Alabama will have more filming with new bill

By Steve Mathie
Staff Writer

Since their last incentive ran out in 2006, Alabama has seen surrounding states like Louisiana and Georgia attract a number of the entertainment industry projects that could have been shot in their own backyard. Now Alabama has passed their own bill that should get the cameras rolling again in The Heart of Dixie.

Governor Bob Riley signed a bill that had an overwhelming 102-0 vote in the House and 32-0 in the Senate, which will credit qualifying production companies up to 25% on expenses and 35% of payroll.

Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi are just a few of the southern states that have incentives in place and are booming in the film industry because of it. Now Alabama could attract more movie and television production with their fresh bill. Currently, Alabama is a popular candidate for the filming of documentaries and educational projects as a result of its rich historical background.

“We’re really excited,” says Courtney Murphy, Liaison Specialist with the Alabama Film Office. “We do have several projects on the horizon.”

Hundreds and hundreds of supporters, including Riley and members of the House Education Appropriations Committee, have stuck their necks out in the effort to make the dream of having more filming production in Alabama a reality. The Alabama Film Office has also played a pivotal role in the support and exposure of the bill.

The idea behind the filming incentive is not only to have more filming done to promote tourism and the state in general, but to stimulate the economy by creating more jobs and giving local talent the ability to gain experience and tap into the industry’s social pipeline.

“There is a lot of buzz between the incentives package and the projects that are waiting to take advantage of filming in Alabama,” says Murphy.

Cypress Moon Productions is already planning on shooting a portion of a movie about early twentieth century outlaws Bonnie and Clyde in Alabama. According to IMDb, Hillary Duff is rumored to be playing the role of Bonnie.

Alabama’s biggest film credits include the classic To Kill a Mockingbird (1963), Under Siege (1992), Love Liza (2001), Big Fish (2003), and most recently Final Destination 4 (2008).

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