The Iowa Motion Picture Association (IMPA) hopes to continue expanding the video, film and TV production industry in the second year of tax incentives passed by the state legislature. I.M.P.A. president, Kent Newman, says the incentives for film, TV and video production have given the industry a boost.
Newman says it’s a 50-percent tax credit for what is spent on production in Iowa for projects that are over 100-thousand dollars in budget spent here and distributed outside of the state. The credits are awarded after the money is spent. The I.M.P.A. recently held an event to discuss the tax incentives.
Newman says they are raising the awareness of the incentives, improving their production network, while working together to identify the assets of the state, the barriers to production, and then working together to improve production in Iowa. He says there are many benefits to making films in the middle of the country.
Newman says the costs are lower here than on the cost, he says the "positive work ethic of our people" is another positive for the industry in the state. Newman says one of the hurdles the state faces is the limited crew, or "behind the scenes" workers, especially if more than one feature film is being shot in the state at the same time.
Newman says there needs to be more training of Iowans, or we need to bring in more production people from outside the state to be able to capture more of the production dollars. Newman says the industry is like others in the state which are trying to keep more Iowa college grads here.
Newman says there are several colleges and universities with curriculum in radio and TV, video production, and also film at the University of Iowa. "One of our strategies is actually to better connect with those institutions so that the students there have a better connection between their academic training to the real world," Newman says. He says they’ve also gotten training funds from the Iowa Department of Economic Development.
Newman says they held two training sessions this year for 125 people to learn to work productions. Newman says Iowa’s incentives are the best in the country for the industry and they want to do all they can to capitalize on them. For more information, visit the Iowa Motion Picture Association’s website .