Let’s do it without a union!
Teen millionaire star sensation Miley Cyrus is readying to shoot a new movie called Last Song. Miley, who rocketed to fame as the ever pure and perky Hannah Montana, says:
I’ve always been lucky to play parts that relate to me, and this doesn’t at all. I have my issues, but not as bad as this chick. So I’m happy to play someone that’s just kind of out there and not someone that I’m like.
But what is interesting many people is not who Miley’s playing, but where the movie–produced by Offspring Entertainment and distributed by Walt Disney Company–will shoot. Yesterday North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue canceled a new conference at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington about Last Song coming to that state. North Carolina’s Commerce Department later said more time was needed to work out the project’s details.
Last Song could generate hundreds of jobs for the so-called “right-to-work” state from production crews to extras, plus generate revenue from catering, hotels, transportation and related expenses. In a right-to-work state, no union membership is required to work on film productions, so a greater number of certain positions can be filled from outside of unions, unlike in Hollywood. However, right-to-work does not include actors for studio productions.
Gov. Perdue says Georgia, also a right-to-work state, is eager for the production:
Nobody knows what’s going to happen. … I don’t know what figures they got from Georgia, but Georgia wants them badly, and we want them badly. And by Monday, there’ ll be four or five other states that want them badly.
Many states will offer tax credits and other incentives to lure productions. North Carolina has a 15 percent film incentive package, while Georgia’s can be as much 30 percent. Meanwhile California Gov. Schwarzenegger, himself an actor, has resisted film incentive programs for the state. This year, Hollywood has only three major films scheduled to shoot there (plus California just raised sales and income taxes).
In related news, yesterday, the two actors’ unions which cover the majority of film, television, and radio programs (SAG/AFTRA) came to terms with producers over contracts covering commercials, hopefully paving the way to resolve the looming film and television strike.