(Memphis) It’s had more twists and turns than a suspenseful movie.
No, this isn’t quite a who-done-it, but many in the Memphis Film Community, such as movie director Craig Brewer, say they want the mystery solved as to why state lawmakers aren’t doing more to offer incentives to have more major motion pictures made here.
“Mississippi just created this incredible incentive to match Georgia’s incentive where it’s now a couple of billion dollar industry now,” Brewer said.
Movies such as “The Blindside” and his remake of “Footloose” were made out-of-state.
But Brewer, while appearing on News Channel 3 Live at 9, also said he doesn’t like that state tax incentive dollars that are available appear to be benefiting Nashville over Memphis.
“We had a show that came here and nobody went for legislation to get this show going. There’s been a disparity I think where $22 million over the last six years have been given out for film incentives. A million has come here, a million has gone over to East Tennessee and 20 million of it has gone over to Nashville,” Brewer said.
Last year, Tennessee did adopt a new state film incentive program sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville.
He said it resulted in Tennessee landing the ABC-TV series “Nashville” that generated $50 million.
Norris said he’s hopeful the series will include West Tennessee locations and he said it’s really too soon for anyone to complain about being cut out of the picture.
Bill Courtney of the Oscar nominated Memphis documentary “Undefeated” was out-of-town today, but told us by phone more needs to done for Memphis.
“When they do make special rates for this to happen and then award it in-and-around Nashville, it’s frustrating and I think it’s really bad politics,” Courtney said.
Politics could perhaps play a leading role in deciding if some movie and TV making will fade to black.
“I think we need to decide do we want the industry because if we want we have to go all in,” Brewer said.