Why Hamilton nearly lost Mickey Rourke's 'Tiger'

Posted at 6:20 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-20 18:20:13-05

HAMILTON, Ohio — Filmmakers looking to shoot in Ohio will find doing so a bit more costly, at least for the immediate future.

That’s because the state has already committed all $20 million in tax credits available for film projects this budget year, which goes through June 30, 2016, according to a report by WCPO media partner the Journal-News.

And it almost cost the city of Hamilton Mickey Rourke’s newest film.

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According to the report, Film Hamilton Director Steve Colwell said in the time between the region’s selection as the site for the boxing film and when filming started last week, “Tiger” crews had packed their bags and were scouting alternative locations.

Colwell called the lack of remaining tax credits a “black cloud hanging over our heads going forward.”

“If Ohio wants to remain competitive and be taken seriously in the industry, something’s got to change,” he said.

FilmDayton board member Karri O’Reilly, who was production manager for Cate Blanchett’s “Carol,” told the Journal-News this was the fastest Ohio has run out of money in a given year.

“Carol” filmed last year at locations in Cincinnati, Hamilton and Lebanon and will premier in Cincinnati Dec. 12.

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O’Reilly called it a good problem to have, showing that the tax credit program is doing what it was launched to do: attract Hollywood to Ohio.

But she also said the timing isn’t ideal. Recent film projects set for the national and international stages have generated a buzz around Ohio that will attract more movie makers. Those who come to Ohio in the next seven months will find themselves on a waiting list.

Read Chelsey Levingston’s full report for the Journal-News here.