The HBO Max prequel series Welcome to Derry, based on Stephen King’s 1986 horror novel It, began filming on May 1.
Like its predecessors It and It: Chapter Two, the 10-episode prequel won’t be filmed in the book’s fictional town of Derry, Maine, supposedly near Bangor. Filming is taking place in Toronto and nearby Port Hope, which the filmmakers say feels like a small town in America. The 1990 miniseries version of British He was filmed in Columbia as well.
This is a scenario that is often repeated in stories set in Maine and filmed elsewhere for more favorable incentives. According to one source, the state is competing with many other locations to attract filmmakers, but its performance has been sluggish. supervisor report Submitted to Congress in March.
The report scathingly reviewed Maine’s video media subsidies, which began in 2006 and remains one of the smallest in the nation, calling them “limited in effectiveness and poorly managed.” Maine’s film industry experts are trying to change that.
They are asking policy makers to make it easier to locate production here. 1 Maine bill The state aims to at least double wage incentives to better compete with Massachusetts, which offers a 25% wage deduction, here 10% to 12%.
provinces of canada Ontariohas produced two “IT” films and a prequel, and enjoys a 35 percent tax credit on qualifying labor costs, with tax credits of up to 40 percent for first-time producers. You can
“You can’t beat those incentives,” said director and producer Sean Mewshaw, who runs Portland-based Rusticator Pictures with his wife, Desiree Van Till. “The subsidies going on here today are ridiculously miserable for film investors.”
Meuchaux said the film industry relies on incentives, and more Maine’s donations could make a big difference in its ability to attract blockbuster films.
He and his wife moved from California to Maine 14 years ago to work on the 2015 Farmington tribute film Tumbledown. However, Maine’s strict rules regarding the use of limited incentives and tax credits forced Mushaw to move production to Massachusetts. .
The film industry is thriving there. The 148 films shot there in 2017 received $87.4 million in tax credits and generated $10 million in new state revenue, according to the company. state data.
Between 2013 and 2022, only 54 media productions were produced using one of the state’s visual media subsidies in Maine, according to the surveillance report. This incentive is administered by the Maine Film Authority, which is within the Maine Department of Economic and Regional Development and Maine Tourism within the Maine Department of Revenue.
By increasing incentives and taking other small steps to loosen rules, Maine could grow its industry quickly, Meuchaux said. Maine’s film and video production industry contributes $64.3 million in gross revenue, 609 jobs and $28.7 in labor income, according to a 2021 study. Maine Film Institute, a professional organization of 200 members. This includes impacts on other industries such as hospitality, retail, trade, legal and accounting services.
The association and the film advocacy group Picture Maine are trying to spread the word about Maine’s media production and how it nurtures the industry. Another study, scheduled for this summer, is underway to analyze Maine’s capacity constraints, opportunities, talent and workforce.
In a March letter to the Congressional Oversight Committee, DECD Director Heather Johnson said the Olsberg SPI survey would help the office better understand how gaps and improvements would increase production. Said helpful. The ministry cannot increase incentives without Congressional direction and approval.
Emma Greg Brego, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of Maine and production director at p3 Maine, a Portland-based film production company, says the film industry brings more than Hollywood executives seeking tax cuts. When working on the 2019 film Blow the Man Down at Harpswell, a crew of about 50 people landed in this small mid-coast town in the winter when no one else was visiting, and spent time at hotels, restaurants, and more. She said that the use of facilities in the town has boosted the town’s economy. In addition to supplying gasoline, 20 local residents will be hired as extras.
Service industry skills are also transferred to the set, allowing people to make money renting out their backyards and homes, Greg Brego noted.
“I want more people to understand that this is not a luxury out-of-state filmmaker’s pocketbook,” she said. “It’s about creating another stream of income for the state.”
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