JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Film Commissioner Todd Roobin says it's not hard to sell Jacksonville to Hollywood movers and shakers. The city has hosted several productions.
"We've had major motion pictures, television movies, network and cable movies," he said.
We've welcomed some A-list stars. "From John Travolta, Salma Hayek, James Gandolfini," said Roobin.
From the beach, to Downtown and Cecil Field, Jacksonville can serve as a setting in almost any story line. "We're very cost effective, have various looks all geographically in a very short amount of drive time, and we have a city that loves the industry."
Roobin would like to see the industry here more often. So Friday, he stood before the Duval Legislative Delegation and asked lawmakers to continue to fund the state's Film Industry Incentive Program.
He told the panel of lawmakers, "Your investment with this performance based incentive has proven to be fiscally responsible, and has contributed to strengthening Florida's economy."
More than that, he'd like to see the state sweeten the deal for Jacksonville. "Right now, they provide a 5% bonus for underutilized markets, such as Jacksonville. So, what we're trying to do is raise that 5% to 10%."
He says taxpayers will see a return on their investment. "The current state incentive has a 15-to-1 return on investment. So, for every dollar the state spends, there's $15 coming back. So, it's a significant return."
Now, state lawmakers just have to get on board. "And that, according to executives in Los Angeles, Hollywood, and elsewhere, that is enough for them to say, Jacksonville, we'll come to your city."
The City says the Film and TV Office is a consistent money maker for the City. In the past two year, it says the office has done the following:
- Permitted and assisted in 110 productions
- Generated more than $8.7 million in revenue
- Created more than 1600 jobs
Roobin is hoping those numbers will grow.
Visit the city's website to learn more about the Jacksonville Film & Television Office
and the productions being shot here.