Pennsylvania’s film tax credit brings in $91 million from Fox’s Unstoppable

MUMBAI: Pennsylvania’s film tax credit has helped to attract a major motion picture production company to the state to shoot an action-thriller starring award-winning actor Denzel Washington.

Unstoppable, which will be directed by Tony Scott and produced by 20th Century Fox, will be shot in various locations throughout the state – including central Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, and the northern tier region – and will require more than 10,000 hotel room nights.

"This is an incredible achievement to have 20th Century Fox come to Pennsylvania and shoot a big movie. Pennsylvania’s incentive is creating much needed jobs and generating economic activity in our communities by attracting film production companies of all sizes to the state, in all corners of the state. This is a shining example of that," said Department of Community and Economic Development acting secretary George Cornelius.

20th Century Fox plans to be in Pennsylvania 77 of its scheduled 95 shoot days, beginning 31 August. It also will hire 90 full-time and 75 part-time employees.

"The arrival of this blockbuster will mean 300 hotel rooms a night for five weeks — in the fall," said Pennsylvania’s Great Outdoors Visitor’s Bureau executive director David Morris "This economic boost comes at the right time."

In addition to the immediate influx of cash for local hotels, Morris said production managers are also looking for warehousing, private housing for the stars, and information about local eateries for the 300-person crew.

"Many businesses in many Pennsylvania locations are going to benefit from this production," said Cornelius.

Pennsylvania’s film tax credit program, which is operated by the Department of Community and Economic Development’s film office, provides a 25-cent credit for every dollar of qualified expenditure. To receive the film tax credit, at least 60 percent of a production’s budget must be spent in Pennsylvania.

Projects eligible for the film tax credit include production of a feature film, a television film, a television talk show or game show series, a television commercial, a television pilot or each episode of a television series intended as programming for a national audience. A project is eligible if at least 60 percent of the project’s total production budget is used for qualified Pennsylvania production expenses.

In June, an independent study of Pennsylvania’s film tax credit said the program paid for itself in the first year of its existence (2007-08) by generating $524.6 million in total statewide economic impact, $17.9 million in state and local taxes, and 4,000 new jobs. The total value of wages from those jobs was $146.4 million.