An influential panel of executives in production, legal and financial segments of the film industry joined Monarch Private Capital’s head of film finance, Chrissie Merrill, to provide insight into what drives film production location choice and how significant film tax credits are in the decision-making.
Merrill is a recognized expert in the field of film tax credits and movie production incentives, placing more than $500 million in film tax credits in states across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, resulting in over 50 films and thousands of jobs. The AFCI Locations Show and Global Production & Finance Conference began Thursday, April 6th ending Saturday the 8th at the Marriott Burbank in California.
“It would be difficult to ignore the role tax credits play in decision-making, but it certainly doesn’t disqualify those states that have no production incentive at all,” says Merrill. “That is what we want to explore on this panel including how the film industry is organically grown in different states.”
“There are many factors that impact where we choose to film our movies. Available tax credits are extremely important but are certainly not the only thing that we take into consideration,” says Mitchell Bell, Vice President of Physical Production for Marvel Studios, a panel member.
Panelists for Georgia on My Mind, Filmmaking in the Peach State included:
- Mitch Bell, VP of Physical Production, Marvel Studios
- Jamila Fairley, Twentieth Century Fox Tax Incentives Group
- Tara Halloran, VP North American Partnerships, Pinewood International
- Clint Mock, Partner, Frazier & Deeter CPA
- Steve Weizenecker, Partner, Entertainment Attorney, Barnes and Thornburg – Atlanta
Marco Cordova, Monarch Private Capital’s new Director of West Coast Tax Credit Investments, also attended. Cordova has spent nearly two decades working in the entertainment industry in various tax management roles and helping companies maximize their tax credits and incentives. In January 2017, Cordova joined Monarch Private Capital to expand the company’s footprint on the West Coast. He and Merrill have been working together to launch the company’s new film tax credit finance business.
Prior to joining Monarch Private Capital, Cordova served as Vice President of EP Financial Solutions at Entertainment Partners. During his tenure with EP, he created and oversaw the company’s tax credit placement business, placing over $700MM in film and non-film tax credits since 2010. He also served as co-editor of several international and domestic production incentive publications. Prior to EP, Cordova worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he was actively involved with the MPAA and film incentives.
Georgia is ranked number three behind California and New York for film production, one the fastest growing entertainment production centers in the world. Catapulted by the state’s film tax incentive program nearly two decades ago, Georgia’s Governor Deal has been outspoken about his interest in making the film, television and digital entertainment tax credits permanent. In 2016, the Georgia Film Academy, the result of the governor’s High Demand Career Initiative, became an educational resource for developing a stronger, more experienced film production workforce.
“Due to its robust film incentive program, high-level legislative support, strong crew base, and production infrastructure, the State of Georgia is a competitive force and an attractive option for media content producers,” says Kevin Clark, AFCI Executive Director. “It’s because of these factors the state has become a leading global production hub.”
Monarch Private Capital invests in projects which qualify for federal and state tax credits and passes the benefits of those credits on to taxpayers through investment programs.Founded in 2005 as State Tax Credit Exchange (STCE), Monarch Private Capital is a financial services company, providing federal and state tax credit solutions to Fortune 500 companies, high-net-worth individuals and businesses to lower their federal and/or state tax liabilities.
The Monarch Private Capital team represents the best in class within their respective fields, which include big five accounting, investment banking and underwriting, real estate development, tax incentives and economic development. Monarch Private Capital is headquartered in Atlanta, and has offices in Charlotte, St. Louis, Nashville and Sarasota. Visit MonarchPrivate.com to learn more.