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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:

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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.

Write Our Governor in Support of Expanding the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit

Recent efforts are ramping up to expand the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit. We have spoken with other film commissions around Ohio and all of us agree that in order to continue to grow the industry the credit needs to be expanded.

Thank you for your continued support!

You can copy/paste the letter below into an email and send to the following email addresses. Please copy Executive Director of Film Columbus to help us keep track of how many letters are sent. 

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The Honorable Mike DeWine
Governor of Ohio                                             
Riffle Center, 30thFloor                                                
77 South High Street                                                                
Columbus, Ohio 43215                                                 

Dear Governor DeWine:

I write to you as a supporter of the Greater Columbus Film Commission, the only nonprofit dedicated to bringing jobs and economic development to central Ohio through the growth of a sustainable, year-round production industry. It is vital that the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit be increased to an annual cap of $100 million so our state can take advantage of the hundreds of millions of dollars in production spending and tens of thousands of jobs that are quite literally ours for the taking.

When the credit renewed last summer, it took barely a month to hit the $40 million cap. Filmmakers want to film here and put Ohioans to work, but instead take their business to states like Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Georgia due to their more available, more robust incentive programs.

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 to the point where they are arguably the film-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.

The success Ohio has seen, even with the current limitations of the 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.

The full potential of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit has yet to be fully realized. Georgia has signaled to Hollywood that they are open for business and that no production will be turned away for lack of state funds or infrastructure. Raising Ohio’s incentive cap to $100 million will tell the world that we can sustain a year-round production industry, allowing stakeholders (who are ready and willing) to invest in production infrastructure like studios and soundstages that will ensure that we can compete for the biggest productions available (including television series) and employ an even greater number of Ohioans.

This is a successful program that is already putting billions into the pockets of Ohioans right now, and it could be doing so much more. I ask you to please raise the annual cap on the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit to $100 million per year, so that we can become the global production destination Hollywood already knows we can be.

Sincerely,

 

Greater Columbus Film Commission Works to Expand the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit

Film Columbus is imploring Ohio legislators to increase The Ohio Motion Picture Tax from $40 million to $100 million in order to keep incentivizing major movies and TV shows to be filmed in Columbus.

“Increasing tax credits will allow us to better compete with states like Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Georgia,” said John Daugherty, Executive Director of Film Columbus and Film Commissioner for the Columbus area. “The purpose of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit is to create jobs and a positive economic impact and we want those jobs coming to Ohio and staying in Ohio. Even better, we want as many of those jobs as possible to come to Columbus.”

Georgia, the number one filming destination in the world, has no cap on its tax credit. As a result, the economic impact of the entertainment industry in Georgia was $9.5 billion in 2017, according to Daugherty.

“We’re not asking to eliminate the cap, we just want to be able to compete with other states and continue to grow our creative economy,” said Daugherty. “I know of at least four projects that were coming to Columbus, but were re-routed to Georgia because we didn’t have any more tax credits available for them.”

Daugherty believes that investment in a tax credit is good business for Ohio. Several economic impact studies from around the state have all come to the same conclusion: for every $1 spent on filming, the industry returns approximately $1.90 to the local economy. If the Columbus area could host three to four films a year and a TV or web series, it would create approximately 300 full-time jobs year-round.

Columbus has already had success in attracting movies to film here. In the last couple of years, Columbus hosted the filming of “I Am Wrath” and “478” – combined, they created 834 jobs for Ohioans. The estimated amount of money spent in Ohio from those films totaled $16.6 million in the Central Ohio area.

Other recent projects which filmed in Central Ohio include “Country Christmas Album” which played on ION Television during the 2018 Christmas season, “Beastmode” by Columbus resident Chris Freeman, “Eascape Plan 3” starring Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista, and multiple television shows.

Please support Film Columbus by donating here!

 

The Greater Columbus Film Commission Announces the Winner of the Teen Script Writing Contest

[Columbus, OH]– The Greater Columbus Film Commission, in partnership with Columbus Metropolitan Library, is proud to announce the winner of the 2018 Screenwriting Competition for teens. This year’s winner is Shyla Losey.

The contest was open to teens ages 12-18 that reside in Franklin County. Teens were invited to write a 3-5 page script which was be judged by industry professionals. Shyla will have her film shot and produced by local production company Vital Companies. After completion of the film, it will be screened in September at a local theater with a red-carpet party and fanfare. The competition held two workshops which were led by Scott Spears, local screenwriter and professor of screenwriting at The Ohio State University. Local talent agency Heyman Talent will be holding auditions for the short film in the coming weeks.

John Daugherty, Executive Director of Film Columbus, and members of the Film Commission Advisory Committee workedwith stafffrom Columbus Metropolitan Library to launch the competition.

“This partnership provides our teen customers with an opportunity to hone their writing and storytelling skills while also learning the basics of filmmaking,” says Columbus Metropolitan Library Public Services Director Kathy Shahbodaghi. “It’s all about finding new ways to spark curiosities and maybe even develop passions among our young minds.”

“We’re excited for Shyla and look forward to including her in the filmmaking process,” said Daugherty. “We’re building the Film Commission on the pillars of production, education, and exhibition. This competition is a great example of that education pillar and introducing kids to filmmaking.”

The Greater Columbus Film Commission aims to grow the film industry in Columbus and central Ohio creating hundreds of 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,” said Daugherty.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.

The Greater Columbus Film Commission Helps Land the Sylvester Stallone/Dave Bautista Film Escape Plan 3 in Mansfield and Central Ohio

The Greater Columbus Film Commission is proud to announce the Sylvester Stallone film Escape Plan 3 will be filming in Mansfield and central Ohio.

John Daugherty, Executive Director of Film Columbus, has been working with location scouts for several months to find the perfect location for the upcoming action film. The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, best known for Shawshank Redemption, will play as the backdrop for Escape Plan.

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Escape Plan 3 and bring it here to The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield,” says Dan Smith, Marketing Director from the Reformatory. “The film will add to the continued legacy of why people travel from all over the world to explore the Reformatory. This wouldn’t have been possible without the Greater Columbus Film Commission and Location Manger Chris Petro collaborating with us.”

The film is produced by EFO Films, a company that is no stranger to central Ohio. EFO produced the Schwarzenegger film Aftermath. Randall Emmett and George Furla from EFO also produced the Bruce Willis/Hayden Christiansen film First Kill. In addition to Sylvester Stallone, Escape Plan 3 will also star Dave Bautista best known for the character Drax from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.

“We’re excited to have another film come to central Ohio,” said Daugherty. “We’re all about creating jobs and putting locals to work on any visiting film. There will be calls for crew and extras in the coming weeks. Film Columbus strives to raise the profile of film and be recognized as a go-to location for independent film production.”

The Greater Columbus Film Commission aims to grow the film industry in Columbus and central Ohio creating hundreds of 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,” said Daugherty.

Information about crew and extras will be posted on the Film Columbus website and Facebook page first:  facebook.com/filmcolumbus

Columbus Art and Film Leaders Express Concern on Distribution of Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credits

COLUMBUS, Ohio—In a letter to David Goodman, Director of Development Services, Columbus art and film leaders have expressed concerns about the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit guidelines, following allocation of Tax Credits for 2017-2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018).

On July 18, the Development Services Agency announced recipients of the $40 million in film tax credits. In a letter to Development Services Director David Goodman, the Columbus area leaders noted that approximately $30 million—75%—of the $40 million in available tax credits were allocated to just two projects, both of which are filming in Cleveland.

In comparison, last fiscal year tax credits were awarded to approximately 30 projects (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017).

The Ohio Film Office serves under Governor John Kasich within the Development Services Agency. Rules were recently changed by the Ohio Legislature to remove project caps that allowed small, medium and large projects to compete more fairly.

“Film can be a major creative industry across the whole state. Columbus is a huge supporter of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit as a tool to grow our base. The recent changes, including eliminating the per project cap, means that the Ohio film tax credit cannot play the role that they can in creating jobs and building a sustainable film industry,” said John Daugherty, Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Film Commission. Daugherty noted that the program could be significantly improved by adding basic safeguards to provide that all areas have an equal chance to receive credits, and that tax credit projects should greater utilize local industry workers and businesses, in addition to the larger New York and Los Angeles projects that shoot in Ohio, bring their own crew, and leave the state. “This lopsided use of tax credits will take Ohio out of the running for dozens of other films and TV shows. Credits can’t grow jobs in Ohio if they are awarded primarily to out-of-state companies with pass-through, big-budget projects,” Daugherty said.

More than 30 films applied for credits across Ohio, on par with last year’s total. Of the $40 million total available, northern Ohio received 60% of the credits they applied for, Columbus received 16%.

Film Columbus was created in 2007 to help coordinate, communicate and collaborate to make filming easier in the region. Columbus and central Ohio hosted multiple independent film and TV productions, large-scale commercial projects, and several TV and TV network episodes filmed since January of 2015. In 2015 the films 478 and I Am Wrath created a total of 834 local jobs with an estimated local spend of $16.6 million. In a 2016 impact study by Dr. Bill Lafayette, it was determined that for every $1.00 spent the industry returned $1.91 to the local economy.

“We all want film to grow as an industry, but it takes a balanced oversight process to use tax credits with input from leaders across the state, otherwise great projects will not come, Ohio-based companies will struggle, and we’ll have less jobs created,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. “Tax credits are an important tool. Ohio should model our law and rules on national best practices, with common sense caps and incentives to sustain Ohio-based companies. It is time to look at reforming the rules.”

Columbus leaders are appealing to film production companies and leaders in other regions to join them in asking the state of Ohio to reconsider changes to the law and rules.   Katzenmeyer noted that the current law provides for the opportunity for the tax credits to be geographically distributed, but that approach has never been implemented.

The letter to Director Goodman praised the Director for continuing to support the film tax credit program, noting that Ohio has significant potential to create and retain jobs and grow the industry. The letter also made the following recommendations for consideration:

• Enact a tax credit cap per project to provide for a more level playing field and allow more films to come into Ohio. This approach is successfully used by several other states including Georgia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Ohio should consider either a cap on credits or a cap on “above the line” expenditures that qualify a project for a tax credit.

• Encourage local hiring by increasing the local hire tax credit to 35%, with out-of-state wages qualifying for 30%.

• Incentivize local brick and mortar investments to grow the industry and provide bonus credits for productions working with companies based in their region employing Ohioans. Consider an allocation of the credit for existing businesses in Ohio.

• Create a mechanism to provide for input from local and regional film industry practitioners and advocates. This will help to increase the support for the film industry both locally and statewide.

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