Made in Florida: Incentives


Although budget reductions have slashed funds -- down from last year's $25 million incentives budget to just $5 million this fiscal year -- fans of Florida incentives keep multiplying.

Morgan Creek was so pleased with its experience on the comedy "Sydney White" that Florida was the first place it looked to film "Ace Ventura Jr.," a direct-to-DVD continuation of its popular franchise. Crews and facilities were a priority, but the incentives made it a no-brainer.

"It's one of the reasons we went down there," says Morgan Creek senior vp production David Robinson, who is also one of the film's producers. "We'd been there and done it. We got the money on 'Sydney White' and we got it back quickly."

Incentives also sealed the deal for USA Network's "Burn Notice." Although the series is set in Miami, Fox Television Studios considered having Los Angeles double for South Florida.

"Had the tax incentives not been in place, we couldn't have afforded to go to Miami," says David Madden, Fox Television Studios executive vp programming. "We're saving roughly about 10% of our budget. And that's been the make-or-break to justify being there. If the incentives went away tomorrow, we would have to relocate the show."

Florida's rebate program responsible for landing these projects is divided into four production categories, offering a cash rebate of 10%-22% on qualified in-state spend.