Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Monday, May 24, 2010
The movie industry is replete with government subsidies that are intended to attract the movie to a particular country, state, or city. Local officials get to take pictures with the stars, perhaps a few hotels book a few rooms, and there is a hope for tourism in the future. Such was the push in Savannah, Georgia, that they filmed "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and "Bagger Vance" in Savannah (among others). Now there is a small but steady but declining stream of people that go to Savannah to take the Grey Line Tour to see St. Bonaventure Cemetery and the Miller House and so forth.
Did the subsidies pay for themselves? I doubt it but I haven't seen hard data on the topic.
Nevertheless, before the movie industry could reach out to the government for some helpful subsidies and before transportation costs were sufficiently low that one can actually film a movie written about Australia in Australia, the studios had to make do with what they had around them.
This is a cool map of where studios could go to get footage that looked like somewhere else:
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