COMPASS represents the Florida men and women who work in feature film and episodic television production and the Florida-based businesses that provide materials, equipment, provisions, and other support to this industry.
COMPASS works at the regional level, building common cause with municipal and county governments and legislative and business leaders across the state to bring movie and television projects back to Florida.
COMPASS believes that the only viable way forward for Florida motion picture production in 2020 centers on creating pragmatic business alternatives to film incentives.
“The playing field is no longer level and that must be fixed. Florida’s actors, filmworkers, producers, and small business owners deserve to be able compete with other Southeastern states for our share of the domestic market for feature film and episodic television production.
Our legislative leadership in Tallahassee continues to stand in opposition to state film incentives of any kind; it’s obvious that we cannot compete on that level. What is needed is a new, outside-the-box approach that can demonstrate to Florida business associations, community and educational leaders, the tourism industry, the public in general, and open-minded legislators that, by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us and supporting our effort on a regional basis, we will be able to bring high-level motion picture production back to the Sunshine State. COMPASS has created that approach.”
2018 – Chris Ranung, COMPASS chair
A pragmatic new approach to motion picture production financing for Florida.
Initiated by COMPASS in 2019, Feature Florida Partnerships is a non-profit public/private partnership that takes a simple business concept – financing – and makes it available on a turnkey basis as a means of tapping into the proven economic impact of motion picture production without resorting to tax dollar giveaways.
Feature Florida Partnerships is establishing Regional Florida Film Funders LLCs to provide qualified financing to independent feature film productions in the $2 million to $12 million range, an industry sector that is ideally suited to prioritizing Florida-centric production, generating jobs for Florida cast and crew, stabilizing and growing Florida-based support businesses, and creating entry-level opportunities for Florida film school graduates.
A little history:
Since May of 2012, the Congress of Motion Picture Associations of Florida (COMPASS) has maintained an unwavering legislative presence in Tallahassee and around the state, building credibility as the primary advocacy group for Florida motion picture production.
We have steadfastly maintained that, of the various entertainment industry sectors, the greatest economic impact comes from feature film and episodic television production – through their singular ability to create good long-term jobs for Floridians and inject maximum production spending into Florida communities.
In 2017, COMPASS responded to opposition to corporate subsidies by introducing legislation to create a new business model based on sound financing principles. Our legislation was heard and passed by one Senate committee.
We returned to Tallahassee for the 2018 legislative session with an updated and refined bill, a broader legislative and business support base, and a fire in our belly. Again, we passed one committee in the Senate and hit a stone wall in the House, where conservative opposition blocked our every attempt to get a fair hearing for our program.
In 2019, we put into motion our strategic shift away from the state-level approach. Over the past half-decade, reluctance to help our industry has become so ingrained in the legislative process that, time and time again, any and all efforts to gain state-level support have been dead on arrival. Simply put, for COMPASS it’s not about Tallahassee anymore: everything is regional.
Our strategy takes us to the places in Florida that want movie and television production, that recognize the potential for good jobs and the kind of local economic impact that only true motion picture production can generate, and that are willing to act on the innovative ideas that COMPASS is bringing forward.
Our activity in Tallahassee during the 2019 legislative session was limited to one powerful effort – passing the COMPASS-drafted legislative resolution carried by Senate Bill 1808 that lays a foundation for future regional efforts such as ours to reinvigorate motion picture production in the Sunshine State. On April 30th, this resolution was approved by unanimous vote on the floor of the Senate, making it the only film legislation of significance to be approved by the State of Florida in the last eight years.
We actively supported SB 530 and HB 497, the two incentives bills that were under consideration during session earlier this year. Once again, although there was modest support in the Senate, House leadership refused to agenda any legislation relating to film production, effectively postponing state-level assistance for our industry at least one more year.
A Tallahassee focus is no longer our priority; our principal area of activity remains advancing the evergreen financing concept that is the basis of Feature Florida Partnerships. However, our work during session to amend SB 1636, which would have eliminated the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Board (FFEAC), did result in the threat to that important agency being removed from the bill.
We had anticipated being able to build upon our 2019 introduction of the Feature Florida Partnerships effort and launch the first Regional Florida Film Funders LLC by the midway point of 2020. As of mid-April, it’s undeniable that the current COVID-19 crisis has decelerated our effort; however, we continue building interest in the Film Funders concept and plan to be a ready and available option when domestic production once again ramps up in late-summer or the fall.