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The Hoot Smalley Report #5: Utah Stole Oren Peli From Us

Still doubt me New Mexico? Utah has stolen Oren Peli from us! In an article published by Daniel Frankel on the website [link] Mr. Frankel describes the latest phenom of the new age of filmmaking, Oren Peli, as having made his most recent feature film for $11,000.00. This low-budget film from the former Israeli videogame maker has caught the eye of Paramount, and Paramount is now rewarding Mr. Peli with a significantly larger budget for his next movie Area 51.

The hook is that he has to go to Utah to do it because they have better incentives than we do. Now let me be clear, I don’t make the decisions on who has the better incentives among the states. The Producers and Studios do. Below is a rough breakdown of Utah’s incentives for film. I’ll let you all be the judge and tell me if we can find a way to up the ante.

*AREA 51 - Feature - Thriller

Director – Oren Peli

Shooting Location – Salt Lake City, Utah; Start Date – Mid October 2009

The Utah Film Commission offers three incentives for film and television productions.

The Motion Picture Incentive Fund is a 20% post performance rebate of dollars spent in the State of Utah. Starting July 1, 2009, Utah will also offer a 20% tax credit. For productions under one million dollars, there is a 15% cash rebate film incentive available.

The Sales and Use Tax Exemption is an exemption on TV, video and film equipment. The Transient Room Tax is a rebate on hotel accomodations.


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