Film office ends its run

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published January 1, 2005  | January 2005 issue

The state film office has assisted movie and commercial producers since 1987, but in November the Department of Tourism decided to close it, due to budget problems.

Like many other states, Wisconsin had a program to lure Hollywood film makers, mostly by making it easier for them to find local professionals, services and equipment. The office also recommended shooting locations.

The efforts met with some success, most recently "Mr. 3000" starring Bernie Mac. However, the state has had difficulty competing with Canada and neighboring Illinois, both of which provide tax incentives that Wisconsin doesn't.

The tourism department, like other state agencies, is under pressure to cut its budget, and the film office is considered a low priority compared to travel marketing. The film office's annual budget was about $126,000.

The cut was pending at press time, but Gov. Doyle was expected to approve it.

Joe Mahon