Will Houston make it onto the big screen? New bill threatens to kill tax incentives for filmmakers

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HOUSTON — Lights. Camera. Action!

Is what Houston filmmakers are saying to legislators who calling for a cut on the state film tax incentive.

"Business is being loss because we don't have incentives," filmmaker Joe Grisaffi said.

Actor Eric Roberts is in Houston this week filming the independent film project "The Candidate" directed by Don Okolo.

Like many, he also fears that without some sort of incentive, productions will not be made and talent will no longer come to the city to film.

Two years ago, legislators attempted to stop the program completely but instead cut the budget 66 percent. The latest news has productions heading out of town.

Several studio productions pulled the plug on projects based on the lack of tax incentives in Houston. Meanwhile, major productions continue to film in states such as Louisiana and Georgia where it is more beneficial.

The film tax incentives program is important because it not only pulls in great projects for Houston but also jobs. Big productions often put money in the hands of hundreds of media professionals, struggling to find work in a budding film market.

As Houston becomes the set for more successful films, the city could attracts profitable businesses, tourism and so on.

Lawmakers should want to take a close look at this bill. Houston will need something to brag about after the Super Bowl.


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