Here’s an article published last week in IndieWire that is a real tough read for Florida’s film community. In “Elections 2018: How the Midterm Results Could Impact Film and TV Production,” writer Chris O’Falt takes a look at four states – Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, and California – from a post-midterm governor’s race perspective. While it’s comforting that O’Falt still considers our state a “major production hub,” the reality is that a new Florida Governor named DeSantis will certainly side with his Republican legislative leadership and not be inclined to push for any changes to the status quo. In whatever guise, under whatever name, any kind of tax dollar giveaway is not likely to get much traction under a DeSantis regime.
Not so with the other three highlighted regions. Georgia’s run on the bank looks sure to continue, although a Kemp administration founded on voter suppression and favoring LGBTQ discrimination holds the potential for a major Hollywood change of heart as regards continuing production in such a repressive environment. With an incoming Democratic governor and the recent Netflix selection of Albuquerque as a production hub, it looks like New Mexico is once again in the catbird’s seat. And California? Will Governor-elect Gavin Newsom take a $1.55 billion program and make it even bigger? Anything is possible in the Land of Milk and Honey.
Just goes to show that Sunshine Staters have to find a different sandbox in which to play. There’s no two ways about it, we must develop something new, something outside-the-box, then start from scratch and build it from there. This coming year will define whether we have the imagination, the will, and the energy to meet the challenge. Not impassible, but surely a bumpy boulder-strewn road lies ahead.