Cleveland's city film commission is pushing for more movies to be shot here, but they've been struggling to get the resources they need to do that. But soon that could be changing.
“One of the things is infrastructure, we want to create an infrastructure that is recognized globally,” said -Ivan Schwarz, President of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.
To do that, the state created a new School for Film & Media Arts at Cleveland State University. It is the only standalone film school in Ohio, meaning it has its very own facility outside of the campus, making its debut late last week.
“We want to make sure that we keep young people engaged in the city in large numbers,” said Schwarz.
That's just phase one of what he and his team would like to see here in Cleveland to build up the movie scene. Phase two would be to promote and encourage tourism at spots where movies have already been shot.
“In Albuquerque, New Mexico they have the breaking bad tours,” he said. “We’ve had some huge temple movies that shoot here.”
Movies like the Christmas Story, where the house is located in Tremont on Cleveland’s near West Side, or Downtown Public Square where the Avengers was shot.
Schwarz said he’s working with Destination Cleveland, the city’s tourism organization, to see if an idea like that can work.
“If people knew outside of Cleveland, that these projects shot in Cleveland Ohio, and that they can go see and stand where those productions actually took place, first of all, it changes the image people have of our city instantaneously,” said Schwarz.
But their biggest effort is going back to the Statehouse for a $100 million tax credit.
“It’ll change the landscape of the city in ways that people just can’t vision, but what it does is it brings positive attention to the city of Cleveland and more importantly, jobs,” he said.
In states like Georgia, where the tax incentive is uncapped, they made nearly $3 billion in 2017 alone.
“We don’t have to wait several years to see if this is going to work,” he said. Claiming it’s already proven to work and increase jobs and movie making in cities.
The legislation was first introduced earlier this year, but one of the bill’s major supporters Cliff Rosenberger resigned, and that put it on hold. But as they say, the show must go on
“Come January 1st we’re getting our ducks in a row,” Schwarz said.
He’s hoping to get the $100 million tax credit on the budget for next year.