Michigan, like many states, is going through some very difficult economic times. As a result, Governor Rick Snyder was forced to cut back sharply on funding for the Michigan Film Commission Office, which many credited for bringing production of a large number of feature films to the mitten.
Consequently, the bar one has to clear to receive the incentive is set pretty high. I’m thrilled to announce that the upcoming movie “Dogman” has done it. Executive Producer Rich Brauer, always particular about selecting indigenous talent and settings for his movies, has been granted a significant revenue enhancement to the project by the MFC. Well done, Rich!
Following is the text of the official press release:
Feature Film Dogman Approved for Film Incentives
September 22, 2011
“LANSING – The Michigan Film Office announced today that the feature film Dogman has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The film, set in northern Michigan, is being produced by Traverse City-based Brauer Productions and is shooting on location in Benzie County.
“It is a priority for the Film Office to support Michigan-based filmmakers and projects, and Brauer Productions – which has been making movies in Michigan for more than three decades – is a great example of the homegrown talent we have here in the state,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “Dogman is not only set in Michigan, it is also hiring its entire crew from Michigan and creating paid internship positions to help train the next generation of Michigan filmmakers. Combined, these factors make this project the perfect fit for the film incentives.”
Dogman was awarded an incentive of $155,146 on $382,500 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 49 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 5 jobs.
The film is based on the popular Michigan folklore surrounding the Dogman, a wolf-like creature that appears in northern Michigan in the seventh year of each decade. The legend has been perpetuated over the years in various ways – including a song, “The Legend” released in 1987 and the 2007 novel, Year of the Dogman.
Brauer Productions has shot eight features in Michigan including Barn Red, Frozen Stupid and Mr. Art Critic.
In 2011, 18 projects have been approved with $23,517,299 in incentives being awarded on $56,544,577 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,798 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 377 jobs.
All applications for film incentives receive a thorough review by a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) committee comprised of the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, the Senior Vice President of Policy, the Vice President of Business Development and the Director of the Michigan Film Office.
The current statute is used to guide approval decisions. Preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:
1. The production is financially viable.
2. Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, film labs, etc.).
3. The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production.
4. Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination.
5. Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.
The film incentive program continues to be jointly administered by the Michigan Film Office and the Department of Treasury and all projects must be approved in concurrence with the state treasurer.
Since the incentives took effect in April 2008, the Film Office and the Department of Treasury have approved a total of $384,583,113 in film incentives on $977,917,681 in total qualified expenditures by productions in Michigan. This represents 223 projects that have been approved to date, including 155 projects that have actually wrapped in the state.
The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan, as well as infrastructure development and workforce training.”