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in Filmmaking
on Oct 12, 2008

This is the amount producers of David Fincher‘s upcoming film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will receive by cashing or selling off tax credits in Louisiana according to The New York Times today.

It’s no secret that for the last five years or so many states have been welcoming films with enticing tax incentives to keep them from packing up their sets and heading up north to Canada. It worked, but with the current economic climate (and some shaddy dealings) many states are beginning to rethink their incentive plan.

An excerpt from the NYT piece:

As the number of movies made under these plans multiplied in recent years, the state money turned into a welcome rescue plan for Hollywood at a time when private investors were fleeing the movies. But the glamour business has not always been kind to those who pick up the costs, and states are moving to rein in their largess that has allowed producers to be reimbursed for all manner of expenditures, whether the salaries of stars, the rental of studio space or meals for the crew.

Louisiana, one of the most assertive players in the subsidy game, wound up covering that outsize piece of the nearly $167 million budget of Mr. Pitt’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” — the state’s biggest movie payout to date — when producers for Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers qualified the coming movie, a special-effects drama, under an incentive that has since been tightened. Separately, Louisiana’s former film commissioner is set to be sentenced in January to as much as 15 years in federal prison for taking bribes to inflate film budgets (though not that of “Button”) and, hence, pay higher subsidies.

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