Film Commissioner Says New Incentives Already Paying Dividends

by Roby Brock ( 3 views 

Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane says that new incentives approved by the state legislature are already paying dividends.

The General Assembly approved changes to the state’s film and digital products incentive act, which allows filmmakers working in the state to qualify for rebates and tax breaks.

One of the main aspects of the new law increased the sales tax rebate from 15% to 20% and provided a payroll tax break for productions exceeding $200,000.

“My phone has not stopped ringing,” Crane tells Talk Business Arkansas. He said three new movie projects – “Greater: The Brandon Burlsworth Story,” “Guttersnipes” and “Valley Inn” – are all poised for production.

Crane also said that a long-term, recurring series may also be in the works.

“We have one right now that is going to be a constancy in the industry should we land it. It would mean a many year commitment,” he said.

Crane said the long-term project would be beneficial in growing the talent pool for behind-the-scene workers in the production business.

He also said that a late-April premiere of the movie “Mud,” which was filmed in the Arkansas Delta by Little Rock native Jeff Nichols and stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepherd, will be a major moment in Arkansas film history.

“I’ve seen it,” Crane said. “It truly will be one of those pride moments for us.”

Crane also discussed the upcoming Little Rock Film Festival and other upcoming events. Watch his full interview below.