TN trails other states in money to lure filmmakers
12:45 PM, Mar 4, 2012
If freelance production designer Bart Mangrum had more work in Tennessee, he wouldn’t have to skip to other states to maintain his livelihood.
For Mangrum, chasing jobs outside of Tennessee is a tiresome but familiar situation. In fact, he’ll travel at the end of the month to work on a film set in Baton Rouge, La., followed by one in Ocean City, Md.
“There’s a lot of films that should be shot in Tennessee that are going elsewhere,” said Mangrum, 35, a Nashville native. “If I was able to, I’d never go, but I have to follow the work.”
But economist Ray Achintya with Tennessee State University said Tennessee’s 17 percent production subsidy amounts to a windfall for the state because it can attract spending by movie makers that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred here.
“The question is whether we could have collected the money otherwise,” Achintya said. “It should be looked at as an $83 gain on every $100, not $17 lost.”