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June 15, 2010

Now states want propaganda from film makers

Once state policymakers required only glamour, street-scenes and local employment from the film productions getting millions in taxpayer money. Now they want PR. Michigan has decided that having Michigan taxpayers pay for a cannibal movie might not be a great idea. From the NYT:

“This film is unlikely to promote tourism in Michigan or to present or reflect Michigan in a positive light,” wrote Janet Lockwood, Michigan’s film commissioner. Ms. Lockwood particularly objected to “this extreme horror film’s subject matter, namely realistic cannibalism; the gruesome and graphically violent depictions described in the screenplay; and the explicit nature of the script.”

These are the hazards of patronage for all artists and journalists. But in truth states shouldn't be using taxpayer money to pay anybody in Hollywood making anything. Maryland has sensibly rejected pleas to have the General Assembly pay welfare to film makers.

Posted by Jay Hancock at 10:25 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Corporate welfare


Why wouldn't the states attempting to secure a future in the highly profitable intellectual property business (one of the countries largest exports) want to maximize the return on their investment? Isn't that just good business?

Like it or not subsidies are the price of entry to compete with the giants of global media. Michigan wants to participate in this industry. Is there a reason why the coasts should be entitled to maintain their monopolies in the IP game?

There are many films denied the tax credit in Michigan. Some produced by local residents, with even more compelling synergy for the state than this. So don't feel too bad...

These types of stories, NY Times piece etc.. are pretty transparent. Runaway production, so they attack the perpetrators. It's not even newsworthy. No wonder Big Media audiences are shrinking so rapidly.

So....people aren't going to Michigan because they are afraid they will be attacked by....zombies. Do they really want people that stupid to come to Michigan!?!

I bet the production crew eats and spends a lot while they are there though, and employs some locals.

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About Jay Hancock
Jay Hancock has been a financial columnist for The Baltimore Sun since 2001. He has also been The Baltimore Sun's diplomatic correspondent in Washington and its chief economics writer. Before moving to Baltimore in 1994 he worked for The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk and The Daily Press of Newport News.

His columns appear Tuesdays and Sundays.

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