“LIGHTS, CAMERA … INACTION”
South Carolina’s film industry is upset with the administration of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley for its failure to attract any new productions to the Palmetto State this year – frustration which boiled over at a “State of Film” conference held in Columbia, S.C. this week.
“What was planned as an opportunity for Duane Parrish, the current director of SCPRT, to provide a positive picture of the state’s film industry, turned out to be a whipping session by a room full of frustrated film makers and unemployed crew members,” reports Kirk Gollwitzer of Examiner.com.
Ouch! Whips hurt!
Parrish is Haley’s appointee over the S.C. Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) – the agency which oversees the state’s film commission. In fact, Parrish’s agency touts these film incentives as a key part of its mission.
“We’re a business-friendly state that understands the importance behind the opportunities provided by every production,” the SCPRT website states. “We’re also one of the country’s leading incentive states for feature films and television series. South Carolina’s production incentives differ from other states’ incentives in that they are a cash rebate, paid to the production company within 30 days of final audit. Other states offer tax credits or tax refunds which require brokers and long waiting periods.”
In other words, South Carolina is giving money away … literally.
As a state lawmaker, Haley opposed film incentives. However shortly after her 2010 election she appeared in an episode of Army Wives, a drama which benefited from taxpayer-funded subsidies.
Film incentives – which can cover up to half of all production costs for filmmakers – are a notoriously poor investment, with a 2008 study by College of Charleston economist Frank Hefner concluding that the handouts returned only around 19 cents for every taxpayer dollar invested.
That’s pathetic …
Frankly we’re glad that Haley has “failed” in this regard – and if a bunch of artsy fartsy film industry types have a problem with that, then “boo f*cking hoo.” Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize film incentives any more than they should subsidize tourism marketing – SCPRT’s other, much larger corporate welfare program. That’s yet another example of government shifting the tax burden in the name of “economic development” – a strategy which has produced precisely squat for our state.
Seriously … let’s hope Haley continues to “fail” when it comes to blowing our money on film handouts.