All posts by John Daugherty

Film Columbus Summit on Film & Entertainment Coming Thursday, April 28, 2022

** Thursday, April 28, 2022, 1pm-5pm at Gateway Film Center • Followed by networking opportunities **

Register for FREE by clicking here.

Discussions will include the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, local incentives in Columbus and how we grow the infrastructure and crew base, and setting up your project and business to succeed.

The term “film industry” has evolved into more than just film. For us in Columbus, “film” refers to not only the film industry but television, animation, gaming, and tech which includes post-production and visual effects (VFX).

Within all of these facets of the film industry sits an opportunity that we may not see again: an opportunity to kick-start the future of film in Columbus and Ohio. Let’s start to look beyond a few large productions each year in Ohio. Let’s look at an industry that provides thousands of jobs and millions of dollars across film, animation, VFX, AR, VR, post production, and gaming.

The film industry in Ohio is NOT about Hollywood. It’s about local jobs, local support services, and a LOCAL sustainable industry fed by local talent, crew, and graduates of Ohio schools.

Schedule (subject to change)

1:00pm-1:10pm: Film Commissioner update, John Daugherty

1:10pm-1:25pm: Keynote: Elizabeth Bell – Topic: Creating Opportunities in the Film Industry

1:30pm-2:15pm: Opportunity Panel (includes Q&A)

Panelists: Elizabeth Bell, Sterling Carter, Isaiah Jones, Julianna Politsky

2:20pm-3:15pm: Above the Line/Below the Line (Includes Q&A)

Panelists: Amy Hargreaves, Chad Simpson, Colin West, Otis Winston

3:20pm-4:05pm: Tax Credits/Audits presented by PNC (Includes Q&A)

Panelists: Alex Semerano, Jon Sherman, Chris Szuch

4:10pm-5:00pm: Future of Entertainment (Includes Q&A)

Panelists: Jeremy Hughes, Angela Meleca, Kyoung Swearingen, Chris Volpe

5:00pm: Networking sponsored by Gravitate Marketplace and Conference

THE FILM COLUMBUS TEEN SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP AND COMPETITION RETURNS

(Columbus, OH) – The 2022 FiIm Columbus Teen Screenwriting Workshop and Competition is returning for its sixth year.

The workshops and competition are free for teens ages 13-17 in Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison, and Union counties. There are two free workshops held in partnership with Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD). The workshops are taught by CCAD staff and provide the basics of screenwriting including format, character development and story arc. After the workshops, the teens are encouraged to submit a 3-5 page script. The scripts are judged by industry professionals, and selected films are ultimately produced with the winning screenwriters joining the production as a producer.

The top two winning scripts will be produced by upper-level students at CCAD during their Collaborative Video class this fall. As was the case last year due to COVID, the workshops will be held virtually via Zoom. “This program continues to garner praise not only around Columbus but across the country,” said Columbus Film commissioner John Daugherty. “A version of the program was adapted to encourage Native American youth to attend workshops last fall with the winning script being read by professional actors from shows like Yellowstone. This all happened during      Sundance after the festival had to pivot to an online format.”

CCAD sees the value in partnering with Film Columbus to bring the scripts of the winning students to life. “We continue to find fresh voices and stories where we can shine a light,” said Nella Citino, chair of the film and video department at CCAD. “Columbus has a lot of talented youth who deserve a voice through this outreach program.” The partnership also gives CCAD students the opportunity to mentor high school students.

“It wasn’t that long ago that many of our students were in high school imagining their futures as filmmakers,” said Nicole Monahan, director of corporate & community partnerships at CCAD. “For them to make a young scriptwriters’ vision come to life is deeply rewarding, and offers them the opportunity to both celebrate their growth and share their knowledge in a very meaningful way.”

The screenwriting workshops will be held Saturday, March 19 and Saturday, April 2 from noon-4:00 p.m. Registration is required by clicking here: tinyurl.com/screenwritingworkshop1

 

About the Greater Columbus Film Commission 

The Greater Columbus Film Commission (Film Columbus) aims to grow the film industry in Columbus and central Ohio by creating jobs and providing significant economic impact for the area. Film Columbus strives to build Columbus as a top city for film education, exhibition, and production. Film Columbus is a division of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and is primarily supported by funds provided by the City of Columbus. For more information, visit filmcolumbus.com.

About Columbus College of Art & Design 

Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private, nonprofit art and design colleges in the United States. CCAD offers 11 BFA programs, a Master of Fine Arts, and a Master of Professional Studies in Retail Design that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level. For more information, visit ccad.edu.    

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FREE Webinar on Distribution with Gravitas Ventures and Jon Sherman, Writer/Director of They/Them/Us

Thursday, February 10, at 7PM, Film Columbus and Cleveland-based Gravitas Ventures look at Columbus-based filmmaker Jon Sherman’s latest project They/Them/Us and uses it as a case study for how distribution works in the current environment.

Bill Guentzler from Gravitas Ventures will be joining as the expert in distribution. Bill is currently the Senior Director of Acquisitions of Gravitas.

Register for FREE by clicking here.

Film It In Cbus Creation Award Winners Announced

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Film Columbus and the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) announce the winners of the Film It In Cbus Creation Awards, furthering their ongoing investment in local filmmakers and the film industry.

There were two awards available to filmmakers this year: a $20,000 grant for production/post-production on a locally filmed project and a $2,500 award for script development. These awards are the first large-scale awards specifically for film given by the Arts Council. The winner of the film production/post-production award is Joshua Clark; the winner of the script development grant is Corey Aumiller.

“I’m thrilled that the Arts Council has continued to recognize film as a positive economic and community driver in Columbus,” says Director of Film Columbus and Film Commissioner John Daugherty. “These significant grants have been in the planning stages for a few years. The winners are well-deserved. We can’t wait to watch as they develop their winning projects.”

Applicants needed to be at least 18 years old; professional, working filmmakers; live in Franklin County or the surrounding contiguous counties; and not be enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate students.

“As the Film Commission is constantly pushing for enhanced legislation both locally and statewide; these awards are part of that long-term vision,” says Daugherty. “The awards, and more like them in the future, could jump-start a series or film that could be produced here in Columbus, creating jobs and continuing to create infrastructure for a larger industry footprint.”

Three out-of-state judges were tasked with reviewing the 44 submissions. The judges were New York-based actress Amy Hargreaves; Washington, D.C.-based producer/screenwriter Gabriel Tolliver; and New Mexico-based producer and Native affairs advisor Daryl Begay.

“We keep saying that the film industry isn’t about Hollywood here,” says Daugherty. “It’s about helping people get back to work, keeping students and filmmakers here in Ohio and creating an environment where filmmakers, animators and creatives can thrive.”

About the Greater Columbus Film Commission: The Greater Columbus Film Commission (Film Columbus) aims to grow the film industry in Columbus and central Ohio by creating jobs and providing significant economic impact for the area. Film Columbus strives to build Columbus as a top city for film education, exhibition and production. Film Columbus is a division of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and is primarily supported by funds provided by the City of Columbus. For more information, visit filmcolumbus.com.

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. www.gcac.org

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners and the Ohio Arts Council.

Film It In Cbus Creation Awards Open For Applications

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Film Columbus and the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) are investing in local filmmakers. Applications are now open here.

 

With the new Film It In Cbus Film Creation Awards now open for applications, there will be two awards given this year: a $20,000 grant for a local film project and a $2,500 award for script development by a local filmmaker. These awards are the first large-scale awards specifically for film given by the Arts Council.

 

“We’re beyond excited to be able to present these awards to Columbus-based filmmakers,” says John Daugherty, director of Film Columbus and film commissioner for Columbus and the central Ohio region. “These two awards have the potential to make a real impact on the Columbus filmmaking community. Not only now, but in the future.”

 

Applicants need to be at least 18 years old; professional, working filmmakers; live in Franklin County or the surrounding contiguous counties; and not be enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate students.

 

“We’re very excited to continue investing in local artists through these fellowships,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Arts Council. “The filmmaking community benefits Columbus by not only bringing national attention to our city, but by supporting local jobs as well.”

 

“We see these grants as a stepping-stone to bigger things as we continue to try and grow the film industry here,” says Daugherty. “The script development grant could lead to a bigger project being produced here in Columbus. The larger award could lead to a pilot being picked up for series production, or a local film that’s helmed by someone who will look at Columbus for their next even bigger project. We’re really looking forward to seeding the future potential and growth of the industry.”

 

Film Columbus has recently been pushing for industry growth through true development of a film industry infrastructure. This will aid in the recovery from the COVID pandemic through job creation and growth.

They/Them/Us Wrapping Filming in Columbus

They/Them/Us Wrapping Filming in Columbus

(Columbus, OH) — Film Columbus is excited to show continued support for the new film They/Them/Us. Shooting will wrap at the end of August with post production starting soon after. Starring Joey Slotnick (The Blacklist, Too Big to Fail) and Amy Hargreaves (13 Reasons Why, Homeland), the film is one of the first in the country to shoot under the new COVID-19 guidelines.

Additionally, this will be the first film produced under the umbrella of Columbus Pictures, a non-profit entity of the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) created in 2018. Columbus Pictures assembles potential local film-funding resources into one central source for filmmakers to solicit for investment in Columbus-produced films. While CAPA does not invest its own funds in film, Columbus Pictures is a way for CAPA to help establish Columbus as a premier destination for national and international film production, elevate the city’s global profile, and create a local cinematic arts community that bolsters the economy and expands the creative class.

Written and directed by Columbus resident Jon Sherman, They/Them/Us has also been approved for the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit. “I’m so excited to be able to shoot this movie in my adopted hometown,” says Sherman. “I’ve been working for a few years now with the wonderful film community here and this city is one of the best kept secrets in the country. It will be great to see it represented on screen.”

The film employs 20-30 local crew and 10-12 interns from Kenyon College, Columbus College of Art and Design, Otterbein University, and The Ohio State University. “Having films shot and produced here in Columbus is all about creating jobs,” stated John Daugherty, film commissioner for Columbus and the surrounding region. “These are local jobs that feed into the Columbus economy. In several independent economic impact studies from around the state, the return on investment for film projects is about $1.90 for every $1.00 spent.”

There have been multiple recent whitepapers and guidelines for filming during the pandemic from various guilds, unions, and film commissions from around the globe including specific guidelines from Film Columbus that set out recommendations for this new era of filming. “It will be a while before things get back to ‘normal’…whatever that is,” said Daugherty. “Safety for cast, crew, and community is always our number one priority. This is definitely a new way of filming that will take a lot of compromising and a lot of time to fully adapt.”

They/Them/Us tells the story of Charlie and Lisa, two divorced parents in their 40s who meet on a dating site, fall madly in love, and move in together way too soon. Single parents of four complicated teenagers, They/Them/Us is the story of how they manage the challenges of parenting while trying to maintain a healthy adult relationship.

“I give a lot of credit to Jon and his producer for moving forward with their project. It’s been really tough, but it puts people back to work when they really need it,” says Daugherty. “I’d like to REALLY thank the residents of Columbus and specifically Victorian Village and German Village for their cooperation while streets were blocked and parking spaces were blocked. It’s a huge help to not only this film but the film industry in Columbus as we continue to grow.”

 

About the Greater Columbus Film Commission

The Greater Columbus Film Commission (Film Columbus) aims to grow the film industry in Columbus and central Ohio by creating jobs and providing significant economic impact for the area. Film Columbus Strives to build Columbus as a top city for film education, exhibition, and production. Film Columbus is a division of the Greater Columbus Arts Council and is primarily supported by funds provided by the City of Columbus. For more information, visit filmcolumbus.com.

 

About Columbus Pictures

Through local investment in locally produced films, it is the mission of Columbus Pictures to establish Columbus as a premier destination for national and international film production thereby raising the city’s global profile and creating a local cinematic arts community that bolsters the economy and expands the creative class in Columbus. Columbus Pictures is a nonprofit LLC whose sole member is the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA). Columbus Pictures never invests directly into a film; a separate LLC is created for each film.  CAPA manages all administrative duties for Columbus Pictures.

Join Film Columbus and Industry Professionals to Testify and SAVE OHIO FILM JOBS!

The Senate Finance Committee will be holding public testimony on Thursday, May 23rd at 9:00 AM. The hearings are on tax and general government topics which includes the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit.

Please consider attending! Testifying is not mandatory to attend; we hope to show the strength of our numbers as much as we want to tell our lawmakers how this decision will affect our industry.

If you would like to testify you will have to submit a witness slip no later than Wednesday, May 22 at 9am (24hrs prior to hearing). To download a witness slip click HERE. If you are going to testify you should include your written testimony with your witness slip although it is not mandatory. Send your witness slip and testimony to Sarah Totedo (Chairman Dolan’s Legislative Assistant) at [email protected].

Tax matters will be heard first, so please plan accordingly if you intend to testify. We anticipate a large crowd so the hearings could go into the afternoon.

Hearings will take place in the Senate Finance Hearing Room at the Ohio State House.

Download witness slip.
Download meeting agenda.

Economic impact studies have been completed in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. The three studies were completed by different institutions or firms and did not reference each other. All three studies came to the same conclusion that for every $1 that is put into the program the state reaps approximately $2 in return. To read the Columbus study click HERE. This study makes an assumption of two low-budget films shooting in Columbus.

WRITE YOUR LAWMAKERS, SAVE THE OHIO MOTION PICTURE TAX CREDIT!

Help us save the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit by writing your lawmakers…NOW!

We have created a new letter template for you to download and copy/paste into an email. The letter along with email addresses is below or you can click on this link to download a Microsoft Word version to make it even easier: http://bit.ly/2JBqTZr

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Let your lawmakers know how YOU will be affected if the film industry leaves Ohio.

Copy and paste the letter below into your email. Insert your own story where indicated to personalize the letter. REMEMBER, also personalize the greeting for each recipient:
[email protected]– Governor Mike DeWine
[email protected]– Laurel Dawson, Chief of Staff, Governor DeWine
[email protected]– House Speaker Larry Householder
[email protected]– Senate President Larry Obhof
[email protected]– Senator Matt Dolan
[email protected]– Representative Scott Oelslager

Other Senate emails:

[email protected]

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If you’re so inclined, you can also call. Call the Governor, Speaker of the House and President of the Ohio Senate to express your support for the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit:
Governor DeWine: 614-644-4357
Speaker Householder: 614-466-2500
Senator Obhof: 614-466-7505

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Dear Governor DeWine/Speaker Householder/Senate President Obhof/Senator Dolan/Representative Oelslager-

I am writing urgently today as a supporter of the Greater Columbus Film Commission and a supporter of the motion picture industry in Columbus and around the state. I was made aware that the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit is in jeopardy of being removed from the next Ohio budget. This concerns me as the success of the program is well documented and could negatively affect thousands of jobs across the state.

I can personally attest to the incredible impact of this program. **(Insert your story here.)**

The success of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit is real and demonstrable. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) recently reported that nearly 35,500 people are directly and indirectly (hotels, caterers, carpenters, dry cleaners, etc.) employed by the motion picture and television industries in Ohio, with total wages earned exceeding $1.2 billion. 

This is a successful program that is putting Ohioans to work and putting hundreds of millions of dollars into their pockets right now. These aren’t just people working on movies and television shows, but also small business owners who have found a niche supporting this industry or whose businesses have found more paying customers from the growth of the industry in Ohio. We often say that producing media content is the manufacturing of the modern age, and it creates economic impact wherever it is fostered.

In 2008, Georgia passed a motion picture tax incentive that transformed their economy to the tune of $9.5 billion of economic impact in 2017 alone and made them arguably the media production capital of the world. New Mexico has seen similar success with their incentive. Netflix recently bought Albuquerque Studios and plans to invest over $1 billion in the state by driving production there.

With the multitude of film programs in our area including The Ohio State University, Columbus College of Art & Design, Capital University, Kenyon College, Ohio University, and others, growing this industry is a chance to grow something special in Ohio. This is a chance to stop our state from losing bright, young people and keep them engaged – and employed – with an industry that’s not only hip and exciting but expanding daily and filled with tremendous opportunity. This is also a chance to keep and bring skilled tradespeople back to Ohio to live, work, support local economies and pay state taxes.

I strongly urge you to retain the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit. To scrap the program would be a grave error that would do great damage to our economy and to so many Ohio taxpayers who either work in media production, run a business that works with the media production industry or perhaps dream of someday working in this industry right in their own backyard.

Let us continue to grow this industry and make Ohio a global production destination so that we can bring even more jobs and economic impact to our great state.

Sincerely,


Economic impact studies have been completed in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. The three studies were completed by different institutions or firms and did not reference each other. All three studies came to the same conclusion that for every $1 that is put into the program the state reaps approximately $2 in return. To read the Columbus study click HERE. This study makes an assumption of two low-budget films shooting in Columbus.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thousands of Jobs Could Be Lost With the Elimination of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit

Thousands of Jobs Could Be Lost With the Elimination of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit

(Columbus, OH) – The Ohio House of Representatives last week proposed the elimination of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit. While the proposed budget has to still make its way through the Senate, this would be devastating to the film industry in Columbus and around the state.

“This would affect thousands of jobs in Ohio,” says John Daugherty, Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Film Commission. “And there has been very significant investment locally into the industry. Tens of millions of dollars has been invested locally from companies like Ohio Film Group, Central Grip and Central Lighting, and Ohio HD. Ohio Film Group currently employs over 20 full-time employees with plans to expand to almost 50 employees by the end of the year.”

Three separate economic impact studies from around the state have all come to the same conclusion that for every dollar put into the program, the state sees a $1.90 return. The study in Columbus was done by economist Dr. Bill Lafayette, the Cleveland study was done by Cleveland State University, and a study out of Cincinnati was done by University of Cincinnati.

The motion picture tax credit in Georgia contributed over $9.5 billion to the Georgia economy in 2017. It’s big business in other states as well including New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New York, and Utah. Ohio could be on that list. The film commissions from around the state are working together to keep the credit in place and grow the industry to keep jobs and dollars in our Ohio.

According to the latest study from Ohio Citizens for the Arts, the Columbus motion picture/video industry ranks 4thout of 15 for employment in creative industries with a direct total of 1,622 jobs. It ranks 6thout of 15 for direct spending in the creative industries at over $236 million.

“It would also impact the multitude of educational institutions around Columbus and Ohio and their efforts to reduce ‘brain drain’ by not providing opportunities for graduates of film programs,” continues Daugherty. “In the coming weeks we will be asking those thousands of individuals and businesses that could be affected to contact the Senate, House, and the DeWine administration to tell their story and ask them to keep the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit in place.”

About the Greater Columbus Film Commission The Greater Columbus Film Commission (Film Columbus) aims to grow the film industry in Columbus and central Ohio by creating jobs and providing significant economic impact for the area. “We feel film is both art and business that enriches our communities. We believe Columbus has the potential to be recognized as a top city for film education, exhibition, and production,” says John Daugherty, Executive Director of Film Columbus. For more information, visit filmcolumbus.com.


Economic impact studies have been completed in Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. The three studies were completed by different institutions or firms and did not reference each other. All three studies came to the same conclusion that for every $1 that is put into the program the state reaps approximately $2 in return. To read the Columbus study click HERE. This study makes an assumption of two low-budget films shooting in Columbus.