Can Massachusetts become a destination for green film production?

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Now that Massachusetts has a permanent film tax credit, leaders of the state’s film industry are considering ways to improve infrastructure. Some see this time as a chance to lower the field’s carbon emissions, grow the green economy and even position Massachusetts as a leader in green film production. With a wide range of enthusiasm levels, however, the consensus among those interviewed suggests that getting there would take a lot of doing.

Making Green Production a Priority

Gary Crossen manages the region’s largest production studio, New England Studios in Devens. From what he has observed to date, green production has taken a back seat to the debate over tax credits and recent concerns over worker health and safety. He says he fields questions about air filtration for the more than 70,000 square feet of sound stages, but not energy consumption, for example.

Yet, aside from a five-month COVID-19 hiatus, business remains robust at New England Studios. Streaming series “Dexter,” “Defending Jacob” and “Castle Rock” all filmed there and Crossen anticipates more to come. “We’re booked through end of year and talking to productions for the new year,” he says. With the tax credit sunset lifted, Crossen confirms an expansion is currently “under consideration.”

While Crossen wouldn’t specify details, he says if they do expand, “I don’t think there’s any question that some green technologies would come into play.” New England Studios will soon double its electric vehicle charging stations to 14 and its lighting and grip rental arm offers LED lights, which draw significantly less power than the tungsten lights they also rent. However, Crossen acknowledges that as a business that principally leases its space, production companies make the most impactful decisions. See more here.

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