Pa. tax credit cuts pushing filmmakers away

March 8, 2013 7:55:47 PM PST
The Delaware Valley has been playing a leading role as backdrop to many Hollywood films.

Movies like 'Dead Man Down,' 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Limitless,' and 'Law Abiding Citizens' have all been made here.

"Used to be when one filmed wrapped another one would start now there is down time between those films," said Andrew Karasik, 30th Street Entertainment.

Film crews flooded sites and shut down streets but the big lights of Hollywood have dimmed.

Local filmmakers like Karasik say new laws are hurting business.

"If the tax credits aren't there they aren't going there," said Karasik.

Sharon Pinkenson, the Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office is hoping to find a fix.

Last year, Pennsylvania lawmakers changed the rules and cut the amount of tax credits for filmmakers.

"Unfortunately those in the room, those legislators didn't consult with the industry to see if those would be workable," said Sharon Pink

Pinkenson says the change has pushed big movies out of the commonwealth.

After all the Oscars publicity for 'Silver Linings Playbook,' that film's director David O'Russell is making his next film in Boston.

The movie is about the 70s Abscam scandal in Philadelphia but the movie was denied a tax credit in Pennsylvania.

"If they had gotten the tax credit they'd be shooting as soon as next week," said Pinkenson.

As for local residents, they seem to agree that filming movies here is great all around.

"It makes me feel proud to see my city on the big screen but I don't care about it that much," said Adam Small.

"It's a point of pride to see movies filmed here in Philadelphia. I think that in and of itself draws people here so I think it's a worthy investment," said Emma Cothron.

"I'm from here. Wouldn't you want to see your hometown?" said Sacoya Speller.

Karasik has diversified his business to make up for the loss for now but says his business has to be where the movies are.

"We'll have to go to somewhere where the tax credits and where the money is," said Karasik.

As for Pinkenson, she has been back and forth to Harrisburg. She says she has received a lot of support from lawmakers so far.