Topeka Lights, camera, tax cut.
After seeing movies set in Kansas go elsewhere to film, lawmakers will consider proposals aimed at getting Hollywood's attention.
"The film industry is trying to grow in this state, but we've lost some opportunities on films that were set in Kansas," said state Rep. Lana Gordon, R-Topeka, chairwoman of the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.
Gordon's committee will conduct a hearing Tuesday on several bills that would provide tax breaks for filming movies in Kansas.
One measure would give a 30 percent state-income-tax credit on film production expenses; another would provide tax credits for investors in Kansas movies; and the last one would provide sales tax rebates on movie project expenses in Kansas.
A task force on film in Kansas, chaired by filmmaker and Kansas University professor Kevin Willmott, said Kansas had to provide incentives to get the attention of major filmmakers.
"If we make the incentive competitive and the tax credit transferable, we can be in the game," Willmott said.
Willmott said the task force recommends modest incentives and targeting film projects that would logically look to Kansas as a possible location.
"'Capote' and 'Infamous' are two examples of motion pictures that wanted to shoot in Kansas but were lost to Canada because of their incentives," he said recently.
Both "Capote" and "Infamous" were about Truman Capote's research for his book "In Cold Blood," an account of the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb.
Recently, it was reported that Boulder, Colo., will serve as the location for a movie that is set in Lawrence. Colorado charges no sales tax on film company services.
Willmott has made three feature films in Kansas, including the recently completed shooting of "Bunker Hill" in Nortonville in northern Jefferson County.
He said he received outstanding cooperation from the residents of Nortonville, including permission to keep the lights off in the town for long periods of time, which was crucial to the plot.
"That's the kind of cooperation that you get from a small town that Hollywood is looking for," he said.
Willmott said the film probably spent $200,000 in the town.
Gordon and Willmott said development also was needed in another area: training members of a film crew.
The more films that Kansas attracts, the more people will be trained to work on movie sets as technicians, they said. And as more technicians become qualified, the more Hollywood will be interested in coming to Kansas to shoot.
The bills offering tax breaks for Kansas filmmaking are House Bills 2439, 2440, and 2441.
Set in the Region
- Feature film set in Lawrence won't be shot here ... again (01-13-07)
- 6News Video: New film set at KU to be filmed in Colorado (01-12-07)
- TV series has Lawrence seeing stars (09-10-06)
- CBS bringing 'mountain of publicity' to N. Lawrence (08-31-06)
- N. Lawrence looking to benefit from publicity for CBS drama (08-04-06)
- Author still waiting for Hollywood to put his novel on big screen (05-10-06)
- New filmuses campus stand-in (01-03-03)
- Nicholson plays Jayhawk in the movies (05-31-01)