Colorado film office wants more money to have more blockbusters filmed in-state

DENVER - Colorado's state film office wants the legislature to double its budget for film incentives, hoping to draw more major motion pictures and TV shows to be filmed here.

Currently, the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media offers $750,000 in tax rebates to production companies (that are based out-of-state) that meet a list of requirements, including spending at least $1 million and hiring a cast and/or crew that's made up of at least 50 percent Colorado residents.

The office is asking the legislature to increase the current amount to $1.25 million.

Right now, most of the productions in Colorado that cash in on the incentives are commercials and computer animation games.

The film office told FOX31 to attract feature films, it needs more money.

In fact, the film office used to offer up to $5 million in incentives. That brought blockbusters such as Furious 7 and The Hateful 8 to Colorado.

Back in the 2014 to 2015 fiscal year with the $5 million in incentives, the film office said productions in Colorado were responsible for more than $42 million in direct spending and had an economic impact of more than $81 million.

However, the incentives weren't without controversy.

In 2017, an audit found the state paid nearly $2 million to production companies that didn't provide proof that they met the requirements.

For perspective, FOX31 discovered some of Colorado's neighbors spend a lot more and -- in some cases -- less on film incentives.

Arizona does not have a film incentive program from the state, while Utah offers more than $8 million and New Mexico offers $50 million every year.

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