Lights, Camera, Action! – Governor signs film bill

Lights! Camera! Action! That’s what Governor Bob Riley said he hopes to hear in Alabama now that legislation providing financial incentives to encourage movie and television production is law.”All of us who live here – and all of those who have visited our state – know Alabama has great scenery. We have talented and artistic people. As they say in show business, Alabama has star power. That’s why we want people to shoot in Alabama, and I’m not just talking about turkey season,” Governor Riley said during a ceremony at the State Capitol on Tuesday where he signed the bill into law.”With this new law we’ll attract new investment into Alabama. We’ll increase job opportunities for our citizens and we’ll improve our ability to compete on the global stage for film and motion picture production,” Governor Riley said.
Productions that qualify for the state’s incentives can receive rebates equal to 35 percent of payrolls paid to Alabama residents and 25 percent of other production costs. Instead of attempting to lure expensive movies, Alabama is targeting smaller productions whose budgets range from $500,000 to $10 million in order to grow the state’s movie industry at a sustainable level. The Legislature put a limit of $5 million in rebates available during the current year, with the cap growing to $7.5 million in 2010 and $10 million in years beyond.
Those who wrote this bill used the best elements from legislation passed by other states to give Alabama a conservative and responsible foundation to stimulate our state’s film industry. They took the unusual step of sharing the legislation with studios and independent producers in Los Angeles for feedback and got advice about other states’ film incentives. The act requires the Alabama Film Office to work with representatives from the Department of Revenue in developing regulations that will qualify productions and monitor expenses eligible for rebate. Approximately 42 other states provide some financial incentives to producers and studios to film in their locations.

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