at a relaunch event at Tampa Theatre for Film Tampa Bay, formerly the Tampa/Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission.
The film industry has become a competitive, incentive-driven business in the past several years and states like Louisiana and Georgia have a head start on Florida when it comes to tax breaks for films.
“I think Tallahassee gets it,” said Film Tampa Bay Executive Director Dale Gordon of the state legislature’s ongoing effort to boost Florida’s incentive package.
Tampa Bay has a real shot at achieving Hagan’s goal of Sunshine State domination, Gordon said.
“I have an investor now who wants to build a soundstage [in Hillsborough County],” she said. She has advised the investor to be patient until the legislature makes a move on incentives.
An $11.5 million soundstage from EUE Screen Gems is in development now in South Florida.“They have a lot to lose,” if the state’s incentive package does not come through, Gordon said.
By comparison, Hillsborough County already built a film incentive package that Gordon hopes will show filmmakers that we are serious about hosting their films, television shows and commercials.