But while local officials have balked at the slightest notion of paying for a stadium located in a different county, Mike Salerno reports this weekend that the two counties are talking about pledging $100,000 each to try and convince Tim Burton to shoot his new movie, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" in Tampa Bay. The money would only be awarded if the production documents the money it spends here on things like hotel rooms.
Aside from the fact that $200,000 is a lot of money and warm-weather states like Florida would be far-better off if nobody offered handouts to Hollywood...it's encouraging that multiple agencies would reach across the Bay for the betterment of the region.
But some important questions to ask:
- Can/will the subsidies guarantee the majority of the movie is shot in Tampa Bay - and will the location be abundantly clear to moviegoers?
- Could a movie about "peculiar children" drive tourism the way Winter the Dolphin does? Or will it simply have the (lack of) effect that Spring Breakers did?
- Will the subsidy offer truly benefit the region or just prompt Sarasota & Charlotte counties, where the book is based, to spend more in subsidies themselves? A bidding war is not in the region's best-interests.
- Is it $200k well-spent? Rebates for hotel rooms could indicate the jobs aren't going to local workers. Will the subsidies require 90% local workers? Will there be any guarantee of high-wage jobs?
UPDATE: Hillsborough commissioners passed their half of the subsidy, according to Mitch Perry, who writes the funding is contingent upon Pinellas approving $100k as well. However, he also reports the money is contingent upon Burton basing his office headquarters in Hillsborough County, proving an earlier point of mine that Tampa Bay isn't one single community, but lots of cities that still compete with each other.