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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Coincidentally, right after I read the news that Anna Nicole Smith had died, I came across this story about Indiana courting Hollywood:

The Indiana House voted 82-15 Thursday to pass a bill providing financial incentives for movies, TV shows and other entertainment productions to be made in Indiana.

[. . .]

The bill would give up to a 25 percent rebate on expenditures a film or TV production crew makes in Indiana if the company met certain benchmarks on hiring and spending in Indiana.
We not only want the glitz and glamour, we are willing to pay for it. And make no mistake, it isn't about economic development. Poor, little, unnoticed Indiana hungers for its 15 minutes of fame. Hey, we have plenty of budding Anna Nicholes here just waiting to be discovered.
But we always have had. What today are called "Living" or "Features" sections in newspapers used to be the "women's pages," devoted in large part to society news. "Society" comprised the local people who got written about just because of who they were, not because of anything they had done in particular. Being famous for being famous might seem like a modern social pathology, but it really isn't.


brian stouder
Fri, 02/09/2007 - 7:35am

On the subject of the oddness of life and death in Hollywood (California or Florida), I cannot ever look upon (the appropriately named) Phil Spector


without thinking he came straight out of David Lynch

Steve Towsley
Fri, 02/09/2007 - 9:43am

This is an area I know pretty well.

The U.S. has lost the majority of Hollywood's on-location filming (and multi-millions spent in each location town) to foreign countries where the costs of production, cast and crew are far cheaper.

By now, most states are aware of the problem and the opportunity presented, and some have passed laws and opened offices to assist film/TV companies to find locations and to work in their states at more competitive costs.

Adopting incentives which lure domestic production companies back to the U.S. to spend their $100-million-per-picture budgets is a great thing for the country when done responsibly.

No state should give away the store, but there's nothing wrong with offering more favorable terms, or making needed corrections to burdensome regulatory conditions that push U.S. film and TV companies to seek cheaper services in Canada and Mexico.

I don't know anybody who wouldn't rather be filming on actual locations in the U.S. than "cheating" Montreal for St. Louis or something.

Fri, 02/09/2007 - 11:59am

Part of the problem is having to pay union (SAG/AFTRA) wages to every last member of any film crew. Lots of localities have tried to woo Hollywood for years with these kinds of incentives, but the problem's not the cost of doing business in L.A. It's the cost of doing business in the U.S.

When I lived in Chicago, there was a short time when lots of filming was done there. Chciago was laargely the location for a "A League of Their Own."

Yeah, right, you're thinking. That one took place in rural Iowa. In the story, perhaps, but they were using an urban ball diamond and blue-screening it; the one at Chicago Ave. and Lake Shore Drive.

Fri, 02/09/2007 - 1:48pm

And Evansville, Alex - don't forget Evansville. Wasn't that Madonna's favorite city?

Steve Towsley
Fri, 02/09/2007 - 2:41pm

Alex is correct about American union requirements being among the sticking points for producers, but the states have no control over SAG, AFTRA, or the Teamsters' wage packages.

Nevertheless, most states now operate film offices to liaise with producers large and small, to advertise a range of services from location scouting to favorable room rates, and of course any other feasible financial breaks.

Many producers are anxious enough to shoot in their favorite US locations that these incentives can be enough to tip the scale -- or at least to enable them to make the case to their bankers that the desired US locations are worth the extra cost.

Kerry Hooper
Wed, 02/21/2007 - 5:46am

this is stupid. she od over something that is stupid.i would never take my own life especially if i just had a baby