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Action! Maine Film Office - Under New Leadership, Sees Big Increase in 2013 Productions
Nearly $3,700,000 to Be Spent in Maine - Already Surpasses 2012 Total
AUGUSTA – Production in Maine is up! To date, the Maine Film Office has certified 14 productions with an estimated direct spend in Maine of nearly $3.7 million. In all of 2012, there were 8 certified productions and $1.5 million spent directly in Maine.
“The spotlight is definitely shining on Maine,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We all benefit from a strong and vibrant film industry. The more film and television productions that are done here, the more private investment we attract putting more Mainers to work.”
“Much of the credit for the 2013 increase goes to the work being done by our new Film Office Director, Karen Carberry Warhola, who came on board just about a year ago,” said Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais.
According to Carberry Warhola, it all boils down to building relationships. “My approach continues to be proactive, reaching out to producers and location scouts,” said Carberry Warhola. “We can’t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring; we need to be out their selling Maine and recruiting these companies.”
Although Maine cannot offer the same level of film incentives as other states, Maine remains competitive in the industry. Incentives are only a part of the complete package.
The Maine Film Office is proactively working to market and promote the growth of the production industry, and has undertaken a variety of new initiatives to showcase Maine as a location. Those efforts include: updates to the Maine Film Office website to make it easier for producers to find locations; talented crew; local businesses that can supply needed goods and services; and film-friendly communities.
Carberry Warhola also meets regularly with filmmakers, reads scripts, and attends film industry trade shows, local and national film festivals, screenings, and industry events.
The Maine Film Office is part of the Maine Office of Tourism within the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Film, television and commercial production companies spending at least $75,000 in Maine may qualify for the Maine Visual Media Incentive Plan. The incentives are a mix of various rebates and credits.
“Last year the direct spend of the productions that filmed in Maine was almost $40 for every $1 paid out in the incentive program – an exceptional return on investment by any measure,” added Carberry Warhola.