Report: Film productions poured $54 million into Greater Cincinnati economy over past two years

Tax-supported film productions brought more than $54 million to the 15-county Greater Cincinnati area over the past two years, according to figures released by the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission on Saturday.

The Oscar-nominated “Carol,” “Miles Ahead” and “Goat” are among the major projects that contributed to the influx. The last two films are among several local projects that screened Friday at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where film commission executive director Kristen Schlotman and other commission representatives are networking.

“The films being screened at Sundance are prime examples of why it’s good business to come to Cincinnati for television and film projects,” Schlotman said in a statement released at the festival.

The film commission hired the University of Cincinnati's Economics Center to analyze data from the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit program. It reported that over the past two years films have received $11.8 million from the state and contributed $22.6 million in direct spending to the economy. Indirect benefits – essentially, the pass-along value of direct spending – equaled $31.4 million, the study said.

The report states that tax credits return $1.76 in economic activity overall for every $1 paid to film companies.

 

The film commission's release includes an unlikely claim of more than 8,800 jobs created. The figure was calculated using heavily redacted reports from the Ohio Development Services Agency that did not fully report the categories to which jobs were assigned. As a result, a large number of one-day jobs for background players, or extras, were counted as regular production jobs.

By way of comparison, a study by Cleveland State University released in June that converted one-day and other short-term jobs to full-time equivalents reported that a total of 1,729 jobs were created in the entire state by 31 productions over the course of four years. A majority of those jobs were in the Cleveland area.

An updated calculation of job impact by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center is pending but was not released before the film commission's announcement.

Movie production has boomed in Ohio since the introduction of the tax credits in 2009. The success of “Carol” and the highly anticipated release of “Miles Ahead,” among other films, have fueled interest in the Cincinnati area as a filming location. A number of major films are rumored to be planning to shoot in the area in the coming year.

 

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