D.C.’s Mayor Gray in Hollywood, trying to bring it to the Potomac

July 22, 2011

By Tom Howell Jr.-The Washington Times

Many people are familiar with the notorious horse head scene in “The Godfather,” in which a stubborn Hollywood mogul is strong-armed by out-of-towners with a disturbing surprise.

It’s unlikely that D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray went to such lengths as he met with studio executives in Los Angeles on Thursday to lure their projects to the District – part of a three-day trip to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

City officials are working on ways to attract filmmakers to the District’s iconic landscape, mindful that places as disparate as Baltimore and Toronto have stood in for the nation’s capital in recent movies and television shows.

Film offices in neighboring Maryland and Virginia offer attractive packages, including rebates on qualified projects and tax exemptions. Before his trip, Mr. Gray noted it is important to stay competitive “in an industry where states and cities are offering extremely lucrative incentive programs.”

The District is researching its own incentives model based on other states and industry feedback, but such offerings are “not funded at this time,” said Leslie Green, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.

For now, the motion picture office touts the city’s talent base, a streamlined city-permit process and its database of local resources for visiting film companies.

There’s plenty at stake. Production activity can generate millions in revenue and create thousands of temporary jobs each year, Ms. Greensaid.

The agency reported $12.5 million in film and television spending in the District in fiscal 2010.

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/21/dcs-mayor-gray-in-hollywood-trying-to-bring-it-to-/


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