CFP for proposed panel: "Runaway Credits: Production Incentives in the U.S." SCMS 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Mary Erickson
contact email:

Call for Papers for SCMS 2014

PROPOSED PANEL: Runaway Credits: Production Incentives in the U.S.

I am soliciting paper proposals for a panel on US state media incentive programs, for presentation at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Seattle (March 19-23, 2014). I am interested in including both scholarly and industry viewpoints to highlight the complexity of production incentives.

As financing for films becomes increasingly precarious (particularly after the economic recession of 2007-2008), film productions turn to state-level tax incentive programs to maximize funding. These initiatives are typically in the form of tax incentives and reduced permitting fees. As a result, productions integrate tax incentives as line items into their budgets, depending on them as integral components of a film’s funding. Concurrently, state governments look for ways to generate income for cash-strapped economies, and enticing multi-million dollar productions has been a way to boost direct and indirect spending within state lines. As well, states may bend over backwards to attract certain productions, as they can serve as promotional tools to attract future productions, jobs, and tourists. There is, however, debate over whether tax incentives designed to attract productions actually make the economic impact that they promise. Even so, some states are aggressively expanding their tax incentive programs beyond film and television to include video games and interactive media.

This panel focuses primarily on tax incentive and rebate programs offered in American states. Some possible areas for exploration include (but are not limited to):

--Economic impact of production incentives (positive or negative)
--Expansion of production incentive programs to include other media (i.e., games, interactive)
--Reduction of production incentive programs
--Case studies of film productions using incentives
--Comparison of incentives programs (domestically or internationally)
--Debates/battles over production incentives (legislative level, community level)
--History of production incentive programs
--Impact of incentive programs on regional/local film communities

Please submit a 300-word abstract, plus 3-5 bibliographical sources, and a brief bio statement to Mary Erickson ( by August 10, 2013. You will be notified of acceptance or rejection no later than August 20, 2013. Please note: this panel will be submitted to SCMS at the end of August. Acceptance to participate on this panel does not automatically mean that the panel will be accepted into the conference (but I certainly hope it will!).

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