15. Miami, Florida
Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo kicked off 2018 with a bang by introducing a bill designed to get Florida’s film industry blood pumping after years of state lawmakers voting against incentives (a program launched in 2010 to the tune of $242 million in credits expired in 2016) and the disappointing specter of states such as Georgia standing in for Florida in movies like Live by Night and Hidden Figures. (The latter required five separate GA locations to double Cape Canaveral, and TV series such as Claws and Ballers.) Unlike the scrapped incentive program, Taddeo’s bill would pick projects based on perceived economic impact.
Since 2017, a make-do program initiated by Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally A. Heyman has been utilized as an interim solution, allocating $100,000 grants to productions for $1 million in spend with other caveats like 70 percent of the project being filmed locally. Miami-Dade is one of seven counties in Florida with their own programs, with varying degrees of generosity. Films that have taken advantage of the Miami-Dade program include Critical Thinking, a chess team drama directed by John Leguizamo and the Susan Sarandon-starring Snowbirds, about a widow moving to Miami.
Business continues to find South Florida: Trey Edward Shults directed his musical Waves in the area this past summer, while Harmony Korine directed Matthew McConaughey in The Beach Bum in Miami and has more South Florida projects lined up. The series David Makes Man, about a child prodigy living in the projects, is filming in Orlando and will premiere on the OWN network in 2019. Shortly before the November elections, Democrat candidate for governor Andrew Gillum learned that Georgia-shot Black Panther had resulted in $89.3 million being pumped into the GA economy and tweeted: “This could have been us, Florida.”