ByÂ Tom Howell Jr.-The Washington Times
Many people are familiar with the notorious horse head scene in â€œThe Godfather,â€ in which a stubborn Hollywood mogul is strong-armed by out-of-towners with a disturbing surprise.
Itâ€™s unlikely that D.C. MayorÂ Vincent C. Gray went to such lengths as he met with studio executives in Los Angeles on Thursday to lure their projects to the District – part of a three-day trip to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
City officials are working on ways to attract filmmakers to the Districtâ€™s iconic landscape, mindful that places as disparate as Baltimore and Toronto have stood in for the nationâ€™s capital in recent movies and television shows.
Film offices in neighboring Maryland andÂ Virginia offer attractive packages, including rebates on qualified projects and tax exemptions. Before his trip,Â Mr. Gray noted it is important to stay competitive â€œin an industry where states and cities are offering extremely lucrative incentive programs.â€
The District is researching its own incentives model based on other states and industry feedback, but such offerings are â€œnot funded at this time,â€ saidÂ Leslie Green, a spokeswoman for theÂ D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.
For now, theÂ motion picture office touts the cityâ€™s talent base, a streamlined city-permit process and its database of local resources for visiting film companies.
Thereâ€™s plenty at stake. Production activity can generate millions in revenue and create thousands of temporary jobs each year,Â Ms. Greensaid.
The agency reported $12.5 million in film and television spending in the District in fiscal 2010.
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