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Greater Philadelphia Film Office

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NEWS
May 4, 2016
ISSUE | FILM TAX CREDIT Pa. break pays off The Commonwealth Foundation's Nathan Benefield was wrong to call for the end of the Pennsylvania film tax credit ("Time to end Pa.'s corporate-welfare handouts," April 26). He claimed that the returns on economic development programs don't justify the expense, and he cited industry studies that counted only direct tax payments to states from productions. In fact, an array of state and local taxes are paid by cast and crew, hospitality and municipal workers, and businesses that invest in and serve the film industry.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2010 | By CHUCK DARROW, darrowc@phillynews.com 215-313-3134
THE MOMENT Sylvester Stallone hit the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the original "Rocky," there was no denying that this city was more than ready for its close-up. Who could have known that that indelible shot of Rocky Balboa, the ham-and-egg club fighter played by Stallone in the iconic 1976 film, climbing the steps and doing an exultant dance as the lights of the Ben Franklin Parkway sparkled in the predawn, autumnal air would mark a seminal moment in Philadelphia's pop-culture history.
NEWS
November 24, 2000 | by Francesca Chapman, Daily News Staff Writer
M. Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable," was filmed almost entirely in Philadelphia, but it would take an awfully well-traveled native to recognize every spot. Bruce Willis, who stars as the film's morose hero, David Dunn, pops up everywhere from City Line to Washington Square. Co-star Samuel L. Jackson's Elijah Price is less peripatetic, but has scenes in Center City, West Philadelphia and other neighborhoods. Peter Leokum, deputy director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, helped Shyamalan's crew find locations for the film.
NEWS
June 11, 2001 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Filmmaking doesn't create smog or traffic jams. It does create jobs and revenues. Between 1992 and 2000, movies such as 12 Monkeys and The Sixth Sense generated 4,390 jobs and pumped $229 million into the local economy, says a draft of an economic impact study commissioned by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO) due to be released by the end of the month. With a $487,000 annual budget in 2000 the film office helped generate 1,818 jobs, $4.7 million in city and state taxes, and $37.7 million in local spending.
NEWS
November 4, 2003 | By Kathleen Brady Shea INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The entrance is inauspiciously marked by hay bales. But there's no mistaking the seriousness of the high-level security. "You must leave at once; you're trespassing," barked a security guard, seemingly at odds with the tranquillity of pastoral Pennsbury Township. Well, maybe not so tranquil. In December 1978, police did unearth three victims of the notorious Johnston brothers gang uncannily close to filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie site - a locale so shrouded in secrecy that some locals don't even know it's there.
NEWS
December 23, 2009 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
What with Jamie Foxx, Dev Patel, and Reese Witherspoon in town to make thrillers, sci-fi adventures, and rom-coms in 2009, it's been a starry year in Philadelphia. And those luminaries - in movies such as F. Gary Gray's Law Abiding Citizen, M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, and "The Untitled James L. Brooks Project" - helped make it a record year for the Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO). In all, 11 movies and TV shows made in Philadelphia this year accounted for $270 million in direct spending in the region, according to the film office.
NEWS
January 22, 2009 | By Sam Adams FOR THE INQUIRER
Sundance swag usually runs more to luxury trinkets than Eagles caps, but not in the Philadelphia Industry Lounge, where the film industry's prime movers had a chance to sample the city's wares. Knocking back Bluecoat gin and chowing down on Tony Luke's cheesesteaks, they mingled amid flat screens showing off the city's versatile locations and brochures touting tax incentives for local productions. "I've always been jealous of the New York Lounge," Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, said while gearing up to watch Sunday's Eagles game with several dozen invited guests.
NEWS
October 19, 1995 | by Ellen Gray, Daily News Staff Writer By Ellen Gray
Baltimore gets the Inner Harbor, Camden Yards and the aquarium. We get Penn's Landing, the Vet and a view of New Jersey's aquarium. Baltimore gets "Homicide: Life in the Street," which pumps $500,000 a week into the local economy (less per week than a major movie might bring in, but for a far longer period). We nearly had "Philly Heat. " "Homicide" executive producer Tom Fontana, who also did the pilot for "Philly Heat," a drama about firefighters that was set in Philadelphia and starred West Catholic's own Peter Boyle, said he was surprised when ABC didn't pick up the series, which was shot here two years ago. "I love Philadelphia.
BUSINESS
July 19, 1996 | By Stephan Salisbury, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Philadelphia Civic Center may be dead as a doornail as far as conventioneering is concerned, but it may return to life as the largest soundstage in the country. Mayor Rendell has given the go-ahead to the Greater Philadelphia Film Office to pitch the once-bustling facility to film and TV makers on the West Coast as a great place to make sitcoms and movies. And Sharon Pinkenson, who heads the film office, has done just that, spending last week touting the virtues of the Civic Center and Philadelphia to a host of moviemakers in Los Angeles.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013 | By Dan Gross
M ARK WAHLBERG and director Allen Hughes will be in town Tuesday to attend a red-carpet screening of their new film, "Broken City," at 7 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut). Mayor Nutter and Greater Philadelphia Film Office chief Sharon Pinkenson will introduce the pair and make a special presentation to Wahlberg, who has shot several films in the area, including "Invincible," "The Lovely Bones" and "Shooter. If you'd like to attend, email your name and phone number to Philly@43KIX.com . A limited amount of free tickets remain.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 4, 2016
ISSUE | FILM TAX CREDIT Pa. break pays off The Commonwealth Foundation's Nathan Benefield was wrong to call for the end of the Pennsylvania film tax credit ("Time to end Pa.'s corporate-welfare handouts," April 26). He claimed that the returns on economic development programs don't justify the expense, and he cited industry studies that counted only direct tax payments to states from productions. In fact, an array of state and local taxes are paid by cast and crew, hospitality and municipal workers, and businesses that invest in and serve the film industry.
NEWS
March 13, 2016 | By Maria Panaritis, Staff Writer
For those in the business of luring Hollywood movies to Pennsylvania, last year's budget staredown produced a nail-biter in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the state's two filmmaking hubs. And the drama might not be over. Pittsburgh nearly lost a batch of TV and film projects as the legislature and Gov. Wolf failed to pass a budget due July 1. Philadelphia lost a planned ABC drama series and feature film starring Josh Brolin while $60 million in annual state film tax-credit money was held hostage by political foes.
NEWS
November 25, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Boardwalk Empire , the hit HBO series about Prohibition-era Atlantic City, was filmed not at the Jersey Shore, but on a boardwalk built in Brooklyn. Silver Linings Playbook , the Oscar-winning feature film adapted from a book set in South Jersey, was shot over the river in Philadelphia. Though Silver Linings director David O. Russell and actor Bradley Cooper - a Philadelphia native - had wanted to film in Philadelphia, "certainly things set in Jersey would tend not to go there right now," said the film's coproducer, Mark Kamine.
NEWS
June 8, 2013 | By Megan Rogers, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Bring on the lights, the cameras, and the action. So says Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R., Delaware), who Thursday announced he was introducing a bill to uncap the tax credit for production companies that film in Pennsylvania. The Film Production Tax Credit program is capped at $60 million annually, but its supporters have argued for years that the cap limits production in Philadelphia and the state, let alone do anything to encourage growth. Pileggi and others argue that uncapping the credit could create jobs in the state.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013 | By Dan Gross
M ARK WAHLBERG and director Allen Hughes will be in town Tuesday to attend a red-carpet screening of their new film, "Broken City," at 7 p.m. at the Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut). Mayor Nutter and Greater Philadelphia Film Office chief Sharon Pinkenson will introduce the pair and make a special presentation to Wahlberg, who has shot several films in the area, including "Invincible," "The Lovely Bones" and "Shooter. If you'd like to attend, email your name and phone number to Philly@43KIX.com . A limited amount of free tickets remain.
NEWS
November 19, 2012 | By Sally A. Downey, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Michael McGonigle, 53, of South Philadelphia, a filmmaker and film lecturer, died Friday, Nov. 9, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital after suffering a heart attack and strokes. He had struggled with heart disease for several years. "I'm absolutely in love with movies. It's a passion," Mr. McGonigle told Examiner.com in 2010. Growing up in Mount Airy, he and his older brother, John, made movies in which G.I. Joe action figures parachuted out of second-story windows and toy soldiers blew up on the front lawn.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2012 | By Dan Gross
"McCANICK," a cop/crime drama starring Cory Monteith of "Glee," Brandon Routh of "Superman Returns" and Chestnut Hill's David Morse , has begun shooting in town. Irish actor Ciaran Hinds , who recently worked here on USA's "Political Animals," and Morse worked on scenes Wednesday and Thursday at City Hall. Morse plays a detective named Eugene "Mack" McCanick who, along with his partner, played by Routh, hunt down a young criminal (Monteith) who was just released from prison, according to Variety . Morse is also a producer on the film.
NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By Dan Gross
THE PRODUCTION COMPANY behind "Dead Man Down," the mob drama that Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard recently shot in town, owes money to hundreds of vendors that provided services to the production, and now wants to pay them 40 cents on the dollar to settle its accounts. One local vendor whose company provides services to nearly every major TV or film production in the area and who is owed about $50,000 by DMD Productions LLC, says the company should be taken to task for stiffing its vendors while benefitting from the state's film-tax-credit incentives that lure productions to Philadelphia.
NEWS
June 15, 2011 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
Don't expect staggering, flesh-eating, virus-revived corpses to add millions to Philadelphia's economy this summer. Blame uncertainties about state tax credits for filmmakers, says the head of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. World War Z , about the aftermath of a zombie armageddon, may be set in Philadelphia, but star Brad Pitt will be shooting his action scenes this August in Glasgow, Scotland. This week, crews reportedly began preliminary work there, prepping for fake storefronts, planning for importing U.S. cars.
NEWS
March 10, 2011 | By Michael Klein, Inquirer Columnist
Gov. Corbett's proposed state budget might be cutting back in such areas as education, but it should help four major movies to shoot in Philly - two by M. Night Shyamalan and still hush-hush projects from Universal and Paramount - plus a bevy of indie films. Observers expressed pleasant surprise that Corbett this week offered $60 million in incentives to woo filmmakers who can employ local crews and spend money in the state. "We're overjoyed that [he] clearly understands that film tax credits generate jobs," said Sharon Pinkenson , executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office.
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