One of the biggest concerns in Tennessee's film industry is how to compete for work with states that offer lucrative tax incentives to land film and TV projects. Not just goliaths like New Mexico, which dangles a 25 percent tax rebate as well as interest-free loans up to $15 million per project, but also neighbors such as Georgia and North Carolina.
Of course, matching tax rebates is difficult when the state doesn't have an income tax. Instead of transferable tax credits — i.e., selling off your state income-tax rebate to an entity that can use it — Tennessee offers cash rebates up to 32 percent of a production's in-state expenditures, from a film-incentive fund that once totaled $20 million. Reports as recent as November, however, had it down to about $4 million.
Members of the local film community will meet at 12:30 p.m. today at The Belcourt to discuss ways to lobby for a lasting, competitive film incentives package — and to talk about what that package might entail. The meeting is hosted by Laray Mayfield, a full-time Middle Tennessean who's better known as David Fincher's longtime casting director from Fight Club through The Social Network, along with Belcourt managing director Stephanie Silverman and marketing director Hayley Waddey Hall. The meeting is expected to last about an hour.