Thursday, April 23, 2009

Four New Movie Facilities Planning to Open in Massachusetts

My most recent Globe column discusses four separate projects to build movie production facilities -- some big, some small -- in Massachusetts.

Last year, thirteen movies made at least partially in the state spent more than $350 million here. With new production facilities to support more indoor shooting, those numbers could grow. There are currently about 25 new soundstages in the works...

From the piece:

    Movie-making in Massachusetts was jump-started by a tax credit former Governor Mitt Romney signed into law in 2005. It gives production companies a 25 percent tax credit on any spending they do in the state. This month, Kevin Costner and Ben Affleck have been shooting "The Company Men" in Boston, and scouts have reportedly been seeking locations for the sequel to "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." (Much of the original was filmed at the Burlington Mall.) In 2008, 13 movies spent a total of $359 million in the state.

    But the major constraint to luring more movie dollars to Massachusetts is the lack of sound stages: large indoor spaces where sets can be built. (Sound stages also usually have office space nearby for the production team and postproduction facilities for editing, special effects, and other finishing work.)

    Today, film crews that need indoor space often wind up using hockey rinks, raw warehouses, and vacant office buildings.

    "One of the things that holds us back in New England is the weather," says Nick Paleologos, executive director of the Massachusetts Film Office. "To the extent that we're able to provide the industry with state-of-the-art facilities that can be used year-round, the level of production here would ramp up another notch."

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