In today’s hard economic times where finding good work is a constant struggle for many Americans, the film industry continues to be a bright spotlight for many. Yesterday we spoke of the tens of thousands of jobs sustained by film and television in New York City but pointed out similar jobs exist all across the country. Today we look at a perfect example of how film production can breathe new economic life into a particular community.
Florida’s Office of Film and Entertainment recently released data detailing the economic impact of the movie Dolphin Tale, which premiered this past weekend and was filmed primarily in Florida’s Pinellas County. According to this study, the film brought $17 million into Florida’s economy during its 55 days of production in 2010, as first reported by The St.Petersberg Times. Of that $17 million, $7.5 million was paid in salaries to the nearly 1300 Floridians who worked as actors, extras, costume designers, makeup artists, set builders, stunt men, and various other behind-the-scenes positions. The remainder went to local businesses for lodging, equipment supplies, careering, dry cleaning and others services provided to the film’s production.
“That’s one thing we like about this industry,” said Florida Film Commissioner Lucia Fishburne. “It crosses over into so many businesses. You've got primary vendors; rental houses; sound stages that you associate with the industry. But you also have — and this is big for our state — everything from sources for lumber like Lowe's or Home Depot, to small mom-and-pop florists and nurseries. You have heavy retail, caterers, restaurants, hotels, all of the things it takes to make a movie.”
The bottom line is this: film production creates jobs, and many states, like Florida, have recognized this and implemented tax incentive programs to spur such grow. A strong, healthy entertainment industry matters to many Americans, not just those of us who enjoy their final product. So if you have a chance to catch Dolphin Tale or another great film at your local theatre, or on television, or through one of the many legal online forums available, do it and support these jobs and what they do for local communities around the United States.