April 24, 2008
Shoot in Minnesota, a non-profit industry lobbying group, is calling for a rally at the Capitol in support of funding for the Snowbate program. The goal is to make Minnesota more competitive with other states in the arena of film incentives, increasing film production in the state.
The rally is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, April 28. Participants will gather on the front steps of the Minnesota State Capitol.
March 25, 2008
“Lights, camera…and rebates,”an article by Colin Covert in the Sunday, March 23, edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, focuses on film rebates and incentives, highlighting Minnesota’s current non-competitive status. The article should be must reading for filmmakers and others who would like to see the state rebound to its former status as a frequent location for major studio productions. The article makes a strong case for expansion of and funding for the Minnesota Snowbate program, currently under consideration at the State Legislature.
Read it at www.startribune.com/entertainment/movies/16918101.html?page=1&c=y .
To learn more about the effort to lobby for improving the Snowbate program, visit www.shootinminnesota.org.
March 21, 2008
“Chilled in Miami,” a romantic comedy about a Miami business woman who moves to a small Minnesota town, recently concluded photography in Winnipeg, Canada. Once again a Canadian city is cast as Minnesota. Renee Zelweger and Harry Connick Jr. star this time. Coming on the heals of “Juno” (filmed in British Columbia) and “Leatherheads” (shot in the Carolinas), “Chilled” begs the question “Why isn’t Minnesota competitive as a location for films set in Minnesota?”
The exchange rate is currently at par. And Minnesota looks exactly like Minnesota. More like Minnesota than any other place, in fact.
The problem is the huge incentives offered by Canadian provinces, often as much as 45% compared to Minnesota’s 15% Snowbate program. The Canadians continue to up the ante in order to hang onto the slice of the production pie they gained when the exchange rate was a key factor. Now they have skilled and experience crews, too.
It will take more than the modest Snowbate incentives to earn back a significant share of northern tier film production. The legislature and other units of government should find creative new ways to encourage production and keep Minnesota film crews working and paying taxes.
March 18, 2008
A trailer for Minnesota-produced “Older than America” is now available on YouTube. The film was shot in Cloquet, Minnesota, during November and December, 2006. See my previous “Older” posts at frozenframes.wordpress.com/?s=Older+Than+America.
March 5, 2008
Minnesotans will have an opportunity to see “Older than America,” the Minnesota-produced feature, when it opens the Women With Vision Film Festival this weekend. Shot in Cloquet, Minnesota, in November and December 2008, “Older” is being promoted as a suspenseful contemporary drama.
Director Georgina Lightning, producer Christine Walker and actress Tantoo Cardinal are scheduled to appear.
It screens Friday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Walker Art Center. Tickets and information are available by calling 612.375.7600 or visiting http://walkerart.org/tickets.
January 3, 2008
Movie Madness II, a report in the January edition of Minnesota Monthly, outlines future Minnesota film projects. Read it at http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/January-2008/Movie-Madness-II/.
November 18, 2007
A horror film shot in Minnesota last spring has released a trailer on YouTube. Originally titled “Dead of Winter,” then “Dead of Night,” the film is now called “Killer Movie.” According to the trailer, it will be released this summer.