Incentives expected to be reviewed for Alabama’s Film Industry

By Lauren Walsh

The governor’s office says 25 movies and ten reality television shows have been shot in Alabama since 2011. Now, tax incentives used to lure filmmakers may be reviewed.

Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh tells ABC 33/40 the state spent $15-million in 2014 on incentives for the film industry.

Alabama is facing a critical budget shortfall estimated to be up to $700-million.

Marsh says an oversight committee will be created this year to look at how incentive money is being spent.

Meanwhile, the spot light is brighter than ever on Alabama’s film industry.

One of the latest productions in Alabama is Woodlawn, filmed in November at the football stadium in Hueytown.

“This is an old stadium,” recalled Hueytown Mayor Delor Baumann. “They came, called city hall and said mayor, somebody wants to make a movie at the old stadium. I said, okay, I wasn’t taking it too seriously.”

But Baumann learned the Erwin brothers were serious.

“We helped with the filed and different things,” explained Baumann. “We had to stop the traffic.”

They filmed for several weeks in November.

The Erwin brothers are no strangers to making movies in Birmingham. You may remember “Mom’s Night Out” and “October Baby.”

Those are just a couple of the movies which benefited from Alabama’s Entertainment Industry Incentive Act passed by state lawmakers in 2009.

“The incentives made all the difference in the world,” Jon Erwin told ABC 33/4. “I don’t know if there would be an October Baby if it wasn’t for the incentive in the state of Alabama.”

Selma, which also benefited from the tax incentives, is up for best picture at the Oscars.

“We were just doing this little film where there was no expectation this film we would be walking red carpets and having all this attention,” producer Oprah Winfrey told us at the premier.

Hueytown is hoping for at least a fraction of that attention when Woodlawn is released this Fall.

“Well, let’s go look at the stadium where they filmed the movie,” said Baumann. “By the way, while we’re here, let’s eat at one of the restaurants here, various places we have to eat in town, shop here a little bit So I’m thinking that will happen.”

Comments are closed.