Production company favors film incentives

Duo addresses chamber about extending program


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Bob Crockett, general manager of Piksik, LLC, answers questions following a presentation about Alaska film incentives to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 18.

STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER

The Alaska filming of the upcoming Hollywood film “Big Miracle” included $7.7 million in spending on goods and services with 80 different businesses throughout the state, according to Bob Crockett and Deborah Schildt, who want to see Alaska continue to benefit from film industry revenue.

Crockett, the general manager of Anchorage-based production company Piksik LLC, and Schildt, Piksik’s production manager, addressed the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 18 to promote the extension of film production incentives in Alaska.

The duo wants a 10-year extension of the tax credits offered in Senate Bill 23.

The Alaska Film Incentive Program has been in place for three years. The program offers up to 44 percent in transferable tax credits.

Those include a 30 percent base tax credit on spending in Alaska, plus an additional 10 percent for hiring Alaskans, 2 percent for shooting in rural areas and 2 percent for working during off-season months (October to March), according to a sponsor statement by Sen. Johnny Ellis. (Read Ellis’ entire statement at http://aksenate.org/index.php?bill=SB23).

The program ends after five years or $100 million in tax credits have been given out, according to Ellis’ statement.

Since 2009, the state has issued $13 million in film tax credits, according to Crockett and Schildt.

Locals also reaped the benefits of having “Big Miracle” filmed in Alaska.

The movie — about rescuing grey whales trapped by ice — featured more than 80 Eagle River residents as extras, Schildt said. Many more behind-the-scenes employees were hired from all around the state, she said.

“We cast on this picture from Barrow to Bethel,” Schildt said.

More than 1,300 Alaskans earned paychecks related to the film, Crockett said.

Producers flock to states with the best deals, Crockett said, so it’s important for Alaska to continue its incentive program.

Shooting movies in Alaska also boosts the local economy, Schildt said.

“Film incentives help Alaskan businesses,” she said.

Those interested in purchasing film production tax credits can visit www.film.alaska.gov for more information.

Crockett and Schildt concluded their presentation with a video message from Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight.

In his message, Voight praised Alaskans’ worth ethic and flexibility on the job.

“These people are full of energy, not spoiled, cheerful,” he said.

Voight said living through harsh winters molds Alaskans into caring individuals.

“People have to help each other out,” he said. “It builds character.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

 

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