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Granholm: New Michigan Film Projects to Create Nearly 6,000 Jobs

Contact: Mike Shore 517-335-4590

February 3, 2009

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced Michigan's aggressive film production attraction efforts will create 5,993 new jobs in Michigan, including 4066 new film, animation and programming jobs.  Three companies, Wonderstruck Studios, Motown Motion Pictures and Stardock Systems, plan to invest more than $156 million in Detroit, Pontiac and Plymouth locations. 

"We are working hard to build a diversified economy and create good-paying jobs in Michigan," Granholm said.  "As a result of our aggressive film incentives we are not only bringing new investment to Michigan, we are laying the foundation for an industry that will support long-term job growth for our citizens."

The three projects announced today are:

Wonderstruck Studios LLC - The new venture, to be known as Detroit Center Studios, will produce computer-generated (CG) visual effects and animated content. It plans to invest $85.9 million to create a digital pipeline, used to pull in numerous CG and digital animation projects, in downtown Detroit. The project is expected to create 700 new Michigan jobs, including 413 directly by the company.  Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $16.9 million over 12 years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in China and Korea. In addition, Infrastructure Development Film and Digital Media incentives totaling $11.7 million have been approved to help support the project. The city of Detroit is considering abatements to support the project.

Motown Motion Pictures LLC - The new business venture, which will be both a film studio and a production services company, plans to invest approximately $70 million in a 600,000-square-foot development with nine sound stages in Pontiac. The project is expected to create 5,139 new jobs, including 3,600 directly by the company. Based on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's (MEDC) recommendation, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority board (MEGA) today approved a state tax credit valued at $101 million over 12 years to help bring the project to Michigan. In addition, Infrastructure Development Film and Digital Media incentives totaling $12.9 million have been approved to help support the project. Job training assistance through the MEDC and Renaissance Zone designation by the city of Pontiac are also under consideration. 

Stardock Systems Inc. - The software developer and publisher will invest $900,000 to expand at their current location in Plymouth Township to allow for the development and implementation of a new PC game. The project will create 154 new jobs, including 53 directly by the company. Based on the MEDC's recommendation, the MEGA board today approved a state tax credit valued at $1.2 million over 10 years to help convince the company to expand in Michigan over competing sites in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, Infrastructure Development Film and Digital Media incentives are under consideration and Plymouth Township is considering abatements to support the project. 

"Strong cooperation at the state and local level was instrumental in winning these projects against some very intense national and international competition," MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said.  "I commend our great local partners in Oakland and Wayne counties, the cities of Detroit and Pontiac and Plymouth Township for working with us and supporting our efforts to diversify and grow Michigan's economy."

Governor Granholm proposed the film incentive program in her 2008 State of the State Address and after winning bi-partisan support for the legislative package, signed the bills into law last April.  Since that time, the program has generated: 221 script proposals and 136 applications, of which 73 have been approved for film production incentive agreements.  Credit certificates have been issued for 32 productions for their expenditures of $126.4 million in Michigan with a related incentive value of $48.0 million.  If all of the approved film projects go into production, Michigan will see more than $435.7 million added to the state's economy.  Related film incentives would total $164.4 million.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.  For more information on the MEDC's initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.TheMEDC.org
        
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