Keeping Cleveland a Hollywood destination

10:37 AM, Jan 16, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Ivan Schwartz: Making Ohio's film industry competitive

Photo by Ryan Haidet, WKYC-TV

CLEVELAND --  What happens in Hollywood is increasingly important to the future of Northeast Ohio.

Movies like The Avengers brought in millions of dollars and jobs last year.

But in 2012, filmmakers may have a harder time shooting in Ohio. Right now, Ohio's motion picture tax credit is capped at 10 million a year.

"We were out of money the first two weeks after we started in July. And we need to raise the cap to $25 million a year to be competitive," said Ivan Schwartz, executive director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

Ivan and others had hoped The Avengers would be the beginning.

"If there's no money, there's no money and you really don't want to turn customers away. We're trying to provide great customer service when they're here, but we don't have to say no to anybody."

Schwartz says he would like to see Ohio create an industry and jobs.

"Our goal in the next 3 to 5 years is to create 3,000 full time jobs here, not only in production but in those ancillary businesses in an industry that just doesn't exist here."

WKYC.com recently uncovered and confirmed one of those upcoming projects.

A new movie currently known as "Hall of Fame" is slated to start filming in town next month. Producers are looking to fill nearly 100 speaking roles.

Meanwhile, other studios looking to shoot here are in a sort of holding pattern waiting to see if other deals fall through.

In the meantime, Schwartz says he will continue being a very hopeful and high profile ambassador for the City of Cleveland.

WKYC-TV

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