Lorain producer Betty Halliburton to debut docuseries on health of Black women | The Morning Journal

Metro Creative Connection











SOURCE: The Morning Journal | Aliah Kimbro
September 9, 2023

A Lorain journalist and producer is highlighting the issues surrounding Black women’s health.

Betty Halliburton, an independent producer and founder of Intentional Content Inc., has produced the docuseries “Black Women: Our Hope, Health and Healing” in collaboration with Ideastream Public Media.

Halliburton also is the media relations personnel for the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival.

The four-part series was birthed out of Halliburton’s other collaboration with Ideastream, “Connecting the Dots Between Racism and Health Disparities.”



Special effects artist bringing new film, TV production studio to life in Burton | Crain’s Cleveland Business

Kiyomi and Det Chansamone left their home in Los Angeles to buy a former high school in Burton, Ohio, to convert it as a production studio and venue for his own movie and TV efforts. | Stan Bullard











SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business | Stan Bullard
September 11, 2023

A short walk north of the town square in Burton, which traces its history to 1798 and has managed to remain a village with just over 1,000 people, Det and Kiyomi Chansamone have bought the former Berkshire High School to remake it as a video production center.

The availability of the 96,000-square-foot high school, which was built in three phases beginning in 1930, drew Det Chansamone to Burton. He envisions one of the school’s gyms as a huge soundstage, with other sections, like the old band room, being converted and made available to rent by out-of-state film and TV crews shooting in Northeast Ohio as well as area commercial production companies.

Chansamone, a special effects producer who has worked on major film and TV projects, also sees it as a place to create his own shows.



Advocacy in Action: Coming Soon to a Screen Near You! | Downtown Cleveland

SOURCE: Downtown Cleveland
August 30, 2023

Have you ever been watching a movie and thought to yourself, “this looks familiar”? That’s because it might be! There have been over 145 movies and 160 other projects filmed in the State of Ohio, and over 58 movies filmed in Cleveland since 2009, including The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, the Fate of the Furious, and White Noise. This is largely due to the creation of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, which has attracted productions and generated economic impact to our state since it was first introduced in 2009.

East 9th set up for the filming of The Avengers

The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit provides a refundable tax credit that equals 30% of in-state expenditures on eligible productions who spend a minimum of $300,000 in the State of Ohio. Eligible productions may include feature-length films, TV shows, documentaries, music videos, commercials, video games, theatrical stage productions and more. Once productions are approved for the Ohio tax incentive, they can only receive tax incentive reimbursement once they have finished production and submit an audit to the state, after the spending has taken place in Ohio. In the previous two years, Ohio has seen nearly $133.6 million of out-of-state investment flow into northeast Ohio to spend on motion picture productions. From 2009-2020, it attracted over $571.8 million to our state from direct production spending and job creation. This investment generates significant economic impact for our region, as film crews utilize hotels, eat locally, and shop at retail storefronts.

As stewards of Downtown Cleveland’s economic growth, we understand that the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit plays a critical role in attracting investment, jobs, residents, and visitors to our central business district. In the 2024-2025 State Operating Budget, we were proud to successfully advocate for increases to the tax credit to $50 million this year, and an increase to $75M beginning in July of 2024. Due to this increase in state investment, eight projects were approved to be filmed in Ohio, five of which will be filmed in the Cleveland area. These projects will amount to over $96.3 million in combined production budgets set to film in Cleveland.

Playhouse Square in Downtown Cleveland

Downtown Cleveland is home to the second largest performing arts district outside of New York City – Playhouse Square – where Broadway productions are often tested or launched. One such example is The Lion King, which launched its first run after the pandemic in Downtown Cleveland. Playhouse Square attracts over 1 million visitors each year, amounting to over $359 million in economic impact each year. An additional $5M in the State Operating Budget was allocated to Playhouse Square to be used for theatrical productions. This will help us to continue to elevate our stature as a national hub for the performing arts.

Despite these wins in the State Budget, our advocacy work on the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit is not over. There are currently 38 states offering similar incentives, including Georgia whose program is currently uncapped, resulting in $4.4 billion in direct production spending in Georgia in 2022. Furthermore, Texas recently increased its cap to $200 million per year and New Jersey recently introduced legislation to increase its annual cap to $200 million.

Movie Magic on East 9th

Global production spending has increased by more than double in the last decade, from $128 billion in 2013 to $238 billion in 2022. Ohio can be competitive in this growing industry by increasing the Motion Picture Tax Credit cap. In the last two years, over $409 million combined production budget applied to film in Ohio but were turned away due to the annual cap, resulting in the productions opting for competitor states. Ohio must also restore a more efficient rolling application process instead of the existing 14 week-long application window process. A rolling application will allow for eligible productions to apply and be approved as projects arise, allowing the funds to attract new investment rather than holding incentives for six months.

As we continue to advocate for greater investment in this incentive program, we are highly anticipating the five exciting projects that will begin filming in the Cleveland area. Downtown Cleveland will be coming soon to a screen near you!

“The Marksman” Novel Debuts at No. 1 on Amazon

Congratulations to THE MARKSMAN screenwriters Danny Kravitz and Chris Charles for the successful launch of their novelization of the film, and for reaching no. 1 on Amazon’s new release list in Movie Tie-In Fiction!

When THE MARKSMAN filmed in Northeast Ohio in 2019, the production:

  • Hired 129 crew and 150 extras
  • Spent over $20 Million with over 40 local vendors

Order your copy of THE MARKSMAN on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Northeast Ohio’s arts scene continues to grow after struggles of the pandemic | Crain’s Cleveland Business

The Unit eXperience Project performs July 19 at Wade Oval Wednesday. | Ken Blaze








SOURCE: Crain’s Cleveland Business | Grant Segall
August 28, 2023

Cleveland Shakespeare has sold T-shirts saying “All the CLE’s a stage.”

“Theater can be anywhere, and theater is for everyone,” Artistic Director Dusten Welch told spectators last month of the troupe, which tours from Lorain to Mentor.

And CLE has a world of stages. Parks, plazas, porches, schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, cemeteries, shelters, prisons and repurposed factories all get in the act. City Ballet danced this month on a boardwalk over a marsh at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. Downtown Cleveland Inc. is recruiting buskers to work sidewalks in the footsteps of the late Maurice “Sax Man” Reedus Jr.

But the COVID-19 pandemic particularly hurt the arts and artists.



Business: Woven Into the Fiber with Lowell Perry Jr. | CODE M

Lowell Perry Jr., Chief Diversity Officer, VP Corporate & Community Engagement at the Greater Cleveland Film Commission














SOURCE: CODE M | David Christel
August Issue

Woven in to the Fiber

At a time when Black advances are being cancelled, diversity, equity, and inclusion become even more important. For Lowell Perry Jr., bringing DEI to life has become his life’s passion.
















Cleveland International Film Festival director is stepping down after 23 years | Ideastream

Cleveland International Film Festival | Marcie Goodman’s career with CIFF began in 1987. She held several leadership roles before being named the organization’s executive director in 2001.










SOURCE: Ideastream | Kabir Bhatia
August 3, 2023

For only the third time in its history, the Cleveland International Film Festival will soon be searching for an executive director. Marcie Goodman will step down in 2024 after 23 years at the helm. She informed the board Thursday that she’ll leave in June, calling her tenure “a labor of love.”



Tax Credits Awarded for 8 Ohio Film Productions | The Business Journal

Photo by Bruno Massao | Pexels.com







SOURCE: The Business Journal | Staff
August 3, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Development has awarded $36 million in tax credits to support eight Ohio film productions in six communities, including several in northeastern Ohio.

The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit Program provides a refundable tax credit of 30% on production cast and crew wages and other in-state spending for eligible productions, including feature-length films, documentaries, pre-Broadway productions, miniseries, video games and music videos.

“Film impacts our communities in more ways than just providing entertainment,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development. “Projects awarded … will help highlight Ohio’s unique communities, promote the arts, and bring creative jobs to our state.”

Awarded projects total more than $170 million in production expenses, $129 million in total eligible production expenses and are expected to create 370 full-time jobs. The department received 30 applications for the fiscal year 2023 July round, requesting more than $77 million in tax credits.

The latest Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit recipients are:

  • “Muenster, Ohio” (TV series), $327,143, Geauga County.
  • “Once Upon a Time in Sports” (TV series), $148,629, Cuyahoga County.
  • “Nex” (miniseries), $2,099,373, northeastern Ohio.
  • “A Train Near Madgeburg” (miniseries), $454,378, Columbus.
  • “Nightmare Transmissions Season II” (miniseries), $152,179, Cleveland.
  • “Ella McCay” (feature film), $14,097,770, Cleveland.
  • “Trap” (feature film), $9,522,006, Cleveland.
  • “Eenie Meanie” (feature film), $9,254,869, Cleveland.

Applications are reviewed and awarded in two rounds each year. $40 million is available annually, evenly divided between the two rounds plus any rollover amounts from the preceding period. Projects are awarded first to television series or miniseries, then to all others, based on the extent of positive economic impact in the state and the effect on developing a permanent workforce in the motion picture or theatrical production industries in the state.

The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit was created in 2009 to encourage and develop a film industry in Ohio. The application and additional program information can be found HERE.

Film Strikes Impact Cleveland Filmmakers | Cleveland Magazine

NO ONE GETS OUT ALIVE. Cr. Brian Douglas/Netflix © 2021









SOURCE: Cleveland Magazine | Anthony Elder
July 27, 2023

Work from major studios largely came to a halt following the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

At a time when the Cleveland film scene could be celebrating — Ohio legislators recently approved a sizable increase to the motion picture tax credit — industry professionals like Production Coordinator Max Eberle find themselves in limbo.

In May, the Writers Guild of America instituted a writer’s strike affecting film and TV production for the first time since 2008 after film studio negotiations failed to reach a satisfactory resolution.

While that strike has continued for weeks, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television — the actors — began striking, too, after the organization’s contract with the American Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios like Netflix and NBC Universal, expired.

Reasons for the strikes range from a lack of viable pay to concerns over the use of artificial intelligence — fears mount that studios might avoid paying actors or extras for multiple appearances by technologically using their likeness for free after one paid shoot.

For members of the industry in Cleveland, from prop masters to coordinators like Eberle, major film projects now hang in the balance. Eberle, who’s worked on sets including the recent White Noise and Judas and the Black Messiah, recalls work slowing down following the writers’ strike. When SAG-AFTRA came into the conversation, he hoped that studios and actors might develop a good deal to prevent further delays.

“But, clearly SAG doesn’t think they got a good deal,” he says. “And there’s a breadth of responses to how people feel about what’s happened with the strike, but it has doubled down on that slowness and stoppage of work. That is rough for everybody.”

From the set of ‘The Fate of the Furious’ in Cleveland.

Exemplifying the issue, local Greater Cleveland Film Commission Production Coordinator Mike Wendt saw one production for a Hulu project known currently as Stickshift grind to a halt just weeks after headlines announced the casting call.

“We were able to make that announcement, and then the following day was when the strike fully went into place,” he remembers. “There were at least some people who were working at that production office for a couple of weeks before it was shut down.”

So, what does this all mean for Cleveland?

For the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, there is still plenty of work to do. The organization’s primary function revolves around courting major studios, convincing them to bring their stories to Ohio.

Between the applications, scouting locations and pitching the state’s $50 million tax credit incentives (soon to increase to $75 million in 2024), the GCFC can’t quite slow down.

“We have to pitch Ohio as a filming destination months, if not years, out before projects come,” GCFC President Bill Garvey explains. “And we’re never without work to do. Now is not necessarily a quiet time for us.”

With the added uncertainty of nationwide strikes, the commission has directed some of its focus toward resource and support. On Wednesday, July 19, the organization held a networking mixer, providing the opportunity for local industry members to connect and commiserate.

The GCFC also provides strike resources on its website, including links to emergency financial assistance and charity grants.

However, Garvey believes the Cleveland industry’s situation isn’t as dire as it could be. Local filmmakers are used to moving back and forth between smaller local gigs, commercial work and major films. While big studio work may be halted, regional media companies like TRG Multimedia, Transition Studios and Think Media Studios have room to work on non-AMPTP projects — work that doesn’t cross the Hollywood writer-actor picket line.

Furthermore, the GCFC president anticipates a surge in work once the strikes lift.

“I can’t predict when the strikes are going to be resolved, but I can be ready to go once they are,” Garvey says. “And just like coming out of COVID, the demand for content will be great. So it will this time around too.”

That doesn’t mean Ohio is free from the risk entirely. More films, bigger productions included, means more opportunities for local workers and less chance for brain drain — when a region’s creative talent steadily moves away in favor of busier areas like Los Angeles or New York City.

And for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a stagehand union with a chapter in Northeast Ohio, the current situation exemplifies a need for representation across the industry.

Cleveland’s own IATSE 209 President Dan Jarrell says they will not cross picket lines, empathizing with current strikers. The union has dealt with its own battles in the past, including a fight for lunch breaks on busy sets and establishing penalties for the major studios if workers can’t take them.

“In the last round of negotiations, there was a very large increase in the penalties that these corporations would have to pay to not stop for lunch and just keep shooting through the day — and these are 10-, 12-, 14-hour days,” he says. “Once the last negotiations ended, [we started] preparing for these next negotiations, so they’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. They really take into consideration that these are the worker bees of the industry and they have families. It’s just tough for them to survive in these situations, and I think something very serious is trying to keep the ball rolling and not go on strike.”

As it stands, the current strikes may continue for weeks, if not months. Garvey and the GCFC encourage local industry members to reach out if they’re in need of assistance finding resources and work.

And, Garvey says, Cleveland will be poised and ready when major studio work inevitably resumes.

“Ohio will hit the ground running and get back into it. Once the strikes are resolved, production returns. It’s that simple. The demand is always there.”

Ohio Legislature passes increase to Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit

On Friday, June 30, 2023, Ohio Legislators voted in favor of an increase to the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit.

The increase raises the current annual $40 million cap to $50 million, with $5 million designated for theatrical production and $45 million designated for motion picture production for the 2023-2024 fiscal year (which commences July 1, 2023). For the 2024-2025 fiscal year, in addition to the $50 million incentive, Ohio adds a $25 million infrastructure tax incentive that will also be available to reallocate towards production incentive at the discretion of the Ohio Department of Economic Development.